Braxton Davidson tallied his eighth outfield assist to end the bottom of the sixth inning, and drove in the go-ahead runs with a two-run triple in the top of the seventh to help the Florida Fire Frogs to a 3-1 victory over the Jupiter Hammerheads on Thursday afternoon at Roger Dean Stadium. The win gives the Fire Frogs their first series victory since taking two of three against the Daytona Tortugas from May 8-10 at Jackie Robinson Ballpark.
Florida (4-3, 29-44) trailed by a run entering the seventh frame, before bursting out for a three-spot to jump ahead of Jupiter (3-4, 36-39).
Ray-Patrick Didder (0x2, R, BB, SB) drew a free pass to start the inning, and moved up to second on a ground out to second off the bat of Austin Riley (1×4). With Alex Jackson (0x2, R, BB) at the dish, Didder stole third to put the tying run 90 ft. away for the Fire Frogs. Jackson drew a walk to put men on the corners for Tyler Neslony (0x4, R).
The left-handed batter bounced a ball to Dustin Geiger at first, putting Didder in a pickle down the third-base line. Geiger’s throw went home to chase Didder back to third. Chris Hoo’s throw to Brian Schales at third was on target, but the tag by the third baseman jarred the ball from his glove, allowing Didder to score the winning run and put runners at second and third with one out.
Brett Cumberland (0x4) went down on strikes for the second out, but Davidson (2×3, 3B, 2 RBI) sent a sinking liner to right that caromed off the body of a diving Dexter Kjerstad to bring home Jackson and Neslony for the two-run advantage.
Adam McCreery (SV, 1) took over for Andres Santiago (1-3) with a runner on first and two outs in the eighth, and the tall lefty struck out John Silviano to escape the inning. The 6’9″ hurler punched out the first two batters of the ninth, before Stone Garrett singled to keep the line moving for the Hammerheads. The 24-year-old retired Schales on a grounder to second to lock down the series win for the Fire Frogs.
Santiago picked up his first win at the High-A level with 3.2 scoreless innings out of the bullpen for “Rocket” Wheeler’s club. The veteran gave up four hits and struck out three on the day.
Oriel Caicedo had a no-decision in his first start with Florida, allowing a run on two hits and four strikeouts across four frames.
Jupiter’s lone run of the day came with a two-out rally in the first. Silviano and Geiger pieced together back-to-back doubles against Caicedo to plate the only blemish against the left-handed starter.
The home team had a chance for an insurance run in the sixth inning after Geiger doubled with two outs. Boo Vasquez singled to left, but Davidson’s throw home was right on the money to nab Geiger at the plate to end the inning with just a one-run deficit.
Evan Beal (1-1) took the loss for the Hammerheads out of the bullpen, allowing all three unearned runs in the seventh on a hit, two walks and two punchouts.
Florida heads over to LECOM Park for a four-game series against the Bradenton Marauders starting Thursday night. RHP Touki Toussaint (2-8, 5.72) toes the rubber for the Fire Frogs, while it has yet to be determined who will go against the 2014 first-round draft pick for the Marauders. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.
The Fire Frogs return to Osceola County Stadium on Tuesday, July 4 for game one of a three-game set against the Hammerheads. Fans are encouraged to stay after the game to witness an Independence Day Spectacular, featuring the largest fireworks display of the season.
The series opener is also “Fire Rum Tuesday” at the ballpark, where fans can enjoy $3 Fire Rum mixed drinks and $2 tostones. Every Monday through Wednesday game is “Service Industry Night” in Kissimmee, where members of the service industry can purchase tickets at a discounted rate.