RHP Nolan Kingham nearly went the distance for the fourth time this season, but instead the Tampa Tarpons came back against the bullpen to stun the Florida Fire Frogs, 6-5, in ten innings on a rainy Friday evening at Steinbrenner Field.
Kingham plowed his way through eight innings of four-run baseball, maneuvered around eight hits, and racked up eight strikeouts while throwing 94 pitches and not factoring in the decision. He retired 15 of the last 16 batters that he faced.
The Tarpons got on the board first. Dermis Garcia smoked his second homer of the season off Kingham, his 16th of the campaign, scoring Pablo Olivares with him for an early 2-0 advantage.
The Fire Frogs put their first tally on the board in the second. Kevin Josephina and Drew Lugbauer singled ahead of Brett Langhorne in the second, who drove in Josephina with a groundout to cut Tampa’s lead to 2-1.
A double by Riley Delgado, a free pass given to Trey Harris, and a single from Logan Brown loaded the sacks in the third against Tampa starter RHP Shawn Semple. Jefrey Ramos and Lugbauer drew bases loaded walks to put the Fire Frogs in front for the first time, 3-2.
Semple lasted just eight outs in his start, yielding four walks, five hits, and three earned runs.
Every Fire Frogs hitter in the lineup reached base at least once on Friday. Harris went 1-2 with three walks and two runs scored to advance his on-base streak to 11 games. Brown collected his second multi-hit game with the Fire Frogs. Lugbauer had two hits, one of them a double, and added an RBI and a run.
After a Donny Sands sacrifice fly evened the game in the fourth for the Tarpons, Jordan Rodgers got involved offensively in the fifth. He poked a run-producing double off RHP Greg Weissert, plating Lugbauer, to jet Florida back into the lead, 4-3.
Jefrey Ramos put the Fire Frogs up by two, 5-3, with an RBI knock versus LHP Anderson Severino in the sixth, allowing Harris to come across. Ramos reached twice to extend his personal on-base streak to 12 straight.
The Tarpons kept coming. Isiah Gilliam’s RBI groundout in the bottom of the sixth moved Tampa to within a run, 5-4.
RHP Sean McLaughlin had an unfortunate start to his ninth inning when Garcia reached on an error. He later walked Donny Sands in the frame to put two on. With two down, recently activated Steven Sensley delivered the tying run with a single to right to send the contest to extras.
McLaughlin surrendered an unearned run, a hit, and two walks over a stanza while receiving a blown save.
After Weissert and Severino permitted single tallies in their outings, RHP Hobie Harris and RHP Matt Wivinis combined to throw four shutout innings while combining for seven punchouts. Wivinis (1-1) ended up with the win, not giving Florida an opportunity to score in the tenth with a placed runner.
The bottom of the tenth was just two pitches long. RHP Walter Borkovich (2-2) threw a wild pitch to send placed runner Estevan Florial scampering to third. Olivares’ third hit of the game sent the fans home happy, a knock to center that forced in Florial.
Olivares had a double as well in his 3-5 night at the dish. Garcia and Gilliam each went 2-4 for the Tarpons with Garcia crossing home three times.