Florida musters just two hits, falls for third consecutive game
KISSIMMEE, FL: A special effort at the plate for Nick Maton and rock-solid pitching from the Clearwater Threshers staff kept the Florida Fire Frogs offense at bay in a 6-0 shutout win on Monday night at Osceola County Stadium in the series opener.
Florida (5-7) was shutout for the second time in the last five games and has now dropped seven of its last ten games.
Clearwater (3-9) got all they could ask for out of starter RHP Julian Garcia (1-1). He worked around three walks and surrendered just two hits while fanning seven Fire Frogs over six scoreless frames.
The Threshers jumped on the Fire Frogs early. Simon Muzziotti drew a walk and Matt Vierling singled off RHP Tristan Beck to start a one-out first inning rally. Now with two down, Jhailyn Ortiz cracked a single to right-center, plating Muzziotti, and getting the visiting team on the board, 1-0.
Clearwater again started early in the second stanza, capitalizing on consecutive singles from Jake Scheiner and Daniel Brito to put two on. Two batters later, Nick Maton slammed one over the fence in right for his second home-run of the season and a 4-0 Thresher advantage.
Beck (0-1) yielded four earned runs, five hits, three walks, and the long ball while adding six strikeouts during his third Advanced-A start.
Scheiner and Brito also got on in the ninth ahead of Maton who polished off his amazing night with a two-run triple to the gap in right center. The Threshers shortstop ended up going 2-5 with a homer and 5 RBI, the most in his young career.
LHP Justin Kelly gave up the two-run triple to Maton, two other hits, and fanned two while pitching the eighth and the ninth. RHP Cutter Dyals ahead of him was fantastic, permitting just two hits and recording five punchouts over 3 and 1/3 innings.
The Fire Frogs patience at the plate helped them load the bases in the seventh. RHP Luis Carrasco issued three walks during the stanza, but he got the out he needed to keep Florida off the board. He pitched a scoreless eighth inning as well.
RHP Connor Brogdon struck out the side in the ninth to wrap up the contest.
NEXT UP: The Threshers and Fire Frogs will continue their three-game series with the middle game on Tuesday night. First pitch from Osceola County Stadium will be thrown at 6 p.m.
The Florida Fire Frogs are the Advanced-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves and compete in the Florida State League. The Fire Frogs play their home games at Osceola County Stadium, located at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Fla. For more information, please visit www.FloridaFireFrogs.com, and follow the team on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube.