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Lakeland Pulls Ahead Late and ‘Tugas Can’t Counter in Mother’s Day Defeat

Daytona Tortugas

May 12, 2024 – Florida State League (FSL)
Daytona Tortugas News Release

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla- Alfredo Duno notched three hits and two RBI, but the Lakeland Flying Tigers scored twice in the top of the ninth and the Daytona Tortugas couldn’t cash in a bases-loaded chance in their final turn at bat in a 6-4 defeat on Sunday evening at Jackie Robinson Ballpark.

Lakeland (22-11) took five of six in the series as Daytona (18-15) left 12 runners on base in the finale of their least-successful series of the 2024 season.

Daytona pulled in front right away in the bottom of the first as Yerlin Confidan and Dominic Pitelli singled off Lakeland starter Duque Hebbert to put runners on the corners with one out. Duno followed by ripping a line drive into the gap in right-center to score both runners. With two outs, the Tortugas loaded the bases on a walk and hit batter, but couldn’t come up with the huge hit. Nonetheless, the Tortugas led 2-0.

Daytona starter Gabriel Aguilera was excellent early on, setting down Lakeland nine-up, nine-down over the first three innings, with only one ball being hit out of the infield.

Aguilera retired the first two men in the fourth, but then hit a wall, as a walk was followed by three consecutive singles. A hit by David Smith scored a run before a two-run single by Samuel Gil staked the Flying Tigers to a 3-2 lead.

After doing little over the previous three innings, Daytona came to life in the fifth. A hit batter began the inning, chasing Hebbert. Against Cam Brown, Pitelli reached on a fielder’s choice and stole second. After Duno’s third hit of the night moved Pitelli to third, Ariel Almonte lifted a sacrifice fly to center to tie the game at three apiece.

Lakeland, though, had an answer against Daytona reliever Jose Montero. Max Clark led off with a single, then motored all the way home on an RBI triple by Josue Briceno. However, Montero was able to retire the next three batters to prevent another run from scoring, though Lakeland was back in front, 4-3.

The Flying Tigers brought in Quinn Gudaitis in the sixth and Daytona once more put a rally in motion. Esmith Pineda led off with a double, then a hit batter and a walk loaded the bases with no outs. Following a pop-out, an infield hit from Confidan brought in Pineda to tie the game. A controversial double play, though, ended the inning to keep the game knotted up at four.

The score remained tied as Montero worked scoreless seventh and eighth frames to finish off a solid outing in…

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