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Blue Jays Fly into Lakeland to Challenge Flying Tigers

April 25th, 2012 10:49 am | by

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Brian Flynn

THE FLYING TIGERS (8-8, 6.0 GB) … Lakeland has won two in a row and three of their last four games. Last night, the Flying Tigers collected 17 hits to go with 11 walks en route to a 13-5 win over Daytona. James Robbins led the hit parade with two homers and a single while Nick Castellanos had three singles. Tyler Collins also had three hits, including two doubles while Avisail Garcia, Luis Alberto Sanz and Dixon Machado each singled and doubled. Daniel Fields added three stolen bases and Sanz scored three times. Lakeland is the top-hitting team in the Florida State League with a .270 average – six points higher than the second place team – and has stolen a league best 25 bases. Flying Tigers pitchers have struck out 98 batters, the second lowest total in the FSL. Lakeland has a .968 fielding percentage – second lowest in the league and has committed 20 errors – second most of any FSL team.

THE BLUE JAYS (15-3, 0.0 GB) … One of two teams in the FSL with a 15-3 record, Dunedin has won two in a row, eight of the last nine and 13 of the last 15 games. Remarkably, the Blue Jays are the second worst hitting team in the Florida State League with a .237 team average. The strength of the team has been the pitching which is second in the FSL with a 2.63 ERA and a league-best 10 saves. Jon Talley leads the league with a .465 on-base percentage and is fourth with a .345 average while Marcus Knecht is fourth with 14 RBI. Michael Crouse is tied for third with six stolen bases and Kevin Nolan is tied for third with 22 hits. Reliever Danny Barnes leads all minor league relievers with eight saves while Shawn Griffith is one of five pitchers in the league with five wins.

PROBABLE STARTERS
4/25 – LAK: Brian Flynn (3-0, 0.92) vs. DUN: Sam Dyson (1-0. 4.30) … Brian Flynn has won each of three starts … went season-long 7.0 innings on 4/19 vs. Clearwater … allowed one unearned run on four hits with five strikeouts and one walk in that game … has 12 strikeouts and two walks in 19.2 innings.
4/26 – LAK: TBA vs. DUN: Randy Boone (0-0, 0.00)
4/27 – LAK: Alex Burgos (1-3, 4.43) vs. DUN: John Stilson (0-0, 1.42) … Alex Burgos was tagged for five runs on six hits with five walks in last start on 4/22 at Daytona … dropped three straight starts … has allowed two or more runs in each start … struck out 17 in first three games but none in his last start.

LAST YEAR … The two clubs split their 18 games last season with Lakeland taking five of the nine in Lakeland ad the Blue Jays returning the favor taking wins in five of nine games played in Dunedin.

FSL HONOR … Dunedin’s Sean Nolin was named the Florida State League Pitcher of the Week for the week ending April 15. The 6’5” lefty was 2-0 that week with wins over Clearwater and Brevard County in which he did not allow a run over 11.2 innings with 13 strikeouts and two walks.

JUST A GREAT NAME … No reason to mention pitcher Jared Potts other than he goes by “Boomer” Potts. (I guess he could be mentioned for not allowing a run and only one hits in his nine appearances to far this season.)

AAA WIN … Shawn Teufel was called up from Lakeland on Sunday to start for the AAA Mud Hens in Toledo. He allowed two earned runs over 5.1 innings on four hits and five walks, but picked up the win. Teufel also got a win for Toledo in 2011, beating Buffalo, a team managed by his father, Tim Teufel.
TOP SPOT … Lakeland sports the top hitter in the Florida State League in Nick Castellanos. He is tops with a .403 average and has a league-high 25 base hits and is third with a .443 on-base percentage. His .548 slugging percentage is second in the league. Castellanos is 9×19 (.474) his last five games and has base hits in 17 of 18 games this season, including eight games with two or more hits.

WIN LIKE FLYNN … Brian Flynn is a perfect 3-0 this season, and is third in the Florida State League with a 0.92 earned run average. He is one of five starters tied for the FSL lead with three wins and is third in the league with 0.82 walks per nine innings. His 7.32 baserunners allowed per nine innings is second fewest in the Florida State League.

JUST ONE … Matt Crouse and Tyler Clark have each allowed just one hit this season. Crouse leads all league relievers with a .038 opponents’ batting average while Clark is second with a .056 mark. Among relievers, Crouse has allowed a league-low 3.12 baserunners per nine innings and Clark is third with 5.40 runners allowed per game.

NICE DEBUT … Jacob Turner was with the big league club in spring training this year before tendonitis in his throwing shoulder shut him down. He has worked his way back and made his first appearance of the year on Monday at Daytona. Turner held the Cubs scoreless thru 4.0 innings of no-hit ball.

NUMBER TWO … Avisail Garcia is second in the league with a .361 mark and is third with 22 hits. He is 8×21 (.381) over his last six games and has hits in 13 of his 15 games played with eight games with two or more hits.

THIRD IN TOP FIVE … Tyler Collins is fifth in the FSL with a . 344 mark. On Tuesday, he collected three hits in a game for a fifth time this season. He began the season knocking out three hits in each of his first four games.

THRICE IS NICE … Daniel Fields came into Tuesday’s game with four stolen bases in 15 games. Against Daytona, the speedy centerfielder swiped three bases to take over the team lead with seven on the year. His seven stolen bases places him second in the FSL, one behind the leader.

FOUR BAGGER TIMES TWO … James Robbins hit his first homer of the year on Tuesday against Daytona, leading off the second inning with a dinger to right field. Six innings later, he again led off an inning, taking a 1-1 pitch deep over the right field fence to take over the team lead with two home runs.

SANZ I and SANZ II … Pitcher Luis Angel Sanz and catcher Luis Alberto Sanz made a unique baseball happening on Tuesday night as brother duo formed the battery for Lakeland in the ninth inning against Daytona. Luis Alberto made the most of his fourth game started, scoring three times for Lakeland, becoming the first Flying Tiger this season to cross the plate three times in a game.

CLOSING IN ON 1700 … Flying Tiger manager Dave Huppert is in his second season with Lakeland and his 24th season as a minor league manager. He brings a 1,680-1,543 record into the Dunedin series.


Creative Commons License photo credit: Tom Hagerty for Lakeland Local

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