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Mussels win weather-shortened finale against Tarpons 3-2

By Staff | Jul 1, 2024

FORT MYERS – The Mighty Mussels claimed a weather-shortened 3-2 win over the course of two days at Hammond Stadium.

Fort Myers (37-36, 6-2) jumped ahead of the Tampa Tarpons 2-0 on Saturday night before a storm forced the contest into a suspension in the second inning. The teams resumed play on Sunday and completed six innings before weather caused the game to be called with Fort Myers leading 3-2.

On Saturday night, Walker Jenkins gave the Mussels a bolt out of the gate as the 19-year-old blasted a leadoff home run off of Tarpons (27-46, 4-3) starter Cade Smith (3-6).

Isaac Pena followed with an opposite field single. First baseman Poncho Ruiz then connected on an opposite field double to put Fort Myers ahead 2-0.

The game was then suspended in the top of the second with a runner on second and one out against Jose Olivares. Paulshawn Pasqualotto (2-4) took over on the mound when the teams resumed play on Sunday. Tampa right fielder Coby Morales greeted Pasqualotto with a first-pitch single to center to make it a 2-1 game.

With the score still 2-1 in the fourth, catcher Matthew Clayton singled to center to open the frame. Carlos Aguiar followed with a double to right-center to set up second and third with no outs. Nick Lucky then walked to load the bases. The Mussels got a critical insurance run on a passed ball from Tarpons catcher Tomas Frick to make it 3-1 as Clayton slid in head first just ahead of the tag from Gabriel Barbosa.

In the fifth a solo home run from Morales made it a 3-2 game. Aguiar kept the Mussels in front as he robbed a home run from the next batter, Frick. Aguiar reached over the fence in the left field corner to save Pasqualotto from allowing back-to-back homers.

In the sixth, Nolan Santos took over and retired the side in order to keep the Mussels ahead 3-2. The tarp was put on the field prior to the start of the seventh inning.

The sixth game of the series, which was scheduled for later Sunday afternoon, has been postponed and will be made up during the series in Tampa scheduled for August 20-25 at Steinbrenner Field.

The Mussels return to action today in Bradenton against the Marauders. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.