Detroit Tigers Defeat FSC Mocs 12-2 In Opener
By Steve Mitzel
Play Ball! It’s the day that Detroit Tigers fans have been waiting for since a season that ended shorter than expected on October 5, 2014 with an Oriole sweep of the AL Central Division champs.
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On a nice warm March day in Lakeland, Florida the Tigers started their quest for their fifth consecutive Central Division crown against the Mocs of Florida Southern College at Joker Marchant Stadium. It was the 29th meeting of the teams in a Grapefruit League tradition that began in 1979.
Tim Melville, a AA prospect that’s bounced around, received Brad Ausmus‘ nod to start the game. Melville retired the side in his first inning, striking out two and three total in two scoreless innings pitched.
“It’s fun,” Iglesias said. “It’s baseball. Eventually I’m going to get my rhythm back when I get some more games in, but otherwise it’s a great feeling to be back out there. Just to be in the uniform is amazing.”
The game saw all the Tiger stars out after their first at bat without any hits from them. Jose Iglesias returned to the lineup for the first time since spring training last year and grounded out in his only at bat. Yoenis Cespedes debuted as a Tiger batting clean up and lined out to left field.
The Tiger scoring started with an Andrew Romine single in third inning driving in catcher Bryan Holaday after he reached base on a fielder’s choice and advanced to second on a McCann walk.
Kyle Ryan was pitching when FSC scored in top of 4th off a Jhalan Jackson double to drive in third baseman Chris Dennis. Dominic Brugnoni sacrificed Jackson in from third.Ryan gave up the only Moc runs in the game.
The Tigers broke it open in the bottom of the 4th with a 6 run, 5 hit rally. The inning starting with an infield single, a walk and a bunt. First basemen Jordan Lennerton walked with the bases loaded to tie the game and then catcher Manuel Pina singled down the left field line to drive two runs in. Designated hitter James McCann doubled Lennerton in and then Romine sacrificed Pina in for his second RBI of the game. Shortstop Hernan Perez followed with another double and scored McCann.
The Tigers added runs in each of the fifth, sixth and three more runs seventh innings on a Dixon Machado single and a Wynton Bernard double.
Omar Duran, Buck Farmer, Angel Nesbitt, Joe Mantiply, Jose Valdez combined for 5 shutout innings with only two hits and seven strikeouts.
The Tigers used 23 position players and 7 pitchers in the game to defeat the Mocs 12-2.
Bernard, Romine and Pina led the hitting each with 2 RBI’s and Avery pitched in for two hits. Florida Southern provided the live stats and box score.
The Tigers play again tomorrow against the Baltimore Orioles in Lakeland with Kyle Lobstein taking the mound.