The Clearwater Threshers have started the second half of the Florida State League hot. The team has won five straight games including four straight extra-innings wins over the Jupiter Hammerheads to sweep the initial series of the half. The team won their opener against the Palm Beach Cardinals on Monday night, and were rained out on Tuesday with a double header scheduled for Wednesday night.
Steve Susdorf has been hot since his promotion to Clearwater and hit a team high .458 in the five games of the second half scoring five times and drving in two runs.
Tim Kennelly has continued the hot play that earned him a FSL All-Star apperance hitting .313 while scoring six runs and driving in two.
Matt Rizzotti has begun the second half much as he started the first half of the season, simply on fire. Rizzotti has hit .412 scored seven runs and drove in four with a .765 SLG% to start the Threshers second season.
June 25: W: 7-6 (12)
Drew Naylor got the start for the Threshers and had a rough outing for the first time in several games after dominating teams in his last three games. The Threshers jumped out to an early lead, but the Hammerheads would battle back to tie things and send it to extra innings before the Threshers were able to rally in the twelfth inning. Santo Hernandez who was promoted to Clearwater just before the all-star break earned the save for the team despite walking two in the final inning.
Matt Rizzotti got the SCHMIDT LIST player of the game award for his 2-4 effort with a HR, and 3 RBIs including a sac fly for the game-winning RBI in the twelfth inning.
June 26: W: 5-3 (10)
The Threshers earned another extra-innings win. Jon Velasquez got his first start as a Thresher after being promoted from Lakewood, but despite six scoreless innings was unable to get a win. After taking the game to the ninth inning with a 3-0 lead the Hammerheads rallied for three runs against reliever Walter Tejeda to tie the game and force overtime. The Threshers offense answered quickly however. Arlon Quiroz led off the tenth with a single, stole second and advanced to third on an error. After an intentional walk to Javis Diaz, Yonderman Rodriguez drove in the go ahead run and Diaz later scored on a Steve Susdorf single to add an insurance run and secure another Threshers win as Darren Byrd came in to get the save .
Arlon Quiroz grabbed the SCHMIDT LIST player of the game award for his 3-4 night including a double, RBI and two runs, including the tenth inning game winning run.
June 27: W: 8-3 (11)
The Threshers would once again pull a rabbit out of the hat as they picked up their third consecutive extra innings win by exploding in the eleventh inning for five runs to overcome a late rally by the Hammerheads to tie the game at 3-3. Starter Julian Sampson had a respectable start, but was unable to hold a lead giving up two home runs in the game.
Steve Susdorf had four hits in the game, but it was Tim Kennelly who got the SCHMIDT LIST player of the game award for his pinch hit game winning RBI in the eleventh inning.
June 28: W: 5-4 (10)
The Clearwater Threshers earned their unprecedented fourth consecutive extra inning win on Sunday afternoon as they would rally three times in the game to lead, tie, and then ultimately win the game. Starter Michael Cisco gave the Threshers a scary moment in the game when he was hit in the leg by a line drive from the first batter he faced, and was lifted from the game. Subsequent reports have said that this was for purely precautionary measures and he is inlikely to hit the DL for the third time this season. It would take four other Threshers pitchers to get out of the game, but in the end Santo Hernandez got a three inning save shutting down the Hammerhead’s offense long enough for the Threshers to rally in the tenth inning for a win.
Fidel Hernandez had a team high three hits in the game, but it was Yonderman Rodriguez who got the SCHMIDT LIST player of the game award for his tenth inning game-winning RBI.
June 29: W: 9-8
After four consecutive extra innings games the Threshers began a four game set with the Palm Beach Cardinals on Monday night hoping to end a game in regulation for the first time in the second half of the 2009 FSL season.
The team would manage that task, but it was no less exciting that their first four wins. The team trailed early, rallied for four in the sixth inning to lead, gave up three in the bottom of the inning to once again fall behind, and then grabbed four more in the seventh to go ahead for the final time, but not before the Cardinals would get within one run to put everyone’s nerves on edge.
Jesus Villegas earned the SCHMIDT LIST player of the game award for his bases-clearing double in the seventh inning to put the Threshers on top for good and secure the win.