The Tampa Yankees opened the 2014 season at Joker Merchant Stadium on Thursday evening taking on the division rival Lakeland Flying Tigers. LHP Manny Banuelos who is still rehabilitating from Tommy John Surgery took the start for the T-Yanks in the first matchup of the season.
The T-Yanks got on the board first in the first inning which began with a double by Cito Culver. Pete O’Brien would end up reaching on a throwing error by the Tigers allowing Culver to score and tack one on for the Yanks. Newcomer to Tampa Dante Bichette Jr., hit a double of his own that sent O’Brien to score and put Tampa up 2-0.
Banuelos pitched a solid 3 innings of no hit baseball with 3 strikeouts, a good outing for the lefty as he tries to continue the path to the Majors that he had started. LHP Dietrich Enns then took over on the mound for the T-Yanks, pitching the next 4 innings allowing just 1 hit and striking out 5 batters. Another Tampa newcomer, LHP Tyler Webb who was drafted in the 10th Round of the 2013 MLB Draft, closed out the game for the Yanks pitching a solid 2 innings of no hit baseball, striking out 3.
In the top of the 9th, O’Brien hit a 2 run homer to put the Yanks up 4-0 and secure the first win of the season.
The three Tampa Yankees’ pitchers combined allowed just 1 hit by Lakeland in the opener.
The Tampa Yankees will host their home opener at George M. Steinbrenner Field on Friday evening at 7:00pm against the Lakeland Flying Tigers at 7:00pm. To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Tampa Yankees the first 250 fans will receive a free commemorative T-Shirt.