The Florida Fire Frogs conclude their third homestand of the season this weekend, with games tonight and Saturday at 6 p.m. and Sunday at noon against the Tampa Tarpons at Osceola County Stadium. Tonight, weather permitting, will be the first Los Coquis Night.
The team, the Class A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, was 10-16 through Wednesday, a 2-0 win over the Lakeland Flying Tigers played in just 96 minutes getting the work night crowd home before sunset. First baseman Drew Lugbauer provided all the offense needed with a two-run double that scored Greyson Jenista and Jefrey Ramos in the fourth inning.
While offense has been a little tough to come by at the plate, it’s a theme throughout the Florida State League. The Fire Frogs were hitting .236 through Wednesday, but that was fourth in the 12-team league, where the entire FSL has more strikeouts than base hits. Florida has also seen its share of fine pitching performances, like Nolan Kingham’s 89-pitch three-hit shutout in just his third start after being promoted from the low-A Rome Braves on April 19. It was the first complete game thrown by one pitcher in the Florida State League this season, and the first one in the Fire Frogs’ three-year history.
Hayden Deal is 2-1 with a 1.20 ERA in five starters, having given up just 16 hits and six walks in 30 innings. Daysbel Hernandez has struck out 18 in 12 innings over eight appearances, and Brandon White has yet to give up an earned run in eight trips from the bullpen to the mound.
And 20-year-old starter Huascar Ynoa, a member of the Braves’ 40-man roster, was promoted to the Class AA Mississippi Braves three weeks ago where he’s worked out of the bullpen and the starting rotation.
Offensively, a couple of players have defied the struggles at the plate of others on the team. Shortstop Riley Delgado is fourth in the FSL with a .323 batting average, and catcher William Contreras, thanks to going 5-for-7 last weekend, is sixth as .318. Outfielder Jefrey Ramos has three home runs, and thanks to them being big blasts like a three-run shot Tuesday that helped key a 5-1 victory, he led the team with 18 RBI through Wednesday, good for second.
Shortstop Riley Unroe had a 10-game on-base streak through Wednesday.
The Fire Frogs will spent next week on the road before returning home May 13 for a week-long homestand against the St. Lucie Mets and Jupiter Hammerheads.