Jupiter, FL—Taking a small break from Miami Marlins baseball. I went up to Jupiter on Sunday to watch the Jupiter Hammerheads take on the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels in the final game of their 6-game set. Jupiter had won 3 of the first 5 games. Juan Reynoso was the starting pitcher for the Hammerheads while Tomás Cleto was on the mound for the Mighty Mussels.
Reynoso worked a flawless first inning as he struck out the first two batters and then the last batter flew out. As for Cleto, he struggled immediately, allowing singles to Jacob Berry and Brady Allen and a walk to Jake Thompson. With the bases loaded, 2022 14th round draft pick Torin Montgomery hit an RBI single to drive in all three runs and give the Hammerheads a 3-0 lead. Montgomery advanced to 2nd due to an error.
The offense didn’t end there. With Montgomery on 2nd, catcher Cameron Barstad hit an RBI double to drive him in and end the day for Cleto. The Hammerheads extended their lead to 4-0. Carlos Santiago struck out to end the inning.
The Mighty Mussels responded in the top of the 2nd inning. It began with a walk from Rubel Cespedes, followed by a single from Kala’i Rosario, which then led to a 2-out RBI single from Daniel Ozoria.
With Luis Báez at the plate, a double steal was attempted and successfully completed as Kala’i Rosario stole home and Daniel Ozoria stole 2nd. That reduced the Hammerheads lead to 4-2.
The Mighty Mussels loaded up the bases and Ozoria scored on a passed ball. Hammerheads manager Angel Espada had seen enough from Juan Reynoso and removed him from the game. Jean Reyes entered in relief, but couldn’t slow done the Fort Myers offense, allowing 2 walks which tied the game at 4-4 after 2 innings.
A player that deserves recognition for his performance is DH Jacob Berry. He had 2 RBI, 3 H, and 1 walk, making it arguably his best game as a minor leaguer. After what has been a slow start for Berry, he seems to be adjusting.
Jacob Berry draws a walk hitting lefty. #Marlins pic.twitter.com/CKEMtmhjI0— Kevin Barral (@kevin_barral) August 14, 2022
Pitchers on both sides stepped it up from there, holding the score at 4-4 until the bottom of the 6th.
A Hammerheads rally began with Carlos Santiago reaching base on a missed catch error by 1B LaRon Smith. Angeudis Santos grounded into a fielder's choice and then advanced to second on his 8th stolen base of the season. Yiddi Cappe stepped up to the plate and with an 0-2 count with 2 outs, he hit an RBI double to regain the lead for the Hammerheads.
Cappe began the season on the FCL Marlins and earned a promotion after his hot start to the season. He has continued to play well despite facing older competition (.329/.365/.443, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 5.9% BB, 10.6% SO), establishing himself among the top prospects in the Marlins farm system.
In the bottom of the 8th, a Cameron Barstad single, Carlos Santiago walk, and Angeudis Santos fielder's choice (due to a throwing error) loaded the bases for Cappe. Just when the rain began to come down, Yiddi Cappe hit an RBI double driving in Barstad and Santiago.
Cappe was my player of the game, finishing with 3 RBI, 1 2B, and 2 H.
With the rain at full force, Berry stepped up to the plate and with a 3-2 count, he hit a bases-clearing RBI double which turned out to be the final hit of the game. The Hammerheads added to their lead and won.
Right-hander Kyle Crigger, who recorded the final out in the top of the inning, earned the first save of his MiLB career.
Some clips of 2022 Draft pick, Kyle Crigger (@KyleCrigger) #Marlins pic.twitter.com/X0e5I3V7Ul— Kevin Barral (@kevin_barral) August 14, 2022
Several experimental MiLB rules were in play for this game. Diagonal lines on either side of second base enforced the ban of the shift, automated ball-strike technology (ABS) was being used to challenge possible missed calls by the home plate umpire, and they used a pitch clock—14 seconds with the bases empty and 18 seconds with runners on base. The game felt a lot faster with these new rules.
Quick reminder that the shift is banned in the Low-A level. They have a line that they cannot step over before the ball is hit. #Marlins pic.twitter.com/kn7pjLwYS6— Kevin Barral (@kevin_barral) August 14, 2022
There were no fans in attendance due to COVID-19 issues in the past. Only family members and team staff were able to attend the game. AA Pensacola ace and Marlins top prospect Eury Pérez took a break from his injury rehab to attend. We had the chance to talk to him.