The Game: The Charlotte Stone Crabs take the series against the league leading Palm Beach Cardinals as they win today 6-3 at Roger Dean Stadium. Darin Down was the highlight of day as he went all nine innings and led the Stone Crabs to their first series win of the season.
Palm Beach took the lead in the first inning as Curt Smith hit a home run to score Adron Chambers and Shane Peterson to put the Cardinals in from 3-0. But Down closed the door and kept the Cardinals off the board for the rest of the game by only giving up three more hits the remainder of the game.
The Stone Crabs got on the scoreboard in the third inning when they load the bases on a Cody Cipriano walk and back to back singles by Shawn Williams and Pedro Powell. Emeel Salem drove in Cipriano to narrow the lead 3-1.
The Stone Crabs came up with a big inning in the top of the fifth by scoring four runs and taking the lead. The inning was highlighted by an RBI single by Pedro Powell, a 2 run single by Matt Fields and Stephen Vogt’s single to score Reid Fronk. Palm Beach went through three pitcher in this inning before they could retire Gregory Sexton to end the inning.
Charlotte got some insurance in the seventh inning when Emeel Salem led off the inning with a triple to right field. He crossed the plate when Reid Fronk singled to right, putting the Stone Crabs ahead 6-3. Gregory Sexton singled in the eighth inning to extend his hitting streak to eight games.
Darin Downs (2-0) got the win by pitching a complete game, giving up 3 runs (only 2 of them earned) on 6 hits while striking out 7. Brian Broderick was the losing pitcher for Palm Beach.
What Went Right: Darin Downs; 9 IP, 7 K’s, 2ER’s. Matt Fields; 2 for 4, with a double and 2 RBI’s. All Stone Crabs hitters collected a hit today.
What Went Wrong: Strikeouts; as a team, the hitters struck out 8 times today, twice while runners were in scoring position.
A Look Ahead: The Stone Crabs are off tomorrow and begin a three game series at home against Sarasota on Tuesday.