The Game: The Charlotte Stone Crabs broke out of their two game losing streak by defeating the Tampa Yankees 8-5 Saturday night at Steinbrenner Field. The Tampa Yankees jumped out to an early lead by scoring three runs in the bottom of the third inning. The Yankees got back to back singles by Eric Fryer and Jesus Montero to put runners on first and second. But they wouldn’t remain on the bases long as Austin Romine cleared them with a three run homer to right giving Tampa a 3-0 lead.
The Stone Crabs did not sit quietly, putting together a five running inning in the fourth to take the lead. Reid Fronk got things started with a double. Charlotte used a wild pitch and two error’s by Tampa to aid in the rally. Nevin Ashley and Greg Sexton picked up RBI’s. Reid Fronk, Nevin Ashley, Ryan Royster, Emeel Salem and Shawn O’Malley crossed the plate to give the Stone Crabs a 5-3 lead.
The Yankees picked up a run in the fourth and another in the fifth to tie the ball game. Eric Fryer drove in Wady Rufino in the fourth. Then it was Jesus Montero with a solo homer in the fifth to tie things up at 5.
Charlotte broke the tie in the top of the sixth. Emeel Salem started off the inning by reaching on a fielding error. Shawn O’Malley singled to give the Stone Crabs runners at first and second. Greg Sexton laid down a sac bunt to advance the runners into scoring position. Matt Fields followed with a sac fly to score Salem. Cody Cipriano hit and RBI single to score O’Malley and give the Stone Crabs a 7-5 lead. The Stone Crabs got an insurance run in the seventh on an RBI single by Shawn O’Malley and they held on to win the game 8-5.
Jeremy Hall went 5 innings, allowing 5 runs on 8 hits while striking out 4 and walking 2 enroute to his fifth victory of the season. Chad Bradford appeared in his third rehab appearance, picking up his second hold going 2 no hit innings, striking out 2 batters. Matt Gorgen picked up the save pitching 2 no hit innings and recording 2 strikeouts. Craig Hayer was the loser for Tampa.
What Went Right: The Bullpen; Chad Bradford and Matt Gorgen combined for 4 no-hit innings in relief. Reid Fronk; 3-5 with a double and a run scored. Emeel Salem; 2 stolen bases and 3 runs scored.
What Went Wrong: Stranding runners; Stone Crabs left 11 runners on base.
A Look Ahead: The Stone Crabs and Yankees face off in game two of the four game series on Sunday afternoon at Steinbrenner Field. Darin Downs (5-2) will pitch against Lance Pendleton (3-3).