The Game: The Charlotte Stone Crabs won their third game in a row by defeating the Lakeland Flying Tigers 7-3 on Wednesday night at Charlotte Sports Park. With the win, the Stone Crabs improved to 34-28 and are now 4 1/2 game back from Fort Myers.
The Stone Crabs struck first in the bottom of the first inning. Shawn O’Malley led off with a single to center followed by a double to left by Shawn Williams. Ryan Royster picked up two RBI’s with a single to center to score O’Malley and Williams to give the Stone Crabs a 2-0 lead.
The scoring continued in the second inning as the Stone Crabs got things started with back to back singles by Emeel Salem and Shawn O’Malley. They advanced on the base path with a double steal and then were driven home off an Shawn Williams double that gave the Stone Crabs a 4-0 lead.
But the Stone Crabs were not finished. Shawn O’Malley led off the seventh inning by drawing a walk and later scoring on an RBI double by Shawn Williams. Cody Cipriano later followed with a double and Henry Wrigley reached on a fielding error to load the bases for Charlotte. Christian Lopez hit a sac fly to right that scored Williams for the second run of the inning and increasing the Stone Crabs lead to 6-0.
Lakeland hit the scoreboard in the top of the eighth inning. Jeramy Laster picked up an RBI on a ground out that scored Justin Henry. Michael Bertram struck with a 2 run homer to right that cut the lead to 6-3. But the Stone Crabs picked up an insurance run in the bottom of the inning on an RBI double by Shawn Williams that scored Shawn O’Malley and gave the Stone Crabs the 7-3 victory.
Scott Kazmir pitched 4 2/3 shut-out innings during his MLB rehab assignment allowing 3 hits while striking out 5 and walking 1. Joey Callender made his professional debut as a pitcher and earned the win by pitching 1 1/3 no-hit innings with allowing only 1 walk. Kevin Boggan pitched 2 innings surrendering 3 runs on 2 hits while striking out and walking 1. Austin Hinkle pitched 1 shut-out inning allowing 1 hit and striking out 1. Charlie Furbush was the losing pitcher for Lakeland.
What Went Right: Shawn Williams; 4-5 with 4 doubles, 4 RBI’s and 2 runs scored. Shawn O’Malley; 3-4 with 4 runs scored.
What Went Wrong: Omar Luna; 0-4 for at the plate and committed an error on the field.
A Look Ahead: The Stone Crabs look for the sweep against the Flying Tigers on Thursday night at Charlotte Sports Park. Alex Cobb (3-3) will be pitching against LJ Gagnier (4-4).