The Game: The Charlotte Stone Crabs avoided the sweep by defeating the Sarasota Reds 7-4 on Monday night at Ed Smith Stadium. The Stone Crabs jumped out to an early lead in the second inning. John Matulia got things going by reaching on an error by Sarasota’ Jason Louwsma. Matulia then stole second base and later scored on a two run homer by Michael McCormick. Reid Fronk followed with a single to center, stole second and later scored on a Shawn O’Malley single. Emeel Salem delivered an RBI single to score Omar Luna and the Stone Crabs had a 4-0 lead.
Charlotte added three more runs to their total in the top of the fourth inning. Reid Fronk struck first with a solo home run to right. Shawn O’Malley later singled on a bunt. Emeel Salem followed with an RBI triple to score O’Malley. Henry Wrigley then singled to score Salem and give the Stone Crabs a 7-0 lead.
Sarasota finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth on a solo home run by Dave Sappelt. The Reds tried to rally in the bottom of the eighth by posting three more runs to the board. Sarasota got things going by back to back singles by Dave Sappelt and Denis Phipps followed by a walk to Neftali Soto to load the bases. Austin Hinkle then had a pitch get away from him, allowing Sappelt to score. Alex Buchholz followed with a sac fly to score Phipps. Another wild pitch by Hinkle allowed Soto to score and the Reds were now within three, 7-4. But Matt Gorgen came on in the ninth and struck out the side to lead the Stone Crabs to victory.
Darin Downs earned his ninth win of the season by pitching 7 innings and allowing 1 run on 6 hits while striking out 7 and walking 2. Austin Hinkle pitched 1 inning and allowed 3 runs on 3 hits while striking out and walking 1. Matt Gorgen recorded the save with a no-hit inning, striking out 3 and walking 1. Jeremy Horst was the losing pitcher for the Reds.
What Went Right: Emeel Salem; extended his hitting streak to 10 games by going 3-4 with a triple, 2 RBI’s and a run scored.
What Went Wrong: Matt Hall; 0-5 with 3 K’s.
A Look Ahead: The Stone Crabs are off on Tuesday for the MLB All-Star Game. The Stone Crabs return to action Wednesday night at Charlotte Sports Park facing the Jupiter Hammerheads (7-12).