The Game: The Charlotte Stone Crabs snapped their five game losing streak with a big win over the Daytona Cubs by the score of 8-3 on Friday night at Jackie Robinson Ballpark. The Stone Crabs struck first blood by picking up two runs in the first inning. Shawn O’Malley was hit by a pitch to start the inning. John Matulia followed with a single to left field. Ryan Royster drove them both home with a double to left that put the Stone Crabs ahead 2-0.
Charlotte added two more runs to their lead in the third inning. John Matulia led off the inning with a double, his sixteenth two bagger of the year. Matulia then stole third while Drew Anderson followed with a walk to give the Stone Crabs runners on the corners. Reid Fronk singled on a bunt to score Matulia and Ryan Royster drove home Anderson to put the Stone Crabs up by 4.
The Stone Crabs added another run in the sixth inning. Omar Luna got it going with a single to center and then advanced to second on a ground ball by Matt Hall. Shawn O’Malley was then hit by a pitch for the second time on the night to load the bases. John Matulia hit a ground ball to first, but Luna was out at the plate. Drew Anderson followed with a single to right to score Hall. The Stone Crabs stranded the remaining runners but still held an 5-0 lead.
The Cubs broke up the shutout in the bottom half of the sixth inning thanks to back to back doubles. Robinson Chirinos got it started with a double to right field. Marwin Gonzalez followed with an RBI double to left to put the Cubs on the scoreboard. The Stone Crabs answered back by posting a run of their own on a solo home run by Michael McCormick, the Stone Crabs led 6-1.
Both clubs exchanged run in the ninth inning as each team added two runs to their totals. The Stone Crabs started off with a walk issued to Shawn Williams. Followed by back to back doubles, first by Michael McCormick and then an RBI double by Omar Luna to score Williams. Shawn O’Malley plated the second run of the inning on a single that scored McCormick and increased the Stone Crabs lead to 8-1.
Daytona matched with two runs of their own in the bottom of the ninth. Their inning also began with a walk, this time it was Robinson Chirinos getting the free pass. Marwin Gonzalez singled to right and then Jake Opitz singled to load the bases. John Contreras followed with a single to score Chirinos and leave the bases loaded with no outs. Then Tommy Rafferty walked across the second run of the inning by walking Jonathan Wyatt with the bases loaded to score Gonzalez. The Stone Crabs made a call to the bullpen and Justin Garcia came on and retired the next three consecutive batters nail down the 8-3 win.
Darin Downs picked up his twelfth win of the season by pitching 6 innings and allowing 1 run on 5 hits while striking out 6 and walking 1. Tommy Rafferty pitched 2 innings and allowed 2 runs on 5 hits while striking out 1 and walking 2. Justin Garcia earned the save, pitching a no hit ninth inning with a strike out. Ryan Searle was the losing pitcher for Daytona.
What Went Right: Michael McCormick; 2 for 5 with a double, home run, an RBI and 2 runs scored.
What Went Wrong: Tommy Rafferty; gave up 2 runs on 5 hits while only facing 11 hitters.
A Look Ahead: The Stone Crabs and Cubs play game three of the series on Saturday night at Jackie Robinson Ballpark. David Newmann (5-6) and Rafael Dolis (2-5) are the scheduled starters.