The Game: The Charlotte Stone Crabs overcame a six run deficit to defeat the Fort Myers Miracle 7-6 in twelve innings on Wednesday night at Charlotte Sports Park. After waiting out an hour rain delay, both clubs engaged in the four and a half hour marathon that saw a combined twenty seven hits during the game that went into the early hours of Thursday morning.
Fort Myers jumped all over Jake McGee in the first inning, striking for five runs without a single out being recorded. Ben Revere and Estarlin De Los Santos led off the game with back to back singles. Deibinson Romero then drew a walk to load the bases. Chris Parmelee followed with a two run double to score Revere and De Los Santos. Then Evan Bigley cleared the bases with a three run home run. The Stone Crabs then made a call to the pen for Darin Downs to take over the hill and try and quiet the Fort Myers offense. Marc Dolenc was the first batter to face Downs and struck for a solo home run to give the Miracle a 6-0 lead. But Downs got into a groove and retired the next three batters in a row to get out of the inning.
The Stone Crabs began their uphill climb in the third inning. Matt Hall led off the inning with a double to left field. Hall advanced to third on a ground out by Emeel Salem and then scored on a wild pitch to give the Stone Crabs their first run of the night.
Charlotte posted another run in the fifth inning. Emeel Salem hit a triple to right field to get things started. Shawn O’Malley plated the run with a line drive to right to score Salem and bring the Stone Crabs within four.
With Darin Downs continuing to keep the Fort Myers offense off the scoreboard, the Stone Crabs continued their rally, striking for three more runs in the seventh inning. The Stone Crabs collected three walks to start the inning, issued to Omar Luna, Emeel Salem and Shawn O’Malley. Fort Myer’s pitcher Matt Williams was then charged with a balk, scoring Luna and advancing all runners. John Matulia was hit by a pitch to reload the bases for Charlotte. Drew Anderson drove home the second run of the inning with a sacrifice fly to score Salem. Then Ryan Royster singled to center scoring O’Malley and pulling the Stone Crabs to within one run of the lead 6-5.
The Stone Crabs tied the game in the eighth inning off a solo home run by Mike McCormick. The home run capped the six run rally and forced the game into extra innings for the second night in a row.
The game stayed tied at six until the bottom of the twelfth inning when the Stone Crabs struck again. Matt Hall led off the inning with a single to left field. Followed by back to back bunt singles by Emeel Salem and Shawn O’Malley to load the bases. Drew Anderson delivered a line drive single to right that scored Hall and won the game for the Stone Crabs 7-6.
Jake McGee suffered a rough outing allowing 5 runs on 4 hits with issuing 1 walk without recording an out. Darin Down followed in relief, keeping the Stone Crabs in the contest by throwing 7 innings and allowing 1 run on 5 hits while striking out 5. Kevin Boggan pitched 1 1/3 innings in relief allowing no runs on 1 hit with a strike out. Justin Garcia was next out of the pen, throwing 2 2/3 shut-out innings and allowing 4 hits while striking out 2. Richard De Los Santo picked up the win, pitching a no hit inning and striking out 1 and walking 1.
What Went Right: Darin Downs; allowed 1 run in seven innings and kept the game close for the Stone Crabs offense to mount their comeback.
What Went Wrong: Jake McGee; 5 runs allowed in the first inning sent his ERA to 12.38 on the season.
A Look Ahead: The Stone Crabs travel back to Hammond Stadium on Thursday for the final two game of the series against the Miracle.