The Game: The Charlotte Stone Crabs lost a hard fought battle to the Fort Myers Miracle 4-3 in 11 innings on Tuesday night at Hammond Stadium. The Stone Crabs took an early lead in the first inning. Shawn O’Malley drew a walk to start the inning. Drew Anderson grounded into a force out, with O’Malley out at second and Anderson safe at first. Nevin Ashley followed with a single to center. Then Ryan Royster doubled to center scoring Anderson and Ashley to give the Stone Crabs a 2-0 lead.
Fort Myers battled back to take the lead in the bottom half of the first. Alejandro Machado got things going with a single. Deibinson Romero was then hit by a pitch to give the Miracle two runner on the bases. Chris Parmelee plated two runs with an RBI double to center. Parmelee later scored on a ground rule double by Estarlin De Los Santo to give the Miracle a 3-2 lead.
Things got exciting in the bottom of the third. Nevin Ashley was on third and came charging home on a single by Shawn Williams. The throw to the plate by Fort Myer’s left fielder was on the mark. Ashley collided with catcher Jair Fernandez who managed to hold onto the ball for the third out of the inning. Fernandez and Ashley would then have some words, the benches would clear and Fernandez was ejected from the game.
The Stone Crabs would tie the game in the fifth inning. Shawn O’Malley led off the inning with a single to center. Drew Anderson followed with a double that would give Charlotte runners in scoring position. Nevin Ashley drove home the tying run with a sacrifice fly to score O’Malley.
The game remained tied through the eleventh inning when three walks in the inning doomed the Stone Crabs. Chris Parmelee and Nick Romero led off the bottom of the eleventh by drawing walks. Joe Benson then drew an intentional walk to load the bases. Mark Dolenc drove home the game winning run with a ball hit to right field, scoring Parmelee and giving the Miracle a 4-3 win.
Alex Cobb got the start but saw his night end early after recurring blisters forced him to the bench. Cobb pitched 4 1/3 innings and allowed 3 runs on 4 hits while striking out 2 and walking 4 in the no decision. Austin Hinkle pitched the next 1 2/3 innings allowing no runs on 2 hits while striking out 2 and walking 3. Tommy Rafferty pitched 3 scoreless innings and only allowed 1 hit while striking out 1 and walking 2. Brian Flores suffered the loss going 1 2/3 innings and allowing 1 run on 1 hits while striking out 1 and walking 5. Henry Arias was the winning pitcher for Fort Myers.
What Went Right: Ryan Royster; 1 for 3 with a double, 2 RBI’s, a run scored and drew 2 walks.
What Went Wrong: Walks; The Stone Crabs pitching staff issued 14 free passes on the night.
A Look Ahead: The Stone Crabs head back to Charlotte Sports Park for game two of the series against the Miracle. Jake McGee (0-1) will face off against Steve Hirschfeld.