The Game: The Charlotte Stone Crabs and Fort Myers Miracle almost made to extra innings for the third night in a row on Thursday, but a Miracle run in the bottom of the ninth kept that from happening as the Stone Crabs fell to the Miracle 5-4 at Hammond Stadium.
The Stone Crabs scored first in the top of the first inning. Shawn O’Malley led of the game with a double to left then advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Emeel Salem. Drew Anderson followed with a single to left that scored O’Malley and gave the Stone Crabs a 1-0 lead.
Charlotte added to their lead in the fourth inning. Ryan Royster led off the inning with a single up the middle. Nevin Ashley followed with a double to give the Stone Crabs runners at second and third. Royster later scored on a wild pitch and the Stone Crabs held a 2-0 lead.
Fort Myers battled back to tie the game in the bottom of the fourth. Evan Bigley doubled to right field to start the inning. Allan de San Miguel delivered a two run home run to clear the bases and tie the game.
The Stone Crabs wasted no time in regaining the lead, posting another run in the top of the fifth inning. Shawn O’Malley reached base on a force out, then advanced to second on a steal, his thirty-seventh swipe of the season. O’Malley advanced to third on a balk and later scored on a ground ball by Emeel Salem giving the Stone Crabs the lead 3-2.
Charlotte pushed across another run in the seventh. Shawn O’Malley singled on a ground ball to short then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Emeel Salem. Drew Anderson delivered an RBI single to center that scored O’Malley and increases the Stone Crabs lead to 4-2.
But the Miracle weren’t done yet, fighting back to tie the game yet again in the bottom half of the seventh. Estarlin De Los Santo led off the inning with a triple then scored on a sacrifice by Alejandro Machado for the first run of the inning. Rene Leveret then singled to second. Evan Bigley followed with an RBI double to score Leveret and tie the game.
Just when we seemed destined for extra innings again, the Miracle struck for a run in the bottom of the ninth. Mark Dolenc led off the inning with a single to left. Allan de San Miguel drew a walk to give the Miracle two base runners. Then both runners advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch by Austin Hinkle. Chris Cates followed with a single to second that scored the game winning run and gave Fort Myers the 5-4 win.
David Newmann made the start, pitching 5 2/3 innings allowing 2 runs on 5 hits while striking out 5 and walking 4. Jose Mejias pitched 1 2/3 innings and allowed 2 runs on 6 hits while striking out 1 and was charged with a blown save. Austin Hinkle suffered the loss, allowing 1 run on 2 hits while striking out 1 and walking 2. Matt Williams was the winning pitcher for Fort Myers.
What Went Right: Shawn O’Malley; 2 for 5 with a double, 3 runs scored and a stolen base.
What Went Wrong: Matt Hall: 0 for 3 with 3 K’s.
A Look Ahead: The Stone Crabs and Miracle will close out the four game series on Friday night at Hammond Stadium. Jeremy Hall will get the start for Charlotte (13-4) against David Bromberg (10-1) for Fort Myers.