The Game: The Charlotte Stone Crabs lost an exciting game against the Fort Myers Miracle in game one of the Florida State League South Division Finals on Tuesday night at Charlotte Sports Park. Both clubs combined for fifteen runs and twenty-five hits in the game which saw the Miracle squeak by with a 8-7 win.
Fort Myers scored first in the second inning. Mark Dolenc singled to center for the first hit of the game. Joe Benson followed with double to left, moving Dolenc to third. Then Deibinson Romero drove home the run with a ground ball to short, giving the Miracle a 1-0 lead.
The Stone Crabs took the lead in the fourth inning. Greg Sexton singled to center then advanced to third on a double by Henry Wrigley. Shawn Williams drew a walk to load the bases. Drew Anderson drew a bases loaded walk to push across Sexton to tie the ball game. Then Matt Sweeney followed with a ground ball to first that scored Wrigley and gave the Stone Crabs a 2-1 lead.
Fort Myers struck for five more runs in the fifth inning with the help of two home runs in the inning. Joe Benson led off the inning with a home run to tie the game. Deibinson Romero followed with a walk. Chris Cates reached on a throwing error which allowed Romero to score and give the Miracle the lead. Ben Revere then drew a walk. Estarlin De Los Santos followed with the second home run of the inning, a three run blast to give the Miracle a 6-2 lead.
The Stone Crabs picked up another run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Emeel Salem singled to center to lead off the inning and then advanced to second on a single by Henry Wrigley. Shawn Williams followed with an RBI single to score Salem and pull Charlotte to within three runs of the lead, 6-3.
The Miracle recorded two more runs in the sixth inning. Deibinson Romero singled to left to lead off. Romero later advanced to third on a single by Ben Revere. Estarlin De Los Santos followed with a single to left in which both Romero and De Los Santos scored on a throwing error to increase the Miracle lead to 8-3.
The Stone Crabs rallied in the bottom of the sixth inning. Matt Sweeney drew a walk to lead off the inning. Emeel Salem singled on a line drive to center. Nevin Ashley then followed with a walk to load the bases with two outs. Greg Sexton drove home two runs with a single to center, scoring Sweeney and Salem. Henry Wrigley drove home Ashley with an RBI single to right. Shawn Williams followed with an RBI single to score Sexton for the fourth run of the inning. But the Charlotte rally fell short by a run and the Stone Crabs lost to the Miracle 8-7.
Jeremy Hall suffered the loss, allowing 6 runs (5 earned) on 5 hits with a strikeout and 3 walks in 4 1/3 innings. Jesse Darcy followed with 1 2/3 innings and allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 3 hits with 2 strikeouts. Austin Hinkle pitched 2/3 of an inning and allowed 1 hit and 2 walks. Tommy Rafferty threw the final 2 1/3 innings and allowed no runs on 2 hits with a strikeout and a walk. David Bromberg was the winning pitcher for Fort Myers.
What Went Right: Shawn Williams; 3 for 3 with 2 RBI’s and drew a walk. Emeel Salem; 4 for 5 with 2 runs scored. Henry Wrigley; 4 for 5 with a double, RBI and a run scored.
What Went Wrong: Matt Hall; 0 for 4 on the night.
A Look Ahead: The Stone Crabs and Miracle continue the series with game two on Wednesday night at Hammond Stadium. Alex Cobb (8-5) will be on the mound against Tyler Robertson (8-8). The Miracle lead the best of three series 1-0.