The Game: The Charlotte Stone Crabs inaugural season came to an end on Wednesday night as the Stone Crabs fell to the Tampa Yankees in game five of the Florida State League Championship Season. The Yankees took the series 3-2, winning the 2009 Florida State League Championship.
The game got underway after a two and a half hour rain delay. As with the previous two games, both pitchers dueled through a scoreless tie for the first few innings of the game. Tampa broke the tie in the fourth inning. David Adams led off the inning with a double to the left field corner. Brian Flores then threw away the ball on a pick-off attempt, allowing Adams to move to third. Austin Romine followed with a ground ball that scored Adams and gave the Yankees a 1-0 lead.
Tampa struck for three more runs in the fifth inning. Luis Nunez and Jack Rye got things started with back to back singles. Then Walter Ibarra struck a double to right to score Nunez and move Rye to third. David Adams later followed with an two run single to right field that put the Yankees ahead 4-0.
The Stone Crabs reached the scoreboard in the bottom half of the sixth inning. Matt Hall doubled to left field to put a runner on the bases. Then Drew Anderson drove him home with a single to left that pulled the Stone Crabs to within three.
Tampa picked up an insurance run in the eighth inning. Daniel Brewer drew a walk to lead off the inning. David Adams followed with a single to right that advanced Brewer to third. Brewer later scored on a wild pitch by Josh Satow to increase their lead to 5-1.
Charlotte tried to mount a comeback in the eighth inning. John Matulia singled to center to get things started. Matt Hall followed with a walk to put runners on first and second with one out. Drew Anderson the hit a single to short that scored Matulia and moved Hall to second. The Stone Crabs then pulled the double steal to move both runners into scoring position. But Greg Sexton popped out for the third run of the inning stranding the runners and the Yankees held on to win game five by the score of 5-2 and take the title.
Brian Flores suffered the loss, pitching 3 innings and allowing 1 run on 2 hits with 2 strikeouts and a walk. Tommy Rafferty followed and allowed 3 runs on 4 hits in 2 innings while striking out 1. Marquis Fleming pitched 2 innings and allowed 1 run on 1 hit with 2 strikeouts and a walk. Josh Satow pitched the final 2 innings, allowing no hits and striking out 2 with 1 walk. Trent Lare was the winning pitcher for Tampa.
What Went Right: Drew Anderson; 2 for 4 and drove in both of the Stone Crabs runs.
What Went Wrong: Tommy Rafferty; allowed 3 runs on 4 hits in 2 innings of work.
A Look Ahead: The Stone Crabs have completed the 2009 inaugural season as the FSL South Division Champs. They were 70-67 overall on the season, including a 4-4 record in the franchise first ever playoff appearance. The Stone Crabs look to defend their South Division title in April 2010 with a schedule to be announce later.