The Game: The Charlotte Stone Crabs improved to 2-0 on the season by defeating the Palm Beach Cardinals 6-3 on Friday night at Charlotte Sports Park. A dominating performance from Nick Barnese combined with long balls from Matt Sweeney and Reid Fronk help lead the Stone Crabs to victory.
The Stone Crabs took the lead in the second inning. Matt Sweeney drew a walk to lead off the inning. Jake Jefferies singled to right to move Sweeney to second. Reid Fronk then cleared the bases with a three run homer to right field, giving the Stone Crabs a 3-0 lead.
The Stone Crabs increased their lead in the third inning by going deep again. Henry Wrigley singled to left to put a runner on base for Charlotte. Then Matt Sweeney belted a two run home run, his second of the season, to put the Stone Crabs ahead 5-0.
Charlotte picked up their sixth and final run of the contest in the fifth inning. Isaias Velasquez singled to center leading off the inning. Velasquez later scored an RBI double by Wrigley to increase the Stone Crabs lead 6-0.
The Cardinals reached the scoreboard in the seventh inning. Thomas Pham drew a walk to lead off the inning. Chris Swauger followed with a two run homer to give Palm Beach two runs.
Palm Beach added another run in the ninth to cut the lead in half on Swauger's second home run of the night, this one a solo shot to right. But Charlotte closed the door and held out for a 6-3 win.
Nick Barnese earned the victory, holding onto a no-hitter until the fourth inning. Barnese finished with 2 runs on 2 hits with 5 strikeouts and 1 walk in 6 1/3 innings. Michael Jarman followed by pitching 2/3 inning of shut-out baseball, allowing a hit and striking out and walking 1. Tommy Rafferty pitched the final 2 innings and allowed a run on 1 hit with 2 strikeouts. Jared Bradford was the losing pitcher for Palm Beach.
Stone Crabs Player of the Game: Nick Barnese; 2 hits, 5 K's, 1 BB in 6.1 innings, held no-hitter into fourth and a shut-out into the seventh.
RP Top Prospect Watch:
Nick Barnese: 2 runs on 2 hits with 5 K's and a walk in 6 1/3 inning.
Jake Jefferies: 1 for 4 with a run scored, 1 for 2 in throwing out basestealers.
Kyeong Kang: 1 for 3 with a walk.
Matt Sweeney: 1 for 3 with a home run, 2 RBI's, 2 run scored and drew a walk.
A Look Ahead: The Stone Crabs (2-0) continue the series with the Palm Beach Cardinals (0-2) as they travel to Roger Dean Stadium for game three. Joe Cruz will be making the start for Charlotte, facing Richard Castillo for Palm Beach.