Friday, April 9, 2010

Charlotte Stone Crabs earn 4-2 Opening Day victory over Palm Beach Cardinals

6,325 fans packed Charlotte Sports Park to witness the Stone Crabs Opening Day 2010.  For more photos from the game, click on the photo.The Game: With a packed house and owner Cal Ripken in attendance, the Charlotte Stone Crabs began their title defense in winning fashion by defeating the Palm Beach Cardinals 4-2 on Opening Day at Charlotte Sports Park.

The Stone Crabs took the lead early in the second inning on a solo home run by Matt Sweeney to give the Stone Crabs a 1-0 lead.

Palm Beach tied the game in the third inning. Chris Swauger doubled to right field. Tony Cruz then singled to left, scoring Swauger to tie the game 1-1.

The game would remain tied until the bottom of the fourth when the Stone Crabs struck for two runs. Matt Sweeney led off the inning with a walk, then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Jake Jefferies singled to right, moving Sweeney to third and giving the Stone Crabs runners on the corners. Michael Sheridan drove home the go ahead run with a double to right that scored Sweeney. Jefferies later scored on sac fly by Reid Fronk to give the Stone Crabs a 3-1 lead.

The Cardinals pulled to within a run of the lead in the sixth inning. Osvaldo Morales, Richard Racobaldo and Xavier Scruggs delivered consecutive singles to load the bases with one out. Morales scored on a wild pitch by Dane De La Rosa. But De La Rosa recovered to strike out the remaining two hitters and get out of the inning with the lead intact 3-2.

The Stone Crabs posted an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning. Kyeong Kang drew a walk to lead off the inning. Henry Wrigley followed with an RBI double to left, scoring Kang and giving the Stone Crabs a 4-2 opening day victory, first in franchise history.

Matt Moore made the start, pitching 3 innings and allowing 1 run on 4 hits with 4 strikeouts and a walk. Marquis Fleming earned the win, pitching 2 shut-out innings and allowing 1 hit and 4 strikeouts. Dane De La Rosa and Neil Schenk each pitched an inning and recording holds with De La Rosa giving up a run. Zach Quate recorded the save, tossing the final two frames and allowing 1 hit and 2 strikeouts. Brian Broderick was the losing pitcher for Palm Beach.

Stone Crabs Player of the Game: Matt Sweeney; contributed for two of the Stone Crabs runs and went 2 for 3 with a home run and a double.

RP Top Prospect Watch:
Jake Jefferies: 1 for 4 with a run scored.
Kyeong Kang: 3 for 3 with a run scored and a walk.
Matt Moore: 1 run on 4 hits with 4 K's and a walk in 3 innings.
Matt Sweeney: 2 for 3 with a double, home run and 2 runs scored.

A Look Ahead: The Stone Crabs (1-0) will take on the Palm Beach Cardinals (0-1) in game two of the series at Charlotte Sports Park. Nick Barnese (0-0) will start for the Stone Crabs facing Jared Bradford for Palm Beach.

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