Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Fort Myers Miracle 4, Charlotte Stone Crabs 2
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- When facing Charlotte Stone Crabs starter Nick Barnese, the Fort Myers Miracle were proof that the second time may well be the charm. Barnese struck out a season-high eight batters on Wednesday, but surrendered all four runs in a 4-2 loss to Fort Myers at Hammond Stadium.
Fort Myers got on the board thanks to Chris Cates’ run-scoring single in the second inning and added another run in the fourth. Ramon Santana’s two-run double in the fifth inning proved to be the game-changing hit, pushing the Miracle lead to 4-0.
Barnese (2-1) had been stellar over his first two starts, relentlessly peppering the strikezone to good results. The Miracle keyed in on that fact and collected 10 hits against Barnese, who allowed four earned runs over five innings of work. Barnese walked just one batter and notched a season-best 10 punch-outs.
Anthony Scelfo drilled a lead-off triple in the sixth inning and came in to score on Tim Beckham’s groundout. The other Charlotte run came in the ninth as Henry Wrigley connected for his second homer of the season, a solo-shot that cut the lead to 4-2.
Miracle manager Jake Mauer went to the pen just twice in the game. Starter Bobby Lanigan (1-1) picked up the win with 6 2/3 strong innings of one-run ball. Billy Bullock came on to record the final two outs in the ninth and strand the tying runs on base. The save is Bullock’s second on the year.
Charlotte could not find the hits they needed with runners on base. The Stone Crabs stranded seven men on base and went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position on the night.
Strikeouts ran rampant through both lineups throughout the series. Charlotte hurlers tied a season-high with 13 punch-outs in Wednesday’s loss. Each team reached double-digit totals in strikeouts in the first two contests.
The loss drops Charlotte's record to 6-5 on the season, but they remain in second place in the Florida State League South Division. Wednesday’s victory is just the fourth for Fort Myers on the season, with all having come in their battles against the Stone Crabs.
The Stone Crabs return home to Charlotte Sports Park on Thursday to begin a brief two-game set against the Palm Beach Cardinals. Righty Joseph Cruz will get the start for Charlotte against a pitcher yet to be determined for Palm Beach. Game time is set for 7:05 p.m.
-- By Doug at 10:56 PM