[Game recap provided by Stone Crab's broadcaster Grant McAuley.]
There are times in baseball when it is better to be lucky than good. Luck was on the side of the Charlotte Stone Crabs at Joker Marchant Stadium on Monday night.
Charlotte was able to ride a two-run homer off the bat of Henry Wrigley to a 2-1 victory, overcoming a dominant pitching performance by Lakeland Flying Tigers starter Charlie Furbush.
Furbush (2-3) fanned a career-high 13 batters, but yielded two runs on four hits and a walk to take a tough luck loss in the series opener.
The Lakeland left-hander began an incredible display of pitching by striking out the final two batters of the first inning before proceeding to strike out the side in both the second and third innings. That gave Furbush a streak of eight consecutive Stone Crabs bastmen who were retired on strikes.
Charlotte hitters finished the night having struck out 14 times, breaking the previous high of 12, which was also held by Lakeland pitchers, on July 21 of last season.
Despite the impressive run of punch-outs, Charlotte’s lineup would not be rendered punchless for the night. Tim Beckham lined a lead-off single in the fourth inning and came into score on Wrigley’s towering blast to left two batters later.
Wrigley leads the Stone Crabs with six homers on the season and broke out of a tie for second place in the Florida State League. Clearwater Threshers third baseman Cody Overbeck leads the league with eight home runs.
Charlotte used the two runs to make a winner of Chris Andujar (2-1), who allowed a run on five hits, while walking four and striking out a pair of hitters over 5 1/3 innings of work.
Josh Satow pitched a pair of scoreless innings to record his fifth save in as many chances, striking out Gustavo Nunuz to end the game.
With the victory, the Stone Crabs (17-12) jump past the Bradenton Marauders by a half a game and into second place in the Florida State League South Division. The front-running Palm Beach Cardinals also won on Monday, keeping Charlotte a game back in the standings.
The four-game series continues on Tuesday as Matt Moore (0-3) will take the mound against Luke Putkonen (1-2) of the Flying Tigers. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m.