- Game Photos from 9/13: FSL Championship Series Game Four vs Daytona
- Faria Named Stone Crabs MVP, Several Other Stone Crabs Earn Awards
- Game Photos from 9/12: FSL Championship Series Game Three vs Daytona
- Stone Crabs Win Florida State League Championship
- Game Photos from 9/9: FSL Divisional Series Game Two vs Palm Beach
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The Tampa Bay Rays announced their 2015 Minor League Players of the Year and several Stone Crabs alumni were awarded for their performance this season. Jacob Faria was named the Stone Crab’s Most Valuable Player for his 10- performance as a starter for the Stone Crabs this season. Overall he had 17 wins on the year which was the best in the majors.
Here are the other Stone Crabs alumni who were honored this season:
- Blake Snell –Pitcher of the Year
- Richie Shaffer – Player of the Year
- Taylor Motter – Durham MVP
- Tyler Goeddel – Montgomery MVP
- Jacob Faria – Stone Crabs MVP
- Casey Gillaspie – Bowling Green MVP
- Joey Rickard – Baserunner of the Year
- Brad Schreiber – Reliever of the Year
- Braxton Lee – Defensive Player of the Year
The players will be recognized in a pre-game ceremony at Tropicana Field on Friday.
The Stone Crabs came swinging against the Tortugas, collecting a pair of runs in the first inning. Braxton Lee led off the inning with a single to left. He advanced to third following a double by Hector Guevara. Sac flies by Mike Marjama and Casey Gillaspie would plate both of the runs to give the Stone Crabs a 2-0 lead.
Daytona cut the lead in half in the third inning. Ty Washington reached on a questionable catcher interference call to get the inning started. Washington would move to third following a double by Brian O’Grady to put two runners in scoring position with no outs. A ground out by Chad Wallach would score Washington and make it 2-1.
The Washington/Wallach connection would strike again in the fifth to tie the game. Washington reached on a walk and later scored on a double by Wallach to tie the game at 2.
From that point on we went on a marathon of scoreless innings. Even though both clubs put runners on the bases and threatened to score, great pitching and solid defense ended the threats and kept the game tied until the bottom of the thirteenth.
The game winning rally started on a single by Maxx Tissenbaum with one out in the bottom of the thirteenth inning. Michael Johns put Yoel Araujo in the game to pinch run for Tissenbaum. A single by Granden Goetzman and a walk by Pat Blair loaded the bases for the Stone Crabs. Kean Wong drew a two-out, bases-loaded walk to score Araujo and give the Stone Crabs the walk-off win.
Isaac Gil picked up the win for the Stone Crabs. Evan Mitchell was the losing pitcher for Daytona.
The win clinched the best of five series 3 games to 1 and gave the Stone Crabs their first Florida State League Championship in franchise history.
Despite a great pitching performance from starter Hunter Wood, Saturday night’s game came down to one momentum changing pitch that would result in the Stone Crabs losing 6-1 in game three of the Florida State League Championship Series.
Wood and Daytona starter Jake Paulson each delivered five straight innings of scoreless baseball before the Tortugas lit up the scoreboard in the top of the sixth inning. Paulson even held a no-hitter until Braxton Lee singled in the sixth.
But it was Daytona getting things done in the top of the sixth inning. Ty Washington led off the inning with a single to left and Brian O’Grady followed with a walk. At that point, Michael Johns made the call to the bullpen, bringing in Mike Franco in relief. He quickly got two outs but then gave up a three run homer to Sebastian Elizalde to give the Tortugas a 3-0 lead.
Daytona pushed across a trio of runs again in the ninth. An RBI triple by Elizalde, an RBI double by Taylor Sparks and an RBI single by Blake Trahan gave Daytona a 6-0 lead.
The Stone Crabs avoided the shut-out by scoring in the bottom of the ninth. Casey Gillaspie drew a two out walk to put a runner on the bases. Gillaspie moved into scoring position following a single by Granden Goetzman. Justin Williams drove home Gillaspie on a single to center to put the Stone Crabs on the scoreboard. But it wasn’t enough as the Stone Crabs fell 6-1.
Wood was charged with the loss. Paulson was the winning pitcher for Daytona.
Game Four of the best of five series will be played Sunday evening at Charlotte Sports Park. It will be a battle of aces as Brent Honeywell (1-0, 1.29) will square off against the FSL Co-Pitcher of the Year Amir Garrett (1-0. 0.00).
The Stone Crabs took advantage of a few Daytona miscues to grab the lead in the second inning. Justin Williams reached on an error followed by a single by Pat Blair. Then Kean Wong laid down a sac bunt to advance the runners but a fielding error gave him first base and scored Williams. Armando Araiza followed with a bunt that scored and Blair and moved Wong up to second with one out. The Stone Crabs then loaded the bases when Braxton Lee was hit by a pitch. An RBI single by Hector Guevara drove home Wong to give the Stone Crabs a 3-0 lead.
The Stone Crabs added to their lead in the fourth. Granden Goetzman singled to lead off the inning. He later scored on a sac fly by Blair to increase the lead to 4-0.
Daytona scored their lone run of the evening in the bottom of the fourth. A sac fly by Daniel Pigott scored Ty Washington to make it 4-1.
The Stone Crabs pushed across a pair of insurance runs in the seventh. They loaded the bases on a hit by pitch for Mike Marjama, a walk to Casey Gillaspie and an intentional walk to Williams. Blair delivered once again with a double to left that scored Marjama and Gillaspie to give the Stone Crabs a 6-1 lead.
That was all that was needing because for the fourth straight playoff game, the Stone Crabs were getting season best performances from their pitchers. Borden gave the Stone Crabs seven dominating innings in which he struck out eighth hitters and only allowed three base runners. Then the bullpen combination of Josh Kimborowicz and Isaac Gil took it the rest of the way to ensure the win.
Borden picked up the win and Seth Varner was charged with the loss.
The Stone Crabs look to clinch the championship as the series shifts to Charlotte Sports Park for game three on Saturday night.
The only run of the night came in the top of the second inning. Granden Goetzman singled to center to lead off the inning. He later scored on an RBI double by Justin Williams to give the Stone Crabs a 1-0.
Chih-Wei Hu turned in his most dominating performance as a Stone Crabs. He pitched eight innings, striking out 9 on the night to earn the win. He didn’t even allow a runner in scoring position until the sixth inning.
Jordan Harrison retired all three hitters he faced in the ninth to earn the save.
Game two if the best of five series will be Friday at Jackie Robinson Ballpark. Buddy Borden (2-2, 2.97) will get the start for the Stone Crabs against Seth Varner (9-7, 2.97) for Daytona.
The Stone Crabs look to capture their first Florida State League Championship as they face off against the Daytona Tortugas in the best of five series kicking off in Daytona on Thursday. This is the fifth time in team history that the Stone Crabs have advanced to the league finals.
The Stone Crabs will face the Tortugas, a team they were 2-4 against during the regular seasons. They split the first half series, but the fell 0-2 in the rain shortened second half series. But all of the four losses against Daytona came at Jackie Robinson Ballpark where games one and two of the FSL Finals will be held. As a team, the Stone Crabs have hit .234 and have a team ERA of 2.74 against the Tortugas this season.
The Stone Crabs come into the series after sweeping the Palm Beach Cardinals in the Divisional Series. Daytona swept their opponent, Clearwater Threshers, in the North Division Series as well.
By the Numbers
|On Base Pct||
|Earned Run Avg||
|Walk/Hit per Inning Pitched||
Players to Watch
P Jonathan Crawford (#13 Reds Prospect by MLB.com)
IF Carlton Daal (#28 Reds Prospect by MLB.com, leads Daytona in hitting)
OF Sebastian Elizalde (2015 FSL All-Star)
P Amir Garrett (#3 Reds Prospect by MLB.com, leads Dayton in pitching)
P Nick Howard (#12 Reds Prospect by MLB.com)
C Joe Hudson (2015 FSL All-Star)
P Keury Mella (#5 Reds Prospect by MLB.com)
P Evan Mitchell (2015 FSL All-Star)
P Jackson Stephens (#20 Reds Prospect by MLB.com)
IF Taylor Sparks (#23 Res Prospect by MLB.com)
IF Blake Trahan (#8 Res Prospect by MLB.com)
P Nick Travieso (#6 Reds Prospect by MLB.com, 2015 FSL All-Star)
C Chad Wallach (#27 Reds Prospect by MLB.com)
9/10/15: CHA Chih-Wei Hu vs DAY Jackson Stephens at Jackie Robinson Ballpark (7:05)
9/11/15: CHA TBD vs DAY TBD at Jackie Robinson Ballpark (7:05)
9/12/15: CHA TBD vs DAY TBD at Charlotte Sports Park (6:00)
9/13/15: CHA TBD vs DAY TBD at Charlotte Sports Park (6:00)
9/14/15: CHA TBD vs DAY TBD at Charlotte Sports Park (6:00)
The Daytona Tortugas play their home games at Jackie Robinson Ballpark which is located at 105 East Orange Avenue in Daytona Beach, Florida. The stadium is 220 miles or just under 4 hours from Charlotte Sports Park.
Tickets for games at Jackie Robinson Ballpark can be purchased by visiting www. daytonatortugas.com and are $12.50 for a VIP ticket (with in-seat waiter service), $8 general admission, $6 senior/child/military. Parking is $2.
The official FSL hotel and hotel for the Stone Crabs is the Acapulco Hotel and Resort located at 2505 South Atlantic Avenue in Daytona Beach Shores. Room rates start at $79 a night. Call them at (386) 245-3580 or visit their website for more information.
The Stone Crabs took the lead early, scoring in the first inning. They opened the inning up with back to back singles by Braxton Lee and Steven Souza Jr to get things going. A sac fly by Mike Marjama would score Lee and give the Stone Crabs an early 1-0 advantage.
The Stone Crabs added to their lead in the fourth on a tower home run by Casey Gillaspie that landed on the baseball boardwalk in right to make it 2-0.
Palm Beach fought back in the sixth, striking for two runs to tie the game. Collin Radack singled to short to lead off the inning. He then scored on a double by Luke Voit, with Voit going to third on an error on the play. Voit then scored on a single by Danny Diekroeger to tie the game. The Stone Crabs worked out of the inning without any further damage to preserve the tie.
Charlotte matched the Cardinals with two runs of their own in the bottom of the inning to regain the lead. Lee got it started with a single to center. Souza Jr followed with a sharp hit ball to short, but a spectacular play by the Palm Beach shortstop forced Lee out at second. Marjama then reached base the hard way after getting hit by a Luke Weaver pitch. Both Souza Jr and Marjama advanced a base on a wild pitch setting the stage for Gillaspie’s two run single to center, scoring both runners and giving the Stone Crabs a 4-2 lead.
Palm Beach struck again in the seventh. Craig Aiken doubled to left to lead off the inning. A sac bunt by CJ McElroy moved Aiken to third when he would then score on a single by Casey Turgeon. A walk and an error would load the bases but Stone Crabs reliever Mike Franco worked out of the jam without allowing another run to score to preserve the 4-3 lead.
The Stone Crabs picked up some insurance in the eighth. Lee delivered an infield single, his third hit of the night, to put a runner on the bases. He wouldn’t stay their long as Granden Goetzman deposited an offering by Kevin Herget into the Palm Beach bullpen, a two run homer to make it 6-3.
Things got scary for the Stone Crabs in the ninth. Turgeon led off the inning by drawing a walk. He then scored on a double by Voit to pull within two. A walk issued to Casey Kelly would put the tying run on the bases and bring the winning run to the plate. But Hunter Wood got Robelys Reyes to fly out to center to end the game and give the Stone Crabs the 6-4 win.
German Marquez picked up the win for the Stone Crabs and Wood notched the save.
The Stone Crabs advance to the Florida State League Championship Series where they will face the Daytona Tortugas for the league championship. Game one of the series is set for Thursday night in Daytona.