The Stone Crabs fell two runs short in a Tuesday night slugfest against the Fort Myers Miracle at Hammond Stadium. The clubs combined for 22 runs on 26 hit with the Stone Crabs recording a franchise record of 18. But after five lead changes on the night, it was the Miracle holding the 12-10 advantage once the final out was recorded in the ninth.
The Stone Crabs jumped out to an early lead in the first inning. Hak-Ju Lee led off the game with a home run to left that gave the Stone Crabs a 1-0 lead.
Fort Myers countered with a run of their own in the bottom of the first. Brian Dozier tripled to center to put a runner in scoring position. Dozier would later score on a ground out by Nick Romero to tie the game 1-1.
The Stone Crabs answered by pushing five runs across the plate in the second inning. Mark Thomas and Anthony Scelfo delivered back to back singles to lead off the inning. Both runners advanced into scoring position with a sac bunt by Chris Murrill. Dustin Biell doubled home both runners with an RBI double to left. Lee then followed with a double of his own to left that scored Biell. Tyler Bortnick then struck the third extra base hit of the inning to left, this time an RBI double to score Lee. Bortnick would later score on a ground ball by Greg Sexton that gave the Stone Crabs a 6-1 lead.
Fort Myers struck for a big inning of their own in the fifth. James Beresford and Aaron Hicks singled followed a walk to Dozier to load the bases. Then Romero drew a bases loaded walk to push across Beresford. Chris Hermann followed with a two run single to score Hicks and Dozier. Anderson Hidalgo drove home two more with an RBI double to center. Hidalgo would score on an RBI single by Steven Liddle to give the Miracle a 7-6 lead.
The Stone Crabs tied the game in the top of the sixth. Biell drew a walk to lead off the inning. Lee followed with a bunt single that allowed Biell to advance to third on a throwing error. Brett Nommensen drove home the runner with a sac fly that tied the game 7-7.
The Stone Crabs regained the lead in the seventh. Mark Thomas homered to left to lead off the inning. They then got three consecutive singles off the bats of Biell, Lee and Bortnick with the third one by Bortnick being an RBI single to score Biell and give the Stone Crabs a 9-7 lead.
But the lead did not last long as the Miracle struck for another big inning in the bottom of seventh. Much like the last big inning, the Charlotte pitchers struggled with control and allowed free base runners. Three walks, two hit batsman an error and two hits help account for five runs that gave the Miracle a 12-9 lead.
The Stone Crabs pushed across one more run in the eighth. Greg Sexton singled to right to lead of the inning. He later scored on a sac fly by Thomas. But they were unable to push across any more runs in the game and fell to Fort Myers by the score of 12-10.
Deivis Mavarez suffered the loss for the Stone Crabs while John Garcia was the winner for Fort Myers.
The Stone Crabs return home to Charlotte Sports Park on Wednesday to kick off a six game homestand beginning with a three game series against the Jupiter Hammerheads (7-12). Jake Thompson (0-1, 4.05) will get the ball for the Stone Crabs opposite Matt Montgomery (0-1, 5.40) for the Hammerheads.
- Hak-Ju Lee (SS): 4 for 5 with a double, home run, 2 RBI’s and 2 runs scored.
- Tyler Bortnick (2B): 5 for 5 with a double, triple, 2 RBI’s and a run scored.
- Brett Nommensen (RF): 1 for 4 with a double and an RBI.
- Greg Sexton (3B): 1 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored.
- Mike Sheridan (1B): 1 for 5.
- Mark Thomas (C): 3 for 4 with a home run, 2 RBI’s and 2 runs scored.
- Anthony Scelfo (LF): 1 for 4 with a run scored.
- Chris Murrill (DH): 0 for 4.
- Dustin Biell (CF): 2 for 4 with a double, 2 RBI’s and 3 runs scored.
- Alex Koronis: 5 runs on 3 hits with 5 strikeouts and 3 walks in 4 2/3 innings.
- Sergio Espinosa: 2 runs on 3 hits with a walk in 1 1/3 innings.
- Deivis Mavarez: 5 runs on 2 hits with a walk in 2/3 of an inning.
- Shane Minks: allowed 2 walk in 1/3 of an inning.
- Mike Jarman: pitched a no-hit final frame with a strikeout.