Despite holding the lead much of the night, the Stone Crabs were unable to escape the bottom of the ninth as they fell to the St Lucie Mets 7-6 on Tuesday night. The Stone Crabs offense combined for six doubles and led in hitting, but it was the bottom of then late inning heroics of the home team that would prove to be the difference.
The Stone Crabs wasted no time in taking an early lead, going right to work in the first inning. Drew Vettleson struck a two out single to center to put a runner on the bases. Richie Shaffer then delivered his twelfth double of the season to score Vettleson and give the Stone Crabs a 1-0 victory.
The Stone Crabs came close to pushing across another run in the second. This time it was Jeff Malm with a double to center to put a runner in scoring position. Then Willie Argo singled to right to advance Malm. Malm was given the green light from manager Brady Williams to go home but a strong throw by right fielder Charley Thurber got Malm at the plate to end the inning.
The Stone Crabs added to their lead in the third. Taylor Motter drew a walk to lead of the frame. He then stole second and advanced to third on a single by Kes Carter. With runners on the corners, Vettleson hit into a force out with Motter scoring on the play and the Stone Crabs grabbing a 2-0 lead.
St Lucie got on the scoreboard in the fourth inning. Matt Reynolds tripled to center to lead off the inning. He scored on an RBI single by Charley Thurber to cut the lead in half 2-1.
The Stone Crabs decided to go to the bullpen in the fifth inning, bringing reliever Andrew Bellatti into the game. Bellatti quickly found trouble, giving up a double to TJ Rivera and later a two run homer to Reynolds to give the Mets their first lead of the night.
The Stone Crabs capitalized on St Lucie errors to regain the lead in the sixth. Alejandro Segovia singled to right to lead off the inning. Curt Casali tied the game with a double to left, scoring Segovia. Casali then scored on an errant throw on the play to give the Stone Crabs a 4-3 lead.
The Stone Crabs added to their lead in the top of the seventh inning. Motter doubled to left and then scored on an RBI single by Vettleson. Vettleson later scored on a wild pitch to increase the lead to 6-3.
St Lucie tied the game once again in the seventh inning. Reynolds doubled home Matt den Dekker. Then Dustin Lawley struck a two run homer to tie the game 6-6.
The tied held until the bottom of the ninth where Lawley struck again. This time it was a game winning RBI double to score Rivera and give the Mets a 7-6 win.
Lenny Linsky was charged with a blown save and the loss. Hamilton Bennett was the winning pitcher for St Lucie.
The Stone Crabs will wrap up the series and the first half of the season on Wednesday. They send Ryan Carpenter to the mound to face Rainy Lara for St Lucie.
- Taylor Motter (2B): 2 for 4 with 2 doubles and 2 runs scored
- Kes Carter (CF): 1 for 4
- Drew Vettleson (RF): 2 for 5 with 2 RBI’s and 2 runs scored
- Richie Shaffer (3B): 2 for 5 with 2 doubles and an RBI
- Alejandro Segovia (DH): 3 for 5 with a run scored
- Hector Guevara (SS): 0 for 5
- Jeff Malm (1B): 1 for 3 with an RBI and a double
- Curt Casali (C): 1 for 3 with a double and a run scored
- Willie Argo (LF): 1 for 4
- Parker Markel: 1 run on 4 hits with 3 strikeouts and 3 walks in 4 innings
- Andrew Bellatti: 4 runs on 5 hits with a strikeout and a walk
- Lenny Linsky (Loss, 1-5): 2 runs on 3 hits with 2 strikeouts and a walk in 1 2/3 innings