Quite possibly the most dramatic doubleheader played in the 2013 season ensued on Friday night against the Bradenton Marauders, where 20 innings of baseball were played. The Stone Crabs stole game one by way of a walkoff walk, and barely lost the second in a 13-frame match decided by a Marauders’ sacrifice fly. Game one’s score tallied at 9-8, and game two’s at 3-2.
Before the start of game one, the honorary first pitch was given to team photographer Nick Martinez’s son, Austin, who is set to leave for the Navy soon. It proved a touching beginning to what would be a long evening of baseball.
The seventh inning of the abbreviated game one held a great deal of action. Willie Argo jumpstarted the inning with a one-out single to center field off Joan Montero. Jake Hager followed with an infield single to the mound, and both Hager and Argo scored on a single by Curt Casali. With the bases loaded with Stone Crabs, Jeff Malm responded with an RBI base hit, in the process reloading the bases. Luke Bailey, who was likely aiming for his first hit of the night, delivered in a subtle way by taking a walk, subsequently allowing pinch-runner Ben Kline to score and clearing the dugout amid widespread cheers from the crowd. Montero took the loss (2-5).
Also in the duration of the game, Willie Argo extended his hitting streak to 10 games, and Drew Vettleson brought his to eight. The former’s streak would end in game two, and the latter’s would expand to nine.
Jesse Hahn, game one’s starter, and his successor Jake Partridge struggled to keep the Marauders’ bats at bay. Hahn lasted four innings, and three runs later handed the ball to Partridge. The left-hander, who hadn’t allowed a run in his past three outings, gave up five, including a three-run blast to Willy Garcia. Frank De Los Santos made his first rehab appearance with the team as well in the seventh, allowed only one hit, and earned the win (1-0).
While game one remained in the expected seven-inning slot, game two soared five extra frames to total thirteen. The pitching on both sides refused to allow more than two runs apiece. Roberto Gomez, the Charlotte starter, threw a gem, carrying a no-hitter until the sixth when Alen Hanson singled to right field. Hanson later became Gomez’s only earned run out of two total.
The 2-2 tie was maintained into the thirteenth inning. Andrew Bellatti, who pitched a total of four innings, allowed the winning run as Chris Lashmet scored on a Junior Sosa sacrifice fly. Bellatti would take the loss as a result, for the Stone Crabs bats could not reclaim the lead (1-1).
The only RBI managed beforehand by the Stone Crabs was via a bases-loaded Jeff Malm walk in the third: the other run scored on a wild pitch. Robert Kilcrease took the win for Bradenton in game two (4-1) after dealing three scoreless innings.
The Stone Crabs travel next to Jupiter for a three-game series against the Hammerheads. The team is currently wedged in a three-team tie for first place in the FSL South for the second half, alongside Bradenton and the Palm Beach Cardinals. They hope to reclaim a solo lead on Saturday evening: first pitch is scheduled for 6:35.
Game 1 hitting
- Willie Argo (CF): 2 for 3, 10-game hitting streak
- Jake Hager (SS): 3 for 3 with a stolen base and a run scored
- Drew Vettleson (RF): 1 for 2 with a pair of walks and 2 runs scored
- Richie Shaffer (3B): 1 for 3 with an RBI sac-fly
- Curt Casali (DH): 1 for 4
- Alejandro Segovia (1B): 2 for 3 with a solo homerun, a walk, and a run scored
- Jeff Malm (LF): 1 for 4 with an RBI single
- Luke Bailey (C): 0 for 3 with a walk-off walk
- Enmanuel Paulino (2B): 0 for 3
Game 1 pitching
- Jesse Hahn: 3 runs off 6 hits and 3 strikeouts in 4 innings
- Jake Partridge: 5 runs off 3 hits and 3 walks in 2 innings
- Frank De Los Santos (W, 1-0): 1 hit in a scoreless inning
Game 2 hitting
- Kes Carter (CF): 1 for 6 with a triple and a walk
- Jake Hager (SS): 1 for 7 with 2 runs scored
- Drew Vettleson (RF): 1 for 4 with 2 walks
- Richie Shaffer (3B): 1 for 4 with a walk
- Curt Casali (C): 0 for 5 with a walk
- Alejandro Segovia (1B): 1 for 5 with a walk
- Jeff Malm (LF): 1 for 1 with a double, an RBI, and 3 walks
- Willie Argo (PR-LF): 0 for 1 with a walk
- Jake DePew (DH): 1 for 5
- Ben Kline (2B): 0 for 3
- Ryan Brett (PH-2B): 0 for 3
Game 2 pitching
- Roberto Gomez: 2 runs (1 earned) off 2 hits and 4 strikeouts in 6 innings
- Nate Garcia: 1 hit, 1 walk, and 5 strikeouts in 3 innings
- Andrew Bellatti (L, 1-1): 1 run off 1 hit, 3 walks, and 4 strikeouts in 4 innings