Some late inning magic erupted at Charlotte Sports Park amid a boisterous crowd in game three of the FSL Championship Series against the Daytona Cubs. A rain delay bought the offense enough time to motivate itself – in the ninth inning, they delivered. Jonathan Quinonez played hero for the team, singling the game-winning run home to keep the Stone Crabs alive in the Championship Series and secure a 3-2 victory.
Quinonez, serving as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning for Jake DePew, initially put Charlotte on the board with a solo shot off Jeffrey Lorick. A rain delay cut through the eighth inning after Taylor Motter doubled. After play resumed at 8:30, Motter was removed from the game with a hamstring strain in favor of pinch-runner Ryan McChesney. Jake Hager singled in what appeared to most as the game-tying run, but McChesney was called out at home by umpire Sean Ryan on a throw by center fielder Zeke Devoss. Manager Brady Williams vehemently argued the call and was thereby ejected by Ryan.
The seemingly inaccurate call did nothing to quell Charlotte. Quinonez came up once again with two on and one out in the ninth after Jeff Malm drove in the tying run. With Segovia manning third base, Quinonez slapped a single past the diving first baseman Dustin Geiger and was immediately met at the bag by a hoard of Stone Crabs players celebrating the win and what will be another chance at the Championship ring. Zach Cates would take the loss for Daytona.
Nate Garcia earned the win after pitching a perfect ninth inning. Before him, Felipe Rivero had taken the mound for the start and went six and two-thirds innings, allowing one earned run and striking out four.
The Stone Crabs eye a game four win at Charlotte Sports Park, sending Dylan Floro to the mound to face the Cubs at 6:30.
- Taylor Motter (2B): 1 for 3 with a double
- Ryan McChesney (PR-C): 0 for 0
- Jake Hager (SS): 1 for 4
- Willie Argo (LF-CF): 0 for 4
- Richie Shaffer (3B): 0 for 2
- Drew Vettleson (RF): 0 for 4 with a run scored
- Alejandro Segovia (DH): 1 for 3 with a walk and a run scored
- Jeff Malm (1B): 1 for 4 with an RBI
- Jake DePew (C): 0 for 1
- Jonathan Quinonez (PH-LF): 2 for 2 with a homerun, 2 RBIs (including game-winning) and a run scored
- Kes Carter (CF): 0 for 1 with a walk
- Hector Guevara (PH-2B): 0 for 1
- Felipe Rivero: 2 runs (1 earned) off 6 hits, 2 walks, and 4 strikeouts in 6.2 innings
- Jake Partridge: a hit in 1.1 innings
- Nate Garcia (W, 1-0): a perfect inning