Determined not to leave Lakeland with a series loss, the Stone Crabs fought long and hard to earn a 5-3 win in the series finale on Friday night at Joker Marchant Stadium. In a game that lasted 5 hour and 10 minutes and spanned 19 innings, it was a double by Justin O’Conner that would send the Stone Crabs back to Port Charlotte with a win.
The game started with a gem of starting pitching as both teams dueled with five scoreless frames before the Flying Tigers finale broke through and scored in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Lakeland led off the sixth inning with an RBI double by Jeff McVaney. He scored one batter later when Lance Durham doubled to right. Durham then scored on a line drive single by Conner Harrell. Harrell would later score on an error to give the Flying Tigers a 3-0 lead.
The Stone Crabs battled back in the top of the seventh with a two out rally. Josh Sale drew a walk. Sale would advance to third on a double by O’Conner. Maxx Tissenbaum drove home both runners with a single to center to pull the Stone Crabs to within a run of the lead 3-2.
The Stone Crabs tied the game in the eighth. Hector Guevara doubled to left to lead off the inning. Guevara would move to third on a single by Andrew Toles and later score on a single by Pat Leonard to tie the game 3-3.
But we would remained tied for a long time, a very long time. Both bullpens dueled through ten scoreless frames before the Stone Crabs would make the game winning surge in the top of the nineteenth inning.
Tommy Coyle started the game winning rally in the nineteenth by hitting a single to right. Leonard followed with a walk to put runners on first and second for the Stone Crabs. But it was O’Conner who would be the hero of the night, striking a two run double to right scoring both Coyle and Leonard to put the Stone Crabs in front 5-3.
Catcher Jake DePew made a rare pitching appearance and kept Lakeland off the board to send the Stone Crabs home with a victory and earning his first pitching win.
The Stone Crabs now return home to Port Charlotte for a quick two game series against the Bradenton Marauders.
- Andrew Toles (CF): 2 for 8 with a double
- Tommy Coyle (2B): 2 for 8 with a run scored
- Pat Leonard (1B): 1 for 7 with an RBI and a run scored
- Josh Sale (LF): 0 for 7 with a walk and a run scored
- Justin O’Conner (C): 2 for 8 with 2 doubles, 2 RBI’s and a run scored
- Maxx Tissenbaum (DH): 1 for 8 with 2 RBI’s
- Jonathan Quinonez (3B): 0 for 7
- Hector Guevara (SS): 2 for 7 with a double and a run scored
- Marty Gantt (RF): 1 for 6
- Austin Pruitt: 3 runs on 6 hits with 6 strikeouts and a walk in 5 1/3 innings
- Jose Molina: 2/3 no hit innings with a strikeout
- Marcus Jensen: 5 shut-out innings with 2 hits, 4 strikeouts and a walk
- Willie Gabay: 1 2/3 scoreless innings with 3 this and a walk
- Ben Griset: 3 scoreless innings with a hit and 3 strikeouts
- Jake DePew (Win, 1-0): 3 1/3 shut-out innings with 7 hits and a strikeout