The Stone Crabs overcame an early deficit to tie the game and force extra innings but they didn’t have enough to pull off the win as they fell 7-6 in ten innings on Wednesday morning at Charlotte Sports Park.
Lakeland took the lead in the first inning. Jiwan James and Raph Rhymes delivered back to back singles to lead off the game. James later scored on a wild pitch to take a 1-0 lead.
The Flying Tigers struck again in the third. A two run double by Javier Bentancourt and a two run double by Ben Verlander gave them a 5-0 lead.
The Stone Crabs answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third. Marty Gantt would drive home Armando Araiza for the first run of the inning. The second came on a sac fly by Kean Wong to score Braxton Lee to make it 5-2.
The Stone Crabs put together another two run inning in the fourth. Yoel Araujo connected for his second home run of the season, a two run shot to pull the Stone Crabs to within a run.
Lakeland stretched their lead back to two in the top of the seventh. An RBI single by Bentancourt gave them a 6-4 lead.
The Stone Crabs battled back to tie the game in the eighth. Willy Adames opened the frame by drawing a walk. He later scored on a double by Pat Blair. Blair would score on a single by Araujo to tie the game and force extra innings.
Lakeland broke the tie in the top of the tenth. Bobby Borchering singled home Francisco Martinez to give them the lead 7-6.
The Stone Crabs threatened in the bottom of the tenth. Adames walked to lead off the inning. He advanced to third on a single by Blair. But the Stone Crabs stranded the tying run at third and the winning run at first as Araujo flied out to end the threat and the game.
Isaac Gill suffered the loss for the Stone Crabs.
The Stone Crabs look to salvage a series split in the finale on Thursday. German Marquez (4-5, 3.30) will have the ball for the Stone Crabs against Trent Szkutnik (3-2, 4.75) for Lakeland.