Stone Crabs Win South Division Championship

The 2015 Florida State League South Division Champions.  (Photo: Jim Donten)

The 2015 Florida State League South Division Champions. (Photo: Jim Donten)

In what could be described as a David versus Goliath series, the Stone Crabs overcame the odds to sweep the Palm Beach Cardinals and win their fourth division title in franchise history. Coming into the series, the Crabs had their work cut out for the, beat a team they only beat once in the second half, a team they lost eight straight to and face a starting pitcher who has owned them all season, but the heart and determination of the Stone Crabs surpasses these challenges, bringing the Division Title back to Port Charlotte.

The Stone Crabs took the lead early, scoring in the first inning. They opened the inning up with back to back singles by Braxton Lee and Steven Souza Jr to get things going. A sac fly by Mike Marjama would score Lee and give the Stone Crabs an early 1-0 advantage.

The Stone Crabs added to their lead in the fourth on a tower home run by Casey Gillaspie that landed on the baseball boardwalk in right to make it 2-0.

Palm Beach fought back in the sixth, striking for two runs to tie the game. Collin Radack singled to short to lead off the inning. He then scored on a double by Luke Voit, with Voit going to third on an error on the play. Voit then scored on a single by Danny Diekroeger to tie the game. The Stone Crabs worked out of the inning without any further damage to preserve the tie.

Charlotte matched the Cardinals with two runs of their own in the bottom of the inning to regain the lead. Lee got it started with a single to center. Souza Jr followed with a sharp hit ball to short, but a spectacular play by the Palm Beach shortstop forced Lee out at second. Marjama then reached base the hard way after getting hit by a Luke Weaver pitch. Both Souza Jr and Marjama advanced a base on a wild pitch setting the stage for Gillaspie’s two run single to center, scoring both runners and giving the Stone Crabs a 4-2 lead.

Palm Beach struck again in the seventh. Craig Aiken doubled to left to lead off the inning. A sac bunt by CJ McElroy moved Aiken to third when he would then score on a single by Casey Turgeon. A walk and an error would load the bases but Stone Crabs reliever Mike Franco worked out of the jam without allowing another run to score to preserve the 4-3 lead.

The Stone Crabs picked up some insurance in the eighth. Lee delivered an infield single, his third hit of the night, to put a runner on the bases. He wouldn’t stay their long as Granden Goetzman deposited an offering by Kevin Herget into the Palm Beach bullpen, a two run homer to make it 6-3.

Things got scary for the Stone Crabs in the ninth. Turgeon led off the inning by drawing a walk. He then scored on a double by Voit to pull within two. A walk issued to Casey Kelly would put the tying run on the bases and bring the winning run to the plate. But Hunter Wood got Robelys Reyes to fly out to center to end the game and give the Stone Crabs the 6-4 win.

German Marquez picked up the win for the Stone Crabs and Wood notched the save.

The Stone Crabs advance to the Florida State League Championship Series where they will face the Daytona Tortugas for the league championship. Game one of the series is set for Thursday night in Daytona.

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One Response to Stone Crabs Win South Division Championship

  1. Carol nabers says:

    Great year Stone Crabs !
    And it’s not over yet …
    Move over Daytona Tortugas here come the Stone Crabs …
    Tonight in Daytona 🍀🍀🍀…😘

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