The Stone Crabs overcame an early deficit only to fall in extra innings as they lost to the Palm Beach Cardinals 6-5 in ten innings on Saturday night at Roger Dean Stadium. A four run sixth inning gave the Stone Crabs a lead that they squandered in the final three frames of the night.
Palm Beach jumped out to a lead by pushing across a pair of runs in the third inning. Juan Herrera opened the inning with a triple to right field. Jose Fernandez then drew a walk to put runners on the corners with no outs. Herrera then scored on an RBI single by Oscar Mercado to break the scoreless tie. Fernandez later scored on a sac fly by Casey Grayson to give the Cardinals a 2-0 lead.
The Stone Crabs trailed until the top of the sixth when they doubled down on Palm Beach. They loaded the bases by Andrew Velazquez drawing a walk, Jace Conrad reaching on error and Grant Kay being hit by a pitch. The Stone Crabs tied the game as Cristian Toribio drove home Velazquez and Conrad with an RBI single to right. Kay then scored on a sac bunt by Riley Unroe. Nathan Lukes followed with an RBI double to score Toribio to give the Stone Crabs a 4-2 lead.
The Stone Crabs added to their lead an inning later. Jonah Heim struck his first double as a Stone Crabs to leaf off the inning. Heim later scored on an RBI single by Velazquez to increase the Stone Crabs lead to 5-2.
Palm Beach inched closer by scoring a pair of runs in the eighth inning. Grayson drew a walk followed by a double by Danny Diekroeger to give the Cardinals two runners in scoring position. They wouldn’t remain there long as Thomas Spitz followed with a double to score both runners and bring the Cardinals to within a run of the lead.
The Cardinals used home field advantage to help them tie the game in the bottom of the ninth. Herrera singled to lead off the inning. After advancing on a sac bunt and a fly out, he then scored on an RBI single by Brayan Pena to tie the game and force extra innings.
We wouldn’t need much bonus baseball to determine a winner as the Cardinals walked-off in the bottom of the tenth. A leadoff walk issued to Grayson came back to haunt the Stone Crabs as he would later score on an RBI single by Dylan Tice to send the Stone Crabs back to the hotel with a 6-5 loss.
Diego Castillo was charged with the loss for the Stone Crabs. Kyle Grana was the winning pitcher for Palm Beach.
The Stone Crabs conclude the 2016 season with a Sunday morning game against the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 10:30am.