'Crabs Use Big First Inning to Beat Mets 6-3
PORT CHARLOTTE, FL (August 18, 2014) - The Stone Crabs had to look all the way back to May 6 the last time they beat the Mets. St. Lucie came to Charlotte Sports Park on Monday night with a five-game winning streak in the season series. With both teams still fighting to stay alive in the South with less than two weeks remaining in the season, every little bit helps. A six run outburst in the first inning was more than enough to lift Jared Mortensen and his mates to a 6-3 victory before a crowd of 856.
Mortensen came into his fifth Florida State League start with a record of 0-1. In his first brush with the Mets, Maikis De La Cruz blasted a solo home run into the bullpen in left for a 1-0 lead two batters in. Yet it was the only real noise the Mets made all night, and the `Crabs answered back even louder in the bottom of the inning against Kevin McGowan (2-5).
The suspense was lifted once Tommy Coyle's leadoff double hopped over the wall in the left field corner. With a nine-game hitting streak in his pocket, Coyle scored the tying run two pitches later once Johnny Field singled him home. The first pitch to Maxx Tissenbaum was clobbered over the right field wall to put Charlotte ahead 3-1. A payoff pitch to Patrick Leonard was lined back into center for a single, and the onslaught continued when Marty Gantt hit his sixth triple to right center to make it 4-1. An RBI groundout to second off the bat of Granden Goetzman secured the first out, but it also scored Gantt for a 5-1 lead. With two outs, Jonathan Quionez drew a walk before Juniel Querecuto lined another triple over first to complete the frame and bring it to 6-1.
In the third, Jake DePew reached on a two out popup in back of first base that landed in between L.J. Mazzilli and Cole Frenzel. Another walk to Quionez brought up Querecuto, who lined an opposite field single into left for Jared King. A perfect throw to Cam Maron skipped to the plate, and DePew slid feet first into the tag for the final out. Amazingly, the Stone Crabs only had one more baserunner for the rest of the evening when Granden Goetzman worked a two out walk against Mets reliever Tim Peterson.
Mortensen (1-1) had only allowed two baserunners from innings two through five when De La Cruz crushed a one out double in the sixth. Another double by Mazzilli made it 6-2, and another single by Maron put a pair of runners on for former first round pick Gavin Cecchini. He flied out to right for the second out, which brought out Marcus Jensen from the bullpen. A wild pitch scored Mazzilli to cut the deficit in half at 6-3, but Jensen fanned King for the final out before retiring the Mets in order in the seventh. Zach Cooper rebounded with a strong performance and a two inning save to give Charlotte a 6-3 victory to start the homestand.
Charlotte answered swiftly against Corey Baker in the home half once Coyle singled and Field was hit by the first pitch he saw. Patrick Leonard's two out single into left center scored Coyle to make it 5-2. Tyler Goeddel then took over and ripped a 1-2 pitch into the left field corner for a two-run double that got the Stone Crabs within a run at 5-4. A walk to Granden Goetzman spelled the end of the road for Baker, who handed off to Tuesday night's winner Chris Perry. A wild pitch got Goeddel to third as the tying run, but the righty struck out Soriano to squash the comeback effort. In the ninth, Perry picked up his fifth save by striking out the side and trimming the Stone Crabs magic number down to 11.
The series continues on Tuesday night at 6:30 PM as the Stone Crabs look to Reinaldo Lopez (7-4, 3.18 ERA) to help clinch the series. It's $2 Tuesday, where fans can get a reserved seat for just $2 and 12 oz. domestic drafts and sodas for only $2 until the end of the 5th inning! There are still great seats available, so visit www.stonecrabsbaseball.com or call 941-206-HITS (4487) to order your tickets now!
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Florida State League Stories from August 18, 2014
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