Eighth Inning Sends Stone Crabs Past Tampa 6-4
TAMPA, Fla. - The Charlotte Stone Crabs took advantage of a season high nine walks Friday to come from behind and beat Tampa 6-4 at Steinbrenner Field.
The Stone Crabs (70-46, 35-15) trailed 2-0 after six innings, cutting the deficit in half on a wild pitch in the seventh.
Trailing by a run the top of the eighth, Kaleo Johnson drove a double to the wall in center. With two outs, Connor Hollis and Zac Law both drew walks to load the bases. The next batter was Jermaine Palacios, who lined a go-ahead two-run single to right to give Charlotte a 3-2 lead. Izzy Wilson then rolled a grounder to shortstop which was misplayed, allowing Law to score and make it 4-2. Zurak then issued a wild pitch, chasing home Palacios to cap the rally at 5-2.
The Stone Crabs tacked on a run in the ninth on a Moises Gomez home run to center to make it 6-2. Gomez is now one homer away from tying the Stone Crabs' single-season record.
Tampa (52-62, 24-24) rallied for two runs in the bottom of the ninth, but Jack Labosky completed two innings of work to earn his fifth save.
The pitching star for Charlotte was Justin Marsden (1-3), who went 3.1 hitless innings in his return from the injured list to earn the win.
Leading St. Lucie by two games in the division with 22 games left, the Stone Crabs will go for the series win at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday. Tommy Romero (9-4, 1.85) makes the start for Charlotte, against Alexander Vizcaino (1-0, 1.50) of Tampa. Coverage starts at 6:15 p.m. on the Stone Crabs Baseball Network.
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