Hippies Halt St. Lucie 8-1
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - The Charlotte Harbor Hippies overwhelmed the St. Lucie Mets 8-1 at Charlotte Sports Park Saturday, earning Charlotte the highest second-half win total in franchise history.
The Stone Crabs (76-48, 41-17), renamed the "Hippies" this weekend to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, surpassed the 40-win mark Saturday - a total that only the 2018 team had reached.
The Charlotte victory extends their division lead to 5.5 games over St. Lucie (67-56, 35-22) with 14 games remaining, putting the Stone Crabs' magic number at 10.
The Hippies got the scoring going quickly against Mets starter Tylor Megill (3-3). After Rays rehabber Joey Wendle reached on an error and stole second, Ronaldo Hernandez clobbered an RBI double to the wall in left to make it 1-0.
Still leading by that margin in the third, Zac Law lined a single to right. Two batters later, Wendle laced a run-scoring double to the left field corner to extend the lead to 2-0.
Hippies starter Tobias Myers (7-1) went five innings strong to earn the win, allowing one run on four hits while striking out four.
After St. Lucie cut the deficit to 2-1 on a Cody Bohanek home run in the fifth, they loaded the bases in the sixth with two outs against Charlotte reliever Justin Marsden. Marsden then struck out Manny Rodriguez to hold the lead.
With the Hippies up 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth, Hernandez and Moises Gomez both lined singles. After a pitching change, Kaleo Johnson smoked a two-run double to the wall in center to extend the lead to 4-1. After a walk and single loaded the bases, Wander Franco drove in a run with a walk to push things to 5-1. Charlotte scored one more run on an error to cap the rally at 6-1.
The Hippies added two more runs in the seventh on a Garrett Whitley double to the left field corner.
Charlotte will go for the sweep of St. Lucie at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday. Michael Plassmeyer (6-2, 2.26) is scheduled to start for Charlotte, against Kyle Wilson (4-8, 4.05) of the Mets. Coverage begins at 12:15 p.m. on the Stone Crabs Baseball Network.
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Florida State League Stories from August 17, 2019
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