Miracle Take Friday Opener 5-2
PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - With all of the remaining 10 games in the 2014 season filed under the "Must Win" category, the Stone Crabs had very little room for error. A tough road ahead started with the Fort Myers Miracle after the final scheduled off day. Having already won the first half title in the South Division, the Miracle were primed to play spoiler. And they did just that, thanks to seven strong innings from Matt Tomshaw on the way to a 5-2 victory before a crowd of 1,897 at Charlotte Sports Park.
There have been times throughout the year where the `Crabs have rattled the cage of an opposing starter early, only to dim the rest of the way. With two Major Leaguers down on rehab assignments at the top of the order, singles from David DeJesus and Ryan Hanigan got it started. Maxx Tissenbaum's grounder back to Tomshaw forced out Hanigan at second right before Patrick Leonard made it 1-0 with a slashing single through the right side of the infield.
Blake Snell retired the side in order in the first and second, and appeared to be on his way out in the third. Jason Kanzler's stellar debut against the Stone Crabs began with a leadoff infield single before he stole second. Snell struck out the eight and nine hitters in the order, but Aderling Mejia blooped a game-tying single into right center after fouling off several 0-2 pitches. A walk to Niko Goodrum preceded a big two run double from Travis Harrison that broke the 1-1 tie and gave Fort Myers a 3-1 lead.
Snell (5-6) left after the fifth ineligible for the win despite no further runs across. Meanwhile, his offense sputtered to the tune of just a pair of singles from Tyler Goeddel in the fourth and Hanigan in the sixth. Jose Molina followed Kevin Brandt's perfect sixth by surrendering a leadoff triple to Kanzler in the seventh. Two batters later, Bryan Haar delivered his first Florida State League RBI with a sacrifice fly to right that put the Miracle on top 4-1.
Tomshaw finally came back down to Earth in the seventh when Johnny Field's one out double extended his hitting streak to 10 games. Two pitches later Tommy Coyle came through with an opposite field single into left to score the run and get the Stone Crabs back to within a pair at 4-2. The Miracle added their final run in the ninth off Colton Reavis following a leadoff double by Kanzler. A sacrifice bunt from the catcher Jairo Rodriguez pushed him to third, and Reavis' wild pitch went to the backstop to put the final touches on the 5-2 final.
The second game of the series is Saturday night at 6:00 PM when Jaime Schultz (1-0, 2.92 ERA) goes up against Ethan Mildren (2-2, 5.66 ERA). It's Military Appreciation Night, and all current and former military personnel get free entry to the game. The first 1,000 fans will also receive a 2014 Stone Crabs Team Photo! There are still great seats available for the rest of the weekend homestand, 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 22, 2014
- Brevard rallies back to stun Clearwater in extras - Brevard County Manatees
- Miracle Take Friday Opener 5-2 - Charlotte Stone Crabs
- Threshers Swept in Doubleheader by Manatees - Clearwater Threshers
- Cardinals Edge Marauders to Remain in First - Palm Beach Cardinals
- Tomshaw, Kanzler Crack Crabs in 5-2 Win - Fort Myers Miracle
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