Smith, Burke, Sullivan Lead Stone Crabs
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - Brett Sullivan drove in five runs and the Charlotte Stone Crabs' pitching staff continued to dominate in a doubleheader sweep of the Tampa Yankees Tuesday at Charlotte Sports Park.
Burch Smith (1-0) and Brock Burke (1-3) each earned wins while shutting out the Yankees over the first 11 innings of action Tuesday night.
Game 1 was a continuation of the teams' June 29 contest in which the Stone Crabs (44-48, 13-11) owned a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning.
Smith worked around trouble to notch four scoreless innings, walking five and allowing three hits while fanning three.
With Charlotte leading 2-0 in the bottom of the seventh, David Olmedo-Barrera and Angel Moreno both singled before Alec Sole drew a walk to load the bases with nobody out. Jim Haley then drove a ball to center field to plate Olmedo-Barrera on a sacrifice fly and give the Stone Crabs a 3-0 lead. After a walk and a pitching change, Sullivan yanked a grand slam to deep right to open up a 7-0 Charlotte lead.
In Game 2, Burke surrendered just four hits over six shutout innings, striking out six. It was the first time in five starts with Charlotte that he completed five innings.
Meanwhile, the Stone Crabs' bats got the scoring going early. Ryan Boldt doubled with one out in the first inning before Sullivan drove him in with a two-out single to give Charlotte a 1-0 lead.
Up by that margin in the third, Stone Crabs center fielder Thomas Milone and shortstop Peter Maris both singled. After a fielder's choice moved Milone to third, Yankees starter Brian Keller (0-2) issued a wild pitch, allowing Milone to score and make the score 2-0.
That was all the support Burke would need. Reliever Jaime Schultz gave up a home run to Nick Solak in the seventh, but struck out two to earn his first save.
The Stone Crabs' pitching staff has now allowed just three earned runs over their last five games, posting a 0.64 ERA over that span. They've struck out 40 batters while walking only 13 over that span (1.00 WHIP).
The Stone Crabs will look to clinch the series over Tampa Wednesday morning at 10:05 a.m. Eduar Lopez (6-7, 4.58) makes the start for Charlotte against Taylor Widener (5-6, 3.94) of the Yankees. Coverage begins at 9:50 a.m. on the Stone Crabs Baseball Network
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