Stone Crabs Make It 5 Straight
PORT CHARLOTTE, FL (July 30, 2014) - There's been one constant for the 2014 Stone Crabs: effort and resilience. Entering Wednesday night's matchup with the Yankees, Jared Sandberg's team had a chance to win their fifth straight game for the second time all season. And thankfully, it all came together thanks to a wild fourth inning in which the `Crabs sent 12 batters to the plate, scoring seven runs on seven hits. The surge carried them to a 9-4 win in front of 912 at Charlotte Sports Park, setting up the opportunity for a sweep in the finale on Thursday night.
The offense got off to a blistering start against Tampa righthander Brett Gerritse, who lost in a relief appearance against the Stone Crabs back on June 5. Tommy Coyle's slow grounder to the right side of the infield with one out snuck underneath both Greg Bird and Angelo Gumbs for an error in the first. Patrick Leonard then scooped a curveball into center field to send Coyle to third before Justin O'Conner brought him in with a hard chopper into center field.
Jared Mortensen's second start with Charlotte was quite impressive given that he matched a season-high for starters with nine strikeouts across four innings. In the third, Jose Rosario led off with an infield before scoring on Danny Oh's game-tying double. Aaron Judge squirted a soft liner to first that Leonard leapt up for to snag the first out. Greg Bird's first triple of the year gave the Yanks a 2-1 lead, but Mortensen closed strong by striking out the next two hitters and the side in the fourth.
In the bottom of the fourth, the game completely turned on the Yankees. Three straight singles by the bottom third of the order sent up Johnny Field, who gave the Stone Crabs a 4-2 lead with a two-run double down the left field line. Yeicok Calderon had a hard time getting it back to the infield, giving Granden Goetzman enough time to score from first on the error. Another single by Coyle and an errant pickoff attempt from Gerritse scored Field to make it 5-2. Leonard delivered another infield single, and Gerritse (3-6) was out after surrendering six consecutive base hits to open the frame. Ramon Benjamin quickly walked O'Conner to load the bases before throwing a wild pitch that scored Coyle for a 6-2 lead. Tyler Goeddel cracked a double down the left field line that hopped over the wall to the left of the foul pole to score two more runs and make it 8-2. Yankees manager Al Pedrique was then ejected by home plate umpire Alex McKay for arguing that the ball initially landed foul, and Benjamin finally ended the inning by picking up three quick outs.
With Ryan Garton coming out of the bullpen, the Yankees scored their final two runs in the sixth because Gumbs and Culver singled with two outs. Trent Garrison took advantage of the wind blowing out towards center and sent a two-run double over Field's head to cut the deficit to 8-4. However, Garton (5-1) struck out Rosario before retiring the side in order during his final inning in the seventh. O'Conner opened the bottom of the inning against Jacob Lindgren with a base hit down the right field line. In a wild sequence, Aaron Judge bobbled the pickup before throwing the ball away from third base, and O'Conner scored on the double and the two errors for a 9-4 advantage. Colton Reavis pitched the final two innings for the `Crabs, and got Oh to ground out to second to end the game after a two out triple by Rosario in the ninth.
The Stone Crabs will go for the sweep on Thursday night at 6:30 PM when Jordan Harrison (1-2, 4.03 ERA) takes on Tampa's Miguel Sulbaran (2-1, 2.76 ERA). It's Trop Rock Night at Charlotte Sports Park! Join us early for the National Anthem performed by Jack Mosley, plus a 1-hour post game concert by Chris Sacks (presented by The Parrot and songwriterssland.com). Special tickets are also available for a Sonny's BBQ pre-game picnic. 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 July 30, 2014
- Cards Miss Opportunities Late, Fall to Tigers - Palm Beach Cardinals
- Threshers Fend off Miracle Rally, Win 8-7 - Fort Myers Miracle
- Stone Crabs Make It 5 Straight - Charlotte Stone Crabs
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- Brunch N' Baseball - Tampa Yankees
- Cubs Edge Mets 4-3 and 6-5 to Sweep Doubleheader - St. Lucie Mets
- Mets Break Through with a 7-6 Win over Dunedin in 12 - St. Lucie Mets
- Tuesday's Game Between Mets and Blue Jays Postponed - St. Lucie Mets
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