Charlotte Stone Crabs 5, Bradenton Marauders 4
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The Marauders fell short in their 9th-inning rally, losing to the Stone Crabs tonight. The Marauders out-hit the Stone Crabs 13 – 11, with 1B Aaron Baker leading the offense with 3 hits.
Starter Brett Sinkbeil gave up one run to Charlotte in the top of the 1st, on a single, two steals, and an RBI ground out. He also gave up two more singles, but left those runners on base. Marauders’ DH Calvin Anderson snatched the lead away from Charlotte in the bottom of the inning, with a 2-run homer after Baker’s double.
Charlotte tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the 3rd, with a double, a steal of third base, and another RBI ground out. Sinkbeil gave up the go-ahead run in the top of the 5th, beginning with a lead-off single. The next two batters flied out, and each time the runner tagged up and advanced one base. An RBI single brought him in from third base. After a fielding error put a second runner on, Sinkbeil was relieved by Duke Welker, who ended the inning with a ground out. The Marauders came right back in the bottom of the inning with a single by RF Robbie Grossman, a stolen base by Grossman, and an RBI single by Baker. Score tied at 3-3.
Welker got into trouble in the top of the 6th, though. With one out, a single and a walk put two runners on, and they pulled off a double steal so that both were in scoring position. An RBI single into left field brought in both runners to score, giving Charlotte a 5-3 lead.
The Marauders threatened in the 8th. Singles by Baker, Anderson, and 3B Elevys Gonzalez loaded the bases with one out. The rally was abruptly halted when LF David Rubinstein bounced into a double play. Ryan Beckman pitched a scoreless top of the 9th, allowing a single and a walk, then the Marauders had one more chance. The bottom of the 9th began with back-to-back singles by C Carlos Paulino and SS Kelson Brown. Grossman’s sacrifice bunt moved both into scoring position for 2B Jarek Cunningham. Cunningham brought in Paulino with a sacrifice fly, but that was all the Marauders could get, as Baker grounded out to end the game.
Altoona Curve 11, New Britain Rock Cats 10
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The Curve had to come from behind twice to earn this 10-inning win. The two teams combined for 33 hits — 20 for New Britain and 13 for the Curve. Four errors, including 3 in one inning, hurt the Rock Cats, and let the Curve catch up the first time.
New Britain got the scoring started with a big 4-run 2nd inning. With Mike Colla getting the start for Altoona, a single, a stolen base, and a ground out put the first Cats runner on third. An RBI single drove in that run, then another ground out and another RBI single brought in a second run. A 2-run homer gave New Britain a 4-0 lead. The Curve got one run back in the bottom of the 2nd. Back-to-back lead off singles by 1B Matt Curry and 3B Jeremy Farrell put two runners on. Curry moved to third base on a double play (Farrell was erased), then DH Anthony Norman brought in Curry with another single.
The Rock Cats added 2 more runs with another 2-run homer in the top of the 4th. The Curve answered with 3 in the bottom of the 4th. LF Quincy Latimore walked, and Curry singled. This time it was Curry who was erased in the double play, while Latimore scored from third on the play. C Tony Sanchez singled, and he scored on Norman’s double. Norman scored on RF Brad Chalk’s single, and the Curve were closer: 6-4.
The Curve got within one run in the bottom of the 6th, when Curry homered for his third hit of the game. Norman also doubled in the inning and moved to third on a balk, but was left on base. Aaron Thompson took over for Colla, who was responsible for the first 6 runs on 8 hits in 4 innings. Thompson pitched two scoreless innings, aided by two double plays. New Britain increased their lead again in the top of the 7th, with a walk, a single, and a double that drove in both runners — Rock Cats ahead 8-5.
The Curve finally caught up in the bottom of the 7th, with the help of three errors by the Cats. 2B Brock Holt reached base on a throwing error by the New Britain first baseman and CF Starling Marte reached on a fielding error by the third baseman. SS Jordy Mercer walked to load the bases. The next two batters lined out and struck out, then Farrell cleared the bases with a huge double lined into center field, to tie the game at 8-8. A fielding error in center let Farrell advance to third base, but the inning ended with a strikeout, leaving Farrell there.
Donnie Veal came on to pitch the 8th. He gave up a 2-out single and a double, but ended the inning with a ground out, to preserve the tie. Veal began the 9th with two singles and a sacrifice bunt that did not result in an out, loading the bases. A fly out was too short to bring in a run, then a grounder to short let Mercer fire back to Sanchez, forcing out the lead runner at the plate. Noah Krol relieved Veal with two outs, and Krol got a ground out to end the threat.
The Curve went down in order in the 9th, and managed only a single by Mercer in the 9th, and the game headed into extras. With Krol still on the mound in the top of the 10th, a double and a sacrifice bunt put the lead-off runner onto third base. Krol intentionally walked the next batter, but two singles brought in two runs. A line out and a ground out ended the inning, but the Rock Cats had a 10-8 lead.
Then the Curve pulled off a miracle in the bottom of the 10th. Farrell walked to begin the rally, then Sanchez singled and Norman walked, loading the bases with no outs. Chalk brought in Farrell with a sacrifice fly. After a pitching change for the Cats, Holt walked to load the bases again. Marte was hit by a pitch, forcing in the tying run (Sanchez). Then Mercer lifted another sacrifice fly to center field, allowing Norman to score the winning run.