The Curve wasted no time in returning fire.� D’Arnaud led off the bottom of the 5th with a single lined into left field.� A pick-off attempt resulted in a missed catch error, and the ball skittered down the right field line.� Unfortunately for d’Arnaud, the ball skipped out of play, and he had to hold up at second base, instead of racing along to third.� He did move up to third base, tagging up when Harrison flied out.� Mercer was hit by the first pitch he saw, putting runners on the corners.� Hague popped out next.� With two outs and a 0-2 count on Gimenez, the Senators were just thinking about relaxing a bit — until Gimenez ripped a line drive into the right field corner, scoring d’Arnaud with the go-ahead run.� Mercer moved to third base on the play.� The Senators elected to walk Lambo, in order to pitch to Durham, but the first pitch to Lambo sailed all the way to the backstop, and Mercer scored from third base.� That meant that they were going to have to pitch to Lambo after all, and he took advantage of the opportunity, with a line drive double off the base of the left-center field wall, scoring Gimenez with the third run of the inning, and giving the Curve a 6-3 lead.
The Curve threatened again in the 8th inning but could not take advantage of a Harrisburg error.� With two outs, Durham reached base when the Senators’ second baseman let a ball fall in, charged with an error.� Pinch hitter Yung Chi Chen was intentionally walked, then pinch hitter Jose De Los Santos was unintentionally walked to load the bases.� But a new Senators’ pitcher was able to strike out d’Arnaud to end the inning and leave three runners on base.
After finishing up the 5th inning, Derek Hankins worked around two lead-off singles in the 6th.� He gave up one run in the 7th, on a lead-off triple followed by an RBI ground out.� He allowed a single after the run scored, then another single in the scoreless 8th.
Daniel Moskos took over for Hankins to begin the top of the 9th, and he made things a little too interesting, throwing a few too many balls and not very many strikes.� He walked the first batter of the inning, then gave up a single through the left side of the infield, for runners on first and third.� Then Moskos got the next batter to smack a sharp grounder to SS Jordy Mercer, who started the 6-4-3 (Mercer to d’Arnaud to Mague) double play.� With the lead runner on third base, Moskos threw two balls, but then evened up the count at 2-2, before getting the batter to look at strike three to end the game.
The series moves to Harrisburg for Game 3 and 4.� In the other half of the Eastern League playoffs, the Trenton Thunder scored the only run of the game with a one-out solo home run in the bottom of the 12th inning, defeating the New Hampshire Fisher Cats 1-0.� The Fisher Cats have yet to score a run in this series.
Charlotte Stone Crabs 2, � Bradenton� Marauders� 1 …������� (box)
This game got started on time, and both starting pitchers breezed through the first inning.� The top of the 2nd began with a strikeout, then C Eric Fryer walked and 1B Calvin Anderson was hit on the helmet by a pitch (he was ok, and continued in the game).� Then the skies opened up, and there was a 2+ hour rain delay.� This was starter Nate Adcock’s third rain out game in his past 4 starts, and each time, he got in one scoreless and hitless inning before having the rest of his start washed away.
Tonight, when play finally resumed with one out and two Marauders on base, a grounder force out by DH James Skelton put Fryer on third base and Skelton on first, but Anderson was out at second base.� 3B Adam Davis drilled a double into left field, scoring Fryer from third base, and the Marauders had a 1-0 lead.
Matt McSwain came on in place of Adcock for the restart.� With one out, McSwain gave up back-to-back singles.� Then he got the ground ball to second base which should have been a double play.� But the wet ball wouldn’t stick in 2B Shelby Ford’s hands, and the error left the bases loaded.� The next batter lined a single into left field, where Quincy Latimore came up with the ball and returned it to the infield quickly enough so that only one run scored.� The bases were still loaded, though, and a walk forced in the go-ahead run, to give Charlotte a 2-1 lead.
McSwain went on to pitch 3 more scoreless innings, allowing a walk and a single in the 4th.� He got out of that jam with a stellar double play.� With runners on second and third and one out, a fly ball to short left field was again quickly handled by Latimore for the second out.� Latimore made a perfect throw to home, where Fryer had planted himself in front of the plate for the easy swipe tag of the runner trying to tag up and score from third.
The Marauders had not been doing much at the plate after scoring in the 2nd.� Ford walked in the 3rd but was picked off first base.� The next 9 batters went down in order, until RF Robbie Grossman singled in the 6th.� Skelton singled in the 7th and SS Greg Picart singled in the 8th, but none of them scored.
Casey Erickson pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 6th.� He gave up a lead-off double in the 7th, then promptly picked the runner off second base.� He got into trouble in the 8th inning, when he struck out the first two batters, then walked the next two.� Erickson was relieved by Tyler Cox, who walked the first batter he faced to load the bases, then struck out the next batter looking to hold the Charlotte lead to just one run.
That left the Marauders one more chance.� CF Starling Marte grounded out to first, then Latimore grounded out to short.� Fryer kept the Marauders alive with a single that fell in to short right field.� Adenson Chourio came on to pinch-run for Fryer.� But Anderson struck out to end the inning and the Marauders’ season.
The Stone Crabs will advance to the championship round, where they will face the Tampa Yankees.
In the International League playoffs:
The Durham Bulls tied up their series against the Louisville Bats with a 6-2 win.� The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees also tied up their series against the Columbus Clippers with a 5-4 win.� Former Indy Indian C Luke Carlin helped the Clippers tie the score when he started a rally in the 7th with a double, then came around to score.� He also walked in the 8th inning rally that tied the score.� The Yankees broke the tie with a run in the top of the 10th on a walk, a stolen base, and an RBI single.� Another former Indy Indian and Pittsburgh Pirate, John Van Benschoten, pitched the bottom of the 10th for the Yankees and earned the save.