PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - The Charlotte Stone Crabs pushed the Fort Myers Miracle to the brink of elimination by edging the Miracle 1-0 in game 1 of the Florida State League South Division Series on Tuesday at Charlotte Sports Park.
The best-of-three series heads to Hammond Sta-dium for game 2 today day at 7:05 p.m. The Stone Crabs can advance to the FSL Championship Series with a victory while a Miracle win would force a deciding game 3 on Thursday at The Bill.
The Stone Crabs scored the only run of Tuesday's game with two outs in the bottom of the sixth. Jeff Malm lifted a 2-0 pitch from Matt Summers into right field that plated Jake Hager from second.
The inning started with a single from Willie Argo. Hager replaced Argo on second when he grounded into a fielders choice. Hager then went to second on a single by Drew Vettleson. Summers got Richie Shaffer to fly out, but Malm singled to break the scoreless tie. With runners at the corners, Summers got Alejandro Segovia to line out to keep the game 1-0.
Stone Crabs starter Felipe Rivero tossed six scoreless innings. He walked three but induced two ground ball double plays - one in the first and another in the fifth off the bat of Levi Michael which came with one out and runners on first and second.
The best chance the Miracle had to score came in the sixth. Stephen Wickens singled with one out and advanced to second on a wild pitch. He moved to third on fly out by Byron Buxton, but D.J. Hicks grounded out to first to end the threat.
Reliever Andrew Bellatti retired all six batters he faced in the seventh and eighth.
Nate Garcia allowed a one out single to Buxton in the ninth but came back to strike out Hicks. Kennys Vargas flew out to deep left field to end the game.
Tyler Duffey pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Summers.