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Crabs finish off Miracle in 10 innings

September 5, 2013
Special to the Breeze ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

The Charlotte Stone Crabs defeated the Fort Myers Miracle 2-1 in 10 innings Wednesday at Hammond Stadium to sweep the Miracle in the best-of-three Florida State League South Division Series.

The Stone Crabs advance to the FSL Championship Series against either Daytona or Dunedin while the Miracle season is over.

Like game 1, Wednesday's second game was a pitchers' duel. Miracle starter Taylor Rogers tossed a gem. He went nine innings, allowing just three hits while striking out nine.

Stone Crabs starter Dylan Floro nearly matched Rogers pitch-for-pitch. He tossed eight scoreless innings and gave up just five singles. He walked one and struck out three.

The game remained scoreless until the top of the 10th. Zack Jones replaced Rogers and gave up a leadoff single to Richie Shaffer. Shaffer then stole second by avoiding Levi Michael's tag despite being beaten to the bag by catcher Matt Koch's throw.

Alejandro Segovia then walked to put runners on first and second. Hector Guevara bunted the runners up to second and third.

Jones was set to intentionally walk Jeff Malm to load the bases, but his first attempt was high and got away from Koch. Shaffer took off from third and scored on the wild pitch. Later in the 10th with two outs, Jones threw another wild pitch and pinch runner Kes Carter scored from third to make it 2-0.

The Miracle got on the board for the first time in the series in their half of the 10th. Koch led off with a single and moved to second on a wild pitch. A ground out moved him to third and another ground out by A.J. Pettersen brought him home to make it 2-1.

Levi Michael cracked a fly ball deep to center off of closer Nate Garcia, but Willie Argo tracked it down just shy of the wall to end the game and send the Miracle to the offseason.

Jacob Partridge was credited with the win. Garcia got his second save of the series. Jones took the loss.

The Stone Crabs held the Miracle scoreless for the first 18 1/3 innings of the series. The Miracle came into the series 11-6 against the Stone Crabs this season, including winning the first eight. The Crabs won five of the last six regular season meetings plus the two playoff games.

Scoring opportunities were hard to come by through the first nine innings. The Miracle had their best chance in the eighth. With runners on first and second with two outs, Floro struck out Byron Buxton to end the threat.

The Crabs had even fewer chances. Argo singled in the fourth but was later caught stealing. Charlotte didn't get another hit until there were two outs in the ninth. Rogers came back to strike out Argo.

The Miracle, who won the FSL South Division in the first half, finished the regular season 79-56.



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