Palm Beach's Shaun Garceau helped his hometown team avoid elimination with a gritty performance Thursday night.
The 21-year-old right-hander worked in and out of trouble for 6 2/3 innings as the Cardinals forced a decisive third game in the Florida State League East Division Finals with a 5-4 victory over the Daytona Cubs at Jackie Robinson Ballpark.
Garceau (1-0), who starred at Royal Palm Beach High School before St. Louis drafted him in the 20th round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, helped the Cardinals bounce back after they squandered a five-run lead in Wednesday's series-opening 10-9 loss.
The 6-foot-1, 185-pound West Palm Beach native gave up two runs on six hits and four walks with four strikeouts, stranding eight runners before Samuel Freeman got the final out in the seventh.
Freeman gave up two runs on two hits and a walk with one strikeout over two frames before Pete Parisi fanned Russ Canzler with the tying run at second for his first postseason save.
Garceau, who revealed earlier this week that it would be a thrill to capture a championship in front of his family and friends, extended the series to a decisive Game 3 at Roger Dean Stadium on Friday. The winner will meet the Fort Myers Miracle, which swept the Dunedin Blue Jays in the West Finals.
After going 0-2 with a 2.05 ERA in seven appearances at Class A Quad Cities, Garceau joined the Cardinals in May and went 8-4 with a 3.42 ERA in 18 outings, including 17 starts.
Mike Folli's two-RBI single highlighted a four-run fourth inning for Palm Beach, which is trying to win its first FSL title since 2005.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.