On a night defined by dominant pitching, it was a pair of pitches that got away that determined the fates of Charlotte and Fort Myers on Wednesday night.
Dylan Floro worked eight scoreless innings and the Stone Crabs took advantage of two wild pitches in the 10th to beat Fort Myers, 2-1, and advance to the Florida State League Championship Series.
Floro struck out three and held the Miracle to five hits in a classic duel with Taylor Rogers, who fanned nine and allowed three hits over nine scoreless innings. Zach Jones struggled in the 10th, however, uncorking two wild pitches that led to a pair of runs -- and the end of Fort Myers' season.
"I'm just happy for our team. It's come a long way from the start of the year and for us to be here playing for a championship, it pretty unbelievable," Charlotte manager Brady Williams said. "These pitchers, like tonight, are resilient and they're in the moment, they're keeping us going and doing a really nice job."
Neither team managed much over the first nine innings, but the Stone Crabs put together an unlikely rally in the 10th. Jones replaced Taylor to start the frame and allowed a leadoff single to Richie Shaffer, who stole second, was sacrificed to third by Hector Guevara and raced home on a wild pitch.
After two walks, including an intentional pass to Jeff Malm, Jones threw another wild pitch with the bases loaded, allowing Kes Carter to scamper home with an insurance run.
Fort Myers got on the board in the bottom of the 10th when Matt Koch singled and scored on Adam Pettersen's groundout. But Nate Garcia popped up Levi Michael to complete a sweep of the best-of-3 South Division series and record his second postseason save. Jacob Patridge (1-0) picked up the win after tossing a scoreless ninth.
"Their pitcher (Jones) lost command a bit and we were able to capitalize on some mistakes. We were fortunate, we put ourselves in good situations," Williams said. "We struggled offensively all night. Rogers has had our number all season. He's a young, up-and-coming, tough lefty and we finally got him out of the game after nine innings."
Williams, who played five seasons in the Minors before becoming a manager in 2009, praised Floro, a 22-year-old who threw complete games in two of four starts following a promotion from Class A Bowling Green.
"He loves the spotlight," Williams said of Floro, who threw 95 pitches and faced 28 batters. "He's a big-game pitcher and he proved it tonight. He competes on the mound, he has good stuff, but he's also a thinker out there. He did a nice job. Since he's come here, he's done nothing but -- I don't want to say wow us, but he's got the whole staff going because of how he competes. He has been outstanding for us over the last month."
Charlotte will play Daytona, which swept Dunedin, in the best-of-5 Championship Series, beginning Wednesday. The Stone Crabs won all six meetings with the Cubs this season.
"Whoever we play, we're happy to be here, happy we've made it this far," Williams said. "We'll compete and give it our best."