BRADENTON, FL - It was a long night for the Charlotte Stone Crabs, but nearly five hours after the scheduled first pitch, they at least came away with a victory.
The Stone Crabs scored eight times in the final four innings and, despite losing two leads along the way, hung on to defeat the Bradenton Marauders 9-7 on Friday night at McKechnie Field.
The game took three hours and 25 minutes, the longest nine-inning game the Stone Crabs have played this season. In addition, the game didn't start until 8:01, after a one hour and 31 minute rain delay. The game concluded at 11:26 pm.
With the victory, the Stone Crabs remain three games out of first place with ten to play, behind both the St. Lucie Mets and the Jupiter Hammerheads, who are tied in the top spot. Charlotte does not play Jupiter again this year, but they do host St. Lucie for four games next week, and the Mets and Hammerheads play each other in the final four games of the year.
The Stone Crabs received a big boost from Rays infielder Nick Franklin, who rehabbed and played second base. Franklin went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI on the night.
Charlotte received big offensive performances from its regulars as well. Jace Conrad went 3-for-4 and drove in a run, while Nick Ciuffo had three RBI and a double. Jake Cronenworth had a double as well, and Joe McCarthy notched two hits and scored twice.
The Stone Crabs and Marauders get going again on Saturday night at McKechnie Field. LHP Greg Maisto makes his Charlotte debut against Bradenton RHP Yeudy Garcia (6-8, 2.74). First pitch is set for 6:30.