LAKELAND, Fla. (April 15, 2018) - The Charlotte Stone Crabs racked up a season-high 19 hits to beat the Lakeland Flying Tigers 9-6 Sunday afternoon, claiming the series at Publix Field.
Stone Crabs' (4-7) first baseman Nathaniel Lowe and Rays' No. 4 prospect Jesus Sanchez both homered for Charlotte and drove in multiple runs in the win.
After falling behind 1-0 in the first, Lowe clobbered a home run to the opposite field to tie the game at one in the second. Two batters later, Tristan Gray lined a double to right center. With Gray at second and two outs, David Rodriguez singled to right to bring in Gray and give Charlotte a 2-1 lead.
Still leading by one in the top of the third, Lucius Fox roped a double to right before Josh Lowe singled him to third. Two batters later, Nate Lowe bounced a single to center to score Fox and make the score 3-1. The next batter was Sanchez, who shot an opposite field homer to left center to score three and extend the Stone Crabs' lead to 6-1.
Lakeland (4-7) got a run in closer in the bottom of the inning on an Isaac Paredes home run to left. Down 6-2 in the bottom of the fourth, the Tigers' Cam Gibson doubled to the wall in right with two outs. Andres Sthormes promptly singled up the middle to bring home Gibson and make the score 6-3.
Stone Crabs starter J.D. Busfield worked four innings, allowing three runs before giving way to reliever Ivan Palaez (1-0). Palaez worked three scoreless innings, allowing two hits while fanning one.
With the Stone Crabs up 6-3 in the top of the sixth, Rodriguez singled to right before Miles Mastrobuoni drove a ball to left to put runners at second and third. After a flyout, Josh Lowe pulled a double down the right field line to score both runners and make the lead 8-3.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Stone Crabs got a walk and a single before Kevin Padlo drove in a run on a ground rule double to make the score 9-3.
The Flying Tigers added three runs in the ninth on a Chad Sedio three-run home run, but the Stone Crabs held on for a 9-6 win.
Charlotte will enjoy a day off Monday before beginning a six-game homestand against the Clearwater Threshers and Palm Beach Cardinals. Coverage of Tuesday's 6:35 p.m. series opener begins at 6:20 p.m. on the Stone Crabs Baseball Network.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.