PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (August 17, 2019) - The Charlotte Harbor Hippies overwhelmed the St. Lucie Mets 8-1 at Charlotte Sports Park Saturday, earning Charlotte the highest second-half win total in franchise history.
The Stone Crabs (76-48, 41-17), renamed the "Hippies" this weekend to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, surpassed the 40-win mark Saturday - a total that only the 2018 team had reached.
The Charlotte victory extends their division lead to 5.5 games over St. Lucie (67-56, 35-22) with 14 games remaining, putting the Stone Crabs' magic number at 10.
The Hippies got the scoring going quickly against Mets starter Tylor Megill (3-3). After Rays rehabber Joey Wendle reached on an error and stole second, Ronaldo Hernandez clobbered an RBI double to the wall in left to make it 1-0.
Still leading by that margin in the third, Zac Law lined a single to right. Two batters later, Wendle laced a run-scoring double to the left field corner to extend the lead to 2-0.
Hippies starter Tobias Myers (7-1) went five innings strong to earn the win, allowing one run on four hits while striking out four.
After St. Lucie cut the deficit to 2-1 on a Cody Bohanek home run in the fifth, they loaded the bases in the sixth with two outs against Charlotte reliever Justin Marsden . Marsden then struck out Manny Rodriguez to hold the lead.
With the Hippies up 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth, Hernandez and Moises Gomez both lined singles. After a pitching change, Kaleo Johnson smoked a two-run double to the wall in center to extend the lead to 4-1. After a walk and single loaded the bases, Wander Franco drove in a run with a walk to push things to 5-1. Charlotte scored one more run on an error to cap the rally at 6-1.
The Hippies added two more runs in the seventh on a Garrett Whitley double to the left field corner.
Charlotte will go for the sweep of St. Lucie at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday. Michael Plassmeyer (6-2, 2.26) is scheduled to start for Charlotte, against Kyle Wilson (4-8, 4.05) of the Mets. Coverage begins at 12:15 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.