DANVILLE, Va,- On a day that saw the moon darken the sun in the Danville sky, the Danville Braves' chances of making the playoffs grew even dimmer with a 3-2 loss to Princeton Monday night. The Braves couldn't hold a 2-1 lead, surrendering a pair of runs in the 9th before the game ended in controversy.
Danville (28-30) drew first blood in the 2nd when catcher Alan Crowley drove home Justin Smith on a single. But a single by Princeton catcher Andrew Miller scored Bryce Brown in the 4th to tie the game at 1-1. Braves' starter Huascar Ynoa delivered his most solid outing in a Danville uniform, surrendering just the lone run in five innings of work, but would ultimately come away with a no-decision.
Danville would regain the lead in the bottom of the 7th when Nick Shumpert laced a single to right field, scoring a run. Landon Hughes would be summoned by Danville's manager Nestor Perez to try and protect the 2-1 lead in the 8th. He retired the Rays' batters with little trouble in the top of the 8th but a sacrifice fly mixed in with a trio of singles scored two runs and put Princeton (23-34) on top, 3-2 in the 9th.
In the bottom of the 9th, Danville's second batter Griffin Benson reached on a fielding error by Princeton first baseman Billy King. He was replaced by pinch runner Ray Michel. Up stepped Crowley and delivered a fly ball to right field that would easily allow Michel to tag up and advance to third. The Rays appealed, saying that Michel had left second base before the ball was caught, and base umpire Nickelas Bray agreed, calling Michel out and ending the game. Perez, who was coaching third base raced over to protest, but to no avail.
The Braves and Rays conclude their three game series at a special start time of 11 a.m. on Tuesday. It's Dare Day at the ballpark as well as $2 Tuesday presented by Terry Blakely State Farm. Jaret Hellinger, who has shuttled between the bullpen and the rotation in 2017, will make the start. He struggled in his most recent outing out of the bullpen, but in his last start he delivered six shutout innings at Burlington. For tickets, call 434-797-3792 or go online to dbraves.com
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.