Whitefield, Blankenhorn go deep in 6-4 win

Charlotte rally falls short in ninth, Stone Crabs strand 12

(Linwood Ferguson)

By Andrew Bern / Fort Myers Miracle | April 6, 2018 10:39 PM

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Travis Blankenhorn finished a triple shy of the cycle to help the Fort Myers Miracle improve to 2-0 on the season with a 6-4 win over the visiting Charlotte Stone Crabs (0-2) Friday Night at Hammond Stadium.

For the second straight night, the Stone Crabs jumped out to an early lead, plating a run in the top of the first inning. Peter Maris doubled to right and scored on a Nate Lowe single.

In the bottom of the second inning, the Miracle tied the score. With two on and two out, Shortstop Nelson Molina collected his first RBI of the season on an infield single to second.

In the bottom of the third, Miracle Centerfielder Aaron Whitefield hit a long homerun to left to put the Miracle in front 2-1. Then in the fourth, Blankenhorn connected on a high fastball, driving one over the wall in right to extend the Miracle lead to 3-1.

The Stone Crabs would answer with a three run fifth inning. After a David Olmedo-Barrera triple, Tristan Gray drove in the Stone Crabs left fielder on a fielder's choice. Following two singles and a walk, Kevin Padlo gave the Stone Crabs a 4-3 lead on a two RBI hit to right.

In the bottom of the sixth, Blankenhorn's strong performance continued with a hustle double. He'd score the tying run on a Lucius Fox fielding error.

In the top of the seventh inning, Whitefield made the game's pivotal play - a diving catch on a Jesus Sanchez line drive with the bases loaded that kept the game tied at four.

Miracle Catcher Caleb Hamilton drew a four pitch walk to start the bottom of the eighth. Two batters later, Jaylin Davis, who collected his third outfield assist earlier in the game, doubled in Hamilton in what proved to be the game's winning run. Davis would score on a wild pitch to finish the Miracle scoring.

Miracle Right-hander Tyler Wells (0-0) pitched four innings of one run baseball before a parade of relievers finished off the Miracle win. Logan Lombana tossed 0.2 innings, allowing three runs on three hits. Andrew Vasquez followed with 1.1 scoreless innings before Colton Davis (1-0) tossed two shutout innings to earn the win. Alex Robinson pitched out of bases loaded one-out trouble in the ninth to earn his first save of the season.

Stone Crabs Right-Hander Brandon Lawson (0-0) pitched four innings, yielding three runs on five hits. J.D. Busfield was next out of the bullpen, lasting two innings and allowing an unearned run. Deivy Mendez (0-1) suffered the loss after allowing two runs in two innings of work. He struck out four.

The Miracle and the Stone Crabs shift their season opening series to Port Charlotte on Saturday night with first pitch set for 6:05 p.m. from Charlotte Sports Park.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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