Jupiter, FL - The Palm Beach Cardinals (57-79, 25-43) got a single from Dylan Tice in the tenth inning to beat the Charlotte Stone Crabs (64-70, 31-34) by a final of 6-5.
Junior Fernandez (0-2, 5.36 ERA) looked great early and started to struggle in the sixth inning. He went 5.1 innings giving up four runs (one earned), on two hits, walking two and striking out four.
The Cardinals jumped out to an early lead in the third inning to go up 2-0. Juan Herrera started the inning with a triple to right. Junior Fernandez drew a walk and stole second with Oscar Mercado up to the plate. Mercado then took a ball the other way to score Herrera and bring Fernandez to third. Mercado stole second and Grayson brought in Fernandez on a sacrifice fly to take the 2-0 lead after three.
Charlotte took the lead in the top of the sixth scoring four runs on two hits. Andrew Velasquez started the frame off with a leadoff walk and got to second as Jace Conrad reached on an error by Tice. Fernandez hit Grant Kay to load the bases for Joe McCarthy who struck out swinging. With one away, Cristian Toribio hit a single through the hole at second base to bring in Velazquez and Conrad. Landon Beck came in to replace Fernandez Kay scored on a sacrifice bunt off the bat of Riley Unroe. Nathan Lukes drove in one more on a ground rule double to take the 4-2 lead.
Charlotte scored another run to make it 5-2 in the seventh. Jonah Heim started the inning with a double and got to third on a wild pitch. Heim then came across to score when Velazquez took a ball to right for a single.
The Cardinals got out of a bases loaded jam in the top of the eighth to keep it a three run game. The Cardinals pulled within one in the bottom of the eighth. Casey Grayson drew a two out walk and got to third on a Danny Diekroeger double down the left field line. Thomas Spitz hit a double of his own to deep centerfield to score Grayson and Diekroeger to make it a 5-4 game.
In the bottom of the ninth the Beach Birds tied it up. Herrera got things going with a single to right and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Jose Fernandez. Mercado drove a ball to deep center that got Herrera to third. Brayan Pena came up with two outs and hit a bloop single that fell right between the centerfielder and right fielder that allowed Herrera to come in and tie the game.
Charlotte got two on with nobody out in the top of the tenth and advanced them both on a sacrifice bunt. Kyle Grana came into the game to relieve Cody Schumacher and got two strikeouts to leave both runners stranded.
Casey Grayson started the bottom of the tenth with a walk and Danny Diekroeger hit a single to get Grayson to second. Spitz laid down a perfectly executed sacrifice bunt to put Grayson at third with Dylan Tice at the plate. Tice took the first pitch that he saw in the tenth through the right side to bring home Grayson and win the game.
Stat of the Game
1 - Tonight was the first time that the Cardinals had won a game after trailing after eight innings.
- Mercado stole his 33rd base of the season tonight.
- Grayson notched his 44th RBI of the season on his sacrifice fly.
- Aledmys Diaz went 0-3 with a walk in his rehab start at DH.
The Cardinals will play their final game of the 2016 campaign tomorrow at 10:30 against the Charlotte Stone Crabs.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.