DAYTONA BEACH, FL - The Charlotte Stone Crabs got themselves out of an early hole to come back and defeat the Daytona Tortugas, 4-3, on Wednesday night in front of 1,288 spectators at Radiology Associates Field at Jackie Robinson Ballpark.
Daytona got off to a flying start courtesy of Narciso Crook. With two men on in the bottom of the first, he hit a deep fly ball to left which cleared the fence for his first long ball of the year to put the Tortugas ahead, 3-0.
Charlotte's comeback was slow but steady. Three straight men reached, with Brett Sullivan driving in Jake Cronenworth to cut the deficit to two, after three innings. Josh Rapacz grounded the third of his three singles down the left field line to score two in the sixth to tie things up. The Stone Crabs went in front for good after Angel Moreno reached with the bases loaded on a fielding error by Blake Butler that forced in a run in the top of the eighth.
Stone Crabs starter Michael Velasquez settled in beautifully in light of the Crook homer in the first inning. He permitted six hits, three earned runs, two walks, and struck out four Tortugas over six innings. Michael Santos (1-0) logged two quick innings out of the pen. Ian Gibaut earned his second save of the year by pitching the ninth.
Starter Jose Lopez didn't factor in the decision for the Tortugas. He surrendered nine hits, three runs (two earned), a walk, and fanned four. Robert Stock (1-1) issued out three free passes and allowed the game-winning run to score over 2 2/3 innings.
The series finale will feature the Tortugas trying to avoid a sweep and two pitchers looking to get on track. RHP Vladimir Gutierrez (0-2, 8.68) will make his third MiLB start still seeking his first win. The Stone Crabs will send RHP Eduar Lopez (0-2, 6.48) to the hill. The first Thirsty Thursday of the year will be held at the Jack with $1 beer and soda for all. The game will commence with first pitch at 7:05 PM and pregame starting at 6:45 PM on AM 1230 and AM 1490 WSBB.
Notes: Narciso Crook has hit safely in three straight games and banged his first homerun since April 23rd of last year while with Class-A Dayton… The Tortugas have lost four straight games for the first time since August 27th-29th, 2016 (two losses to Clearwater and Lakeland respectively)… Daniel Sweet recorded his fifth multi-hit game of the season and second 3+ hit contest in only 11 games played… Tanner Rainey added another perfect frame with two more K's to his impressive stat line
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.