As many of you know, Tuesday night's game was canceled due to rain in the bottom of the fifth after a three-hour rain delay. The Palm Beach Cardinals were leading the Daytona Cubs 4-0 behind two home runs by Steven Hill and starting pitcher Tyler Herron was throwing a two-hit shutout and just escaped a bases loaded jam in the fourth.
The Cardinals came into Wednesday night with an edge. They were 33-19 against the Cubs at Roger Dean Stadium including a 7-2 record this season. The Cardinals were 14-4 under manager Gaylen Pitts at the Dean against Daytona.
Pitts is in his second season as the skipper in Palm Beach. He holds the career record for wins and winning percentage at Palm Beach. He was recently named to the 2008 FSL post-season team as a coach. He was Joe Torre's bench coach from 1991-1994 and third base coach for St. Louis in 1995. He was also Texas League Manager of the Year in 1989.
The weather was nice and it seemed like a good night for a ball game. The home town crowd was sparse; unbelievably minor league baseball is not a big draw in Jupiter, Florida.
Despite only having a few members from the opening day starting lineup, Palm Beach has a lot of guys with solid numbers against the Cubs this season. Tyler Henley is hitting .349 with two home runs, 12 RBI and two stolen bases vs. Daytona. Antone DeJesus is hitting .400, Hill at .429 with six RBI and Brian Cartie is hitting at .296 clip. Nick Derba posted a .250 average vs. Daytona.
Wednesday night's starting pitcher was Nick Additon. Marking his fourth start in Palm Beach, Additon hadn't allowed an earned run in his last 13 innings. He earned Pitcher of the Week honors in the FSL for the week ending 8/24 and was the Cardinals Pitcher of the Month for June.
The Cubs had one base hit in the first, by Adduci, but he was thrown out trying to steal second and the Cards got out of the inning in three batters. In the bottom of the first, the Cards were three up, three down, DeJesus, Pete Kozma and Hill all struck out.
In the top of the second, Additon faced four as Matt Arburr booted a grounder for an error. DeJesus doubled up a runner at second on a fly ball to end the inning.
The Cards scored a run in the third, as Luke Gorsett doubled and Paul Vasquez had an RBI single. Cards up 1-0.
The Cubs came back in the fourth with base hits by Mota and Barney, and a sac bunt by Thomas to advance the runners. Adduci hit a ground ball double to left for two RBI as the Cubs led 2-1.
In the bottom of the third, DeJesus crushed a ball into center field for a triple! Kozma singled to center field, as DeJesus scores. Kozma was then thrown out stealing second for the third out. Tie game, 2-2.
In Palm Beach's bottom of the fifth, Oliver Marmol singled, and steals all the way over to third. Kozma's infield ground ball scores Marmol. Cards back up 3-2.
In the sixth, Casey Mulligan comes in to pitch for the Cards and gives up one earned run in 1.2 innings, to tie the game 3-3. For the Cards, Arburr and Gorsett walked, and Cartie's sac bunt advanced the runners. Vasquez' sac fly to right field scored one. Then Marmol singled home another, but he was thrown out trying to steal second. Cards 5-3.
In the top of the seventh with two outs, Samuel Freeman came in to replace Mulligan and struck out his only batter faced.
In the bottom of the seventh with runners on second and third for Palm Beach, the downpour began for the second straight night. The grounds crew struggled to cover the infield. There was a delay of 40-plus minutes this time. When play resumed, Gorsett doubled in the gap to score three runs! With the Cardinals holding an 8-3 advantage after seven innings, it appears they had the game sewn up.
Pete Parise came in to pitch for the Cards and the Cubs mounted a rally fueled by two errors in a row, by the third baseman and shortstop. With two outs, the Cubs singled to centerfield scoring one, cutting the lead to 8-5. Mota belted a ground-rule double to left field, followed by a single by Barney. Thomas pulled a bunt squeeze to score Mota.
The Cards brought in Davis Bilardello to pitch. He walked his batter to load the bases and was pulled for Wayne Daman. Daman gave up two runs before getting out of the inning. Cubs lead 9-8. All six runs were unearned.
Who would have thought a little rain would put this team in the tank!
Canzler's home run off Daman in the ninth put the Cubs up 10-8. Arburr hit a solo home run in the bottom of the inning, but it was not enough. The Cards gave the game away, as Daytona scored seven unanswered runs to take Game One of the Florida State League East Division playoffs, 10-9.
Palm Beach will head to Daytona Thursday night for Game Two at Jackie Robinson Ballpark. Right-hander Shaun Garceau will take on right-hander Marcus Mateo. Game time is slated for 7:05 p.m.
Fort Myers defeated Dunedin in two games to clinch the FSL West Division and will play the winner of this series for the league title.
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