Friday, September 5 brought Game Three of the Florida State League East Division Series played at Jupiter's Roger Dean Stadium. Starting pitcher for Palm Beach Cardinals was Mark Diapoules, a local product out of Palm Beach Community College. The Daytona Cubs starter was Hung-Wen Chen from Huailen, Taiwan. Both pitchers were making their 11th start of the season.
The Cubs got on the board right off the bat in the first inning. Thomas had a base hit ground ball up the middle, and Wright then hit a shot into left, Thomas stretched for home, and the throw by Henley to the plate was on time. However, Palm Beach catcher Nick Derba missed the ball, and Thomas slid into the plate safe. Then Lalli the DH hammered a fly ball off the centerfield wall to score Wright. After 1/2 inning the Cubs were up by two.
The Cards were three up, three down through the first four innings to remain scoreless. In the top of the 4th, Derba made an excellent throw to second base to catch Mota stealing and end the inning. Cardinal hopes were really starting to fade when Daytona scored two more runs in the fifth on walk, a RBI double in the gap by Adduci, and a fielding error by first baseman Matt Arburr on a 5-3 play. The Cards were redeemed slightly when Oliver Marmol caught a line drive shot and riffled the ball to first to double up the runner before he could get back to the bag.
In the bottom of the fifth, Palm Beach got their first hit of the game. After fouling back three pitches in a row and breaking his bat, Tyler Henley hit a ground ball blooper to first base. The first baseman flipped the ball to the covering pitcher, but not in time, as Henley beat out the throw to end Chen's no hitter. With two outs, Derba followed with a base hit fly that dropped into shallow center field, putting runners on first and second. With Mike Folli batting, Henley and Derba advanced to second and third on a dropped pitch by the Cubs catcher, Clevenger. The glimmer of possible runs scored was dashed when Folli struck out swinging on a 1-2 count. After five complete innings, the Cubs were up by four.
The Cards made a pitching change to Jose Mateo, a recent call up from Johnson City. Daytona was held scoreless in the 6th. Marmol got things started in the home 6th when he hit a shot into center field, and sliding into second base to stretch it into a double. Antone DeJesus hit a fly into deep left, and Marmol tagged up ran to third, but not in time, as he was thrown out by a mile. Pete Kozma then grounded out to short to end the inning.
Mateo gave up two hits and two runs in the seventh. The Cards' only hit in the seventh was a line drive shot into centerfield by Henley. Daytona was up 6-0.
Wayne Daman came in to throw a hitless 8th with one walk. Folli doubled into the right field wall with one out, only to be left on base with a ground out and fly outs by Marmol and DeJesus.
Casey Mulligan tossed a scoreless top of the ninth facing five batters, striking out one, with errors by Marmol and Folli, to put two runners on base. Palm Beach was unable to produce in the bottom on the ninth with three fly outs by Kozma, Hill and Henley.
Palm Beach Cardinals gave up the Florida State League East Division title to the Daytona Cubs 6-0, losing the three-game series two games to one.
Check out my photo album from the series here.
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