STONE CRABS: Charlotte drops a game after nearly two-month delay

By Bryan Levine, SunCoast Sports

PORT CHARLOTTE — After 59 days, 19 hours and 30 minutes, a game between the Charlotte Stone Crabs and St. Lucie Mets from June 30 was completed on Monday.

Due to a power outage, the two teams were unable to complete the game, which was tied 3-3 with two outs in the bottom of the sixth, Bralin Jackson on third base, Jace Conrad on first, and Cristian Toribio at bat with an 0-2 count.

The teams are both fairly different since the initial delay.

Jackson has since been placed on the disabled list, so Nathan Lukes took his place on third. Starting pitcher Brent Honeywell was promoted to Double-A shortly after the original game, and reliever Andrew Bellatti has long since been removed from his rehab stint, so Henry Centeno took the mound in the seventh.

Shortstop Alec Sole and right fielder Justin Williams have also been promoted.

The Sun even had a different Stone Crabs beat writer when it began.

But once play resumed on Monday, Toribio struck out looking to begin the night. Centeno retired four batters, and then, there was another delay.

Eventually, the Mets won 4-3.

The delay was significantly shorter this time, as a long rain shower halted play for two hours and 41 minutes.

St. Lucie’s Patrick Biondi scored from second base on a double-steal attempt. Catcher Mac James elected to throw to second base to try to catch Jonathan Johnson, who was running from first, but the throw got away from Jake Cronenworth covering the bag.

That allowed Biondi to score the game-winning run in the top of the ninth.

The Stone Crabs didn’t have any runners reach base in the resumed portion of Monday’s game.

But how did they get to a 3-3 game in the sixth inning?

Back in June, St. Lucie left fielder Kevin Taylor hit a two-out, two-run, first-inning home run to put the Mets ahead 2-0 out of the gate, and the visitors were poised to strike again when they loaded the bases with one out against Honeywell in the third.

After the Stone Crabs and Mets exchanged runs in the fourth and sixth innings, respectively, on a Jackson sacrifice fly and Taylor RBI single off Bellatti, the home team entered the bottom half of the sixth down by just two.

James led off and reached when Mets shortstop couldn’t handle the hop on a hard-hit groundball that deflected off the hand of Chris Flexen, who finished his outing with three runs (one earned) on six hits and five walks over 5 2⁄3 innings.

Alec Sole followed with a walk, but the St. Lucie right-hander picked up two of his four strikeouts with whiffs from Williams and Joe McCarthy to get to two outs.

That left it up to Jackson and Conrad, the former who came through with an RBI single to left field and the latter who legged out a game-tying infield single to Jhoan Urena at third base.

Josh Vitale contributed to this story.

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