Despite dominating the regular season series with the Charlotte Stone Crabs, the Fort Myers Miracle could not recapture that success in the first round of the Florida State League playoffs.
The Miracle won the first eight times the two teams squared off this season and won the season series 11-6. The Crabs won four of the last six meetings before this week's best-of-three South Division Championship series. It was the Crabs coming out on top in the postseason, too, winning two pitching duels with the Miracle 1-0 and 2-1 in 10 innings.
It's wait until next year, now, for the Miracle who have to watch from the sidelines as the Stone Crabs advance to the best-of-five FSL Championship series against the North Division Champion Daytona Cubs that started Thursday in Daytona.
Miracle starting pitcher Taylor Rogers threw nine innings allowing three hits with nine strikeouts in Wednesday night's extra-inning disappointment at Hammond Stadium. Crabs pitcher Dylan Floro was nearly as good, tossing eight scoreless innings while surrendering five singles while walking one and striking out three.
The game remained scoreless until the top of the 10th when Zack Jones replaced Rogers and gave up a leadoff single. After a stolen base, a walk and a bunt put runners at second and third, Jones' first pitch-out toss turned into a wild pitch plating one run. Another wild pitch with two outs allowed the second run to score.
The Miracle got on the the bottom half of the 10th. Matt Koch led off with a single and took second on a wild pitch. A ground out moved him to third and another ground out by A.J. Pettersen sent Koch home to make it 2-1.
The season ended for the Miracle when Levi Michael cracked a fly ball deep to center tracked down by Willie Argo shy of the wall for the final out.