By Don Mahon
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. – Fireworks were the order of the night, both on the field and after the game on Rotonda West Night at the Charlotte Sports Park.
Some 120 RW residents filled Section 216 Saturday night to watch the Charlotte Stone Crabs manage only two hits but still outscore the Tampa Yankees, 3–1.
It was a strange game. Highly rated Yankees pitcher James Kaprielian took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, but the Stone Crabs manufactured three runs on a walk, a squeeze play and Yankee misplays – but no hits.
Stone Crabs starter Chris Pike matched Kaprielian pitch-for-pitch. Kaprielian, from Tustn, Calif., was the New York Yankees’ 2014 first round draft pick and currently is ranked the fourth-best prospect in the organization. Pike, from Watermill, NY, was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the ninth round of the 2014 draft.
Fans were treated to a colorful and thunderous post-game fireworks display to cap off the evening.
Before the start of the game, a large cheer went up in Section 216 when Rotonda West’s Charlotte Plizga let fly the ceremonial first pitch. It landed just short of home plate, but drew cheers anyway. She had won the “‘first pitch” contest at the ticket sales.
Many Rotonda West fans were spotted wearing Stone Crabs and Tampa Bay Rays gear, while a spattering wore uniform jerseys with the recognizable Yankees logo.
“Rotonda West Night” is an annual event sponsored by the Rotonda West Association’s Community Relations Committee led by Earl Haas, working with Hallie Rubins of the Stone Crabs Marketing Department.
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