The Jupiter Hammerheads are one win away from moving onto the Florida State League Championship series after beating the Palm Beach Cardinals Tuesday night. The two stadium-mates open the best of three FSL Divisional series, with the Hammerheads taking the first round 3-2 in extra innings at The Ballpark of
The Jupiter Hammerheads are one win away from moving onto the Florida State League Championship series after beating the Palm Beach Cardinals Tuesday night. The two stadium-mates open the best of three FSL Divisional series, with the Hammerheads taking the first round 3-2 in extra innings at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.
The Hammerheads clinched the playoffs for the first time since 2012, after winning the second half of the FSL East Division. Their neighbors, the Palm Beach Cardinals, are the first-half winners.
On Tuesday night, both starting pitchers set the tone. For the Hammerheads it was 18-year-old Noble Meyer pitching 3.2 hitless innings. The Marlins 2023 first-round draft pick struck out two batters and allowed just one walk in his postseason debut. The No. 1 overall prospect in the organization threw 55 pitches, with 38 going for strikes.
On the other side, Pete Hansen got the start for the Cardinals and pitched five shutout innings with four strikeouts and just two hits.
Palm Beach was the first to strike when Chase Davis connected for an RBI single to right field in the fifth inning.
The Cardinals would hold onto their 1-0 lead until the bottom of the eighth inning. With Johnny Olmstead standing on second base, Jan Mercado tied up the game with an RBI single.
Tied at one, both teams would score a run in the ninth inning. For Palm Beach, it was Jose Cordoba scoring after a fielding error. In the bottom half, Brett Roberts started things off with a lead-off double. A few batters later, Roberts would easily score courtesy of a Mark Coley double. Jupiter had the bases loaded with just one out but was unable to get the winning run across.
In extra innings, Jupiter’s bullpen strung together a 1-2-3 frame. To lead off the bottom of the tenth, Jordan McCants would hit a sacrifice bunt and Mercado would score the game-winner after a fielding error for the Cardinals to make it a 2-1 victory.
Beyond Meyer starting strong, the entire Jupiter pitching staff had a strong night limiting Palm Beach to just three hits. Xavier Meachem and Dale Stanavich each threw 2.1 innings of relief. For the later innings, the Hammerheads turned to FSL saves leader Evan Taylor, who pitched 1.1 hitless innings. Nigel Belgrave would get the final out for Jupiter and earn the win.
The Hammerheads and Cardinals will play Game Two of the Divisional Round on Thursday night at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Right-hander Jacob Miller is expected to get the start for Jupiter, as Palm Beach turns to RHP Hancel Rincon. The first pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available here. The first 250 fans into the ballpark will also receive a playoff rally towel presented by Fairfield Inn.
For Game One’s full box score, CLICK HERE