The Jupiter Hammerheads are moving on to the 2023 Florida State League Championship. The Hammerheads win Game Two and sweep their stadium partners the Palm Beach Cardinals on Friday night to secure the title of East Division Champions. It will be Jupiter's first time in the Championship series since 2012,
The Jupiter Hammerheads are moving on to the 2023 Florida State League Championship. The Hammerheads win Game Two and sweep their stadium partners the Palm Beach Cardinals on Friday night to secure the title of East Division Champions. It will be Jupiter's first time in the Championship series since 2012, when they finished as runner-ups to the Lakeland Flying Tigers.
For the second straight game, the Hammerheads and Cardinals needed extra innings to decide a winner. This time, Jupiter outlasted them with a 7-6 win in the 11th inning.
Kemp Alderman got the scoring started by driving in Ian Lewis with an RBI double in the first inning. The Marlins 2nd round pick from the 2023 draft had a big impact on the contest, finishing the game 3-5.
After leading 1-0, the Hammerheads would see their lead quickly disappear after a three-run second inning from the Cardinals. Palm Beach would strike again in the third inning after a Joshua Baez solo home run.
Jupiter would respond and eventually tie the contest at four. In the fourth inning, Alderman would score after a Mark Coley RBI single. In the sixth, two runs would score with Coley around the action yet again. The Rhode Island graduate reached on a fielder’s choice as Brett Roberts and Alderman scored after a fielding error from Palm Beach.
The two teams would continue to go back and forth. In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Cardinals would take a 6-5 lead before Jan Mercado tied the game in the top of the eighth inning.
With the score tied at five, the two clubs would enter extra innings. Both teams would threaten in the 10th with runners reaching third, but both pitching staffs held strong to maintain the tie.
In the 11th frame, Lewis would lead things off with an RBI triple to score Mercado. The triple capped off a big day for the Marlins' No. 30 overall prospect who finished 2-5. Moments later, Lewis was able to score and give Jupiter a two-run lead. However, Palm Beach wouldn’t give up. The Cardinals tallied a run in the bottom half of the inning with a sacrifice fly from first-rounder Chase Davis. In a 7-6 game and with two outs, the Hammerheads bullpen was able to get the final out and punch a ticket to the Championship.
Both pitching staffs needed five arms to survive the extra-innings marathon. For the Hammerheads, right-hander Jacob Miller got the start and pitched four innings. The 13th overall prospect for the Marlins gave up four runs and struck out three batters before being relieved.
First out of the bullpen for Jupiter was Collin Lowe. The righty faced 11 batters and pitched three innings for the Hammerheads. After the Connecticut native, Josh Ekness, Evan Taylor, and Riskel Tineo combined for four innings to close things out for Jupiter.
Ekness allowed just one hit in his lone inning pitched. Taylor would earn the win after two shutout innings with just one hit allowed, and Tineo worked the final frame to earn the save.
After securing the final out, the Hammerheads emptied the dugout to celebrate on the field. Jupiter will host Game One of the Florida State League Championship at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches on Sunday, September 17 at 6:00 PM. The Hammerheads will square off against the Wet Division champs, the Clearwater Threshers, who outlasted the Lakeland Flying Tigers in three games. Game Two and Three (if necessary) of the Championship series will take place at Clearwater.
CLICK HERE for tickets to Game One
CLICK HERE for Friday’s full box score