Palm Beach began the scoring. After setting down the first five batters of the ballgame, Daytona starter James Russell ran into problems with two outs in the second inning. A double and a walk set up an RBI single for Cardinal catcher Paul Vazquez. Palm Beach led 1-0.
The Cubs wasted no time in responding. After back-to-back singles by Jonathan Mota and Darwin Barney, Tony Thomas bunted to advance both runners. Jim Adduci came up next and stroked a two RBI double, putting Daytona ahead, 2-1.
Antone DeJesus tripled to leadoff the third inning for the Cardinals. Pete Kozma followed that up with an RBI single to tie the game. Palm Beach went on to take the lead in the fifth inning after Oliver Marmol singled and then stole second and third base. Marmol scored on a fielder’s choice off the bat Kozma and the Cardinals led after five, 3-2.
Daytona again proved to be determined to not trail in the game. Russ Canzler came up with an RBI single in the top of the sixth, that tied the game, 3-3.
The Cardinals reclaimed their lead right away by scoring a pair in the bottom of the sixth. Todd Blackford came on in relief for Daytona and walked two batters before getting pulled. Both of those walks scored for Palm Beach. Vazquez cashed in on an RBI fly out and Marmol stroked an RBI single to pull Palm Beach ahead 5-3.
With runners at second and third with two outs in the bottom of the seventh for Palm Beach, the game was delayed due to rain. When the action picked up, Daytona reliever Blake Parker walked Matt Arburr to load the bases and then allowed a bases clearing double to Luke Gorsett. Give three RBIs to Gorsett and the Cardinals went up 8-3.
The Cubs mounted a bigtime comeback in the top of the eighth and it started with Palm Beach mistakes. Marquez Smith reached on an error by Kozma, scoring Ty Wright. After a pair of groundouts, Ryan Harvey drilled an RBI single to left field. Barney drove home another run on an infield single. Even with two outs, Thomas laid down a bunt and legged out another RBI infield single to pull Daytona within one, 8-7.
The Cubs kept it going. Adduci walked to load the bases. Wright came up and smacked a single, scoring two more runs and the Cubs took a 9-8 lead to cap off the six run inning.
Russ Canzler hit a solo homerun in the top of the ninth to pad the Cubs lead, 10-8. The Cubs needed the insurance. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Arburr drilled a solo homerun, dwindling Daytona’s lead down to 10-9. Brian Schlitter came on for the save.
The Cubs continue their playoff series against the Palm Beach Cardinals Thursday beginning at 7:05pm at Jackie Robinson Ballpark. Catch the broadcast on 1380 WELE at 6:45pm or right here on www.daytonacubs.com. For ticket information call 386-257-3172 or visit www.daytonacubs.com.