Marauders Win Second Half Title; Walk-Off Homer For Gonzalez

Charlotte Stone Crabs� 4,� Bradenton Marauders� 1 ..�� (box)

The Marauders have won the Florida State League South Division title, by 1.5 games over Fort Myers, even though they lost today.� The Marauders did not have their hitting boots on today.� CF Austin McClune reached base on a fielding error in the 1st inning, but was left on base, and the next 8 batters went down in order.� McClune led off the 4th inning with a single and was erased in a double play.� The Marauders again went down in order in the 5th and 6th innings.� They threatened in the 7th, when DH Starling Marte singled and stole second base, then C James Skelton walked.� Again the inning ended without a run scoring.

Finally in the 8th inning, the Marauders scored their only run.� 3B Adam Davis led off with a single and LF Jordan Newton followed with a walk.� SS Greg Picart picked up the RBI with a line drive into center field, but Newton was thrown out at third base on the throw in from center.� A strikeout and a fly out ended the inning.� Skelton doubled in the 9th inning, but was left on base when the game ended.

Matt McSwain made the start for the Marauders, and was charged with the loss.� He pitched 4 innings and was responsible for 3 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks.� He gave up one walk in the 1st, but that runner was caught stealing.� He gave up the second walk in the 2nd, and got that runner out in a double play.� Two singles and a throwing error on a grounder force out gave Charlotte one run in the 3rd inning.� They picked up 2 more runs in the 4th inning, on a single, a double, and another single.

Casey Erickson pitched the next two scoreless innings, allowing one hit and a walk in the 5th, and a hit batter and a walk in the 6th.� Tyler Cox walked 2 batters in the scoreless 7th inning.� Tim Alderson took the 9th, and he gave up one more run on a single, a wild pitch, a walk, and a single.

These two teams will face one another in the first round of the Florida State League playoffs.� (Charlotte was the South Division winner in the first half of the season.)� That will be a best-of-3 series.� They will face off in Bradenton for the first game on Tuesday, then move to Charlotte for Wednesday’s game, and Thursday’s if necessary.�� The Dunedin Blue Jays (first half winners) and the Tampa Yankees (second half winners) will be playing in the other first round series.� The Championship round will begin on Friday, and that will be a best-of-5 series, with the winner of the North Division having home field advantage.

OF Quincy Latimore and reliever Noah Krol have both been named to the FSL end of season All-Star team.� Latimore leads the FSL with 100 RBI, 230 Total Bases, and he’s second in the league with 19 home runs.� Krol leads the FSL with 34 saves.

Altoona Curve� 3,� Reading Phillies� 2 ….��� (box)

Derek Hankins made a spot start for the Curve and pitched 3 scoreless innings to get the game off to a good start.� He faced only one batter over the minimum, allowing just a single in the 2nd.� The Curve batters were also quiet in the first two innings, then scored twice in the 3rd.� CF Anthony Norman led off with a walk, and Hankins dropped down a bunt for a single.� 2B Chase d’Arnaud also bunted, but that turned into a force out of Norman at third, leaving runners on first and second bases.� SS Jordy Mercer brought in Hankins with a line drive single up the middle, and 1B Matt Hague lined a double into left field, plating d’Arnaud, to give the Curve a 2-0 lead.

Hankins injured his hand somewhere between bunting in the 3rd, running the bases, and scoring (no details yet).� Mike Colla came on to replace Hankins.� He gave up a home run to former Indy Indian Tagg Bozied, cutting the Curve lead in half, 2-1.� Colla worked his way into and out of a jam in the 5th.� The inning opened with three consecutive singles, but Colla fielded a grounder back to the mound and fired back to the plate to force out the lead runner at home.� Two pop outs ended the inning.� Colla retired the side in the 6th, and then allowed two singles in the 7th, but did not allow them to score.

The Curve added an insurance run in the 6th, on singles by Mercer and LF Andrew Lambo, then an RBI double by C Hector Gimenez. They needed the insurance in the 9th.� Daniel Moskos worked around a single in the 8th, but gave up a run in the 9th on two walks and an RBI single.� The inning and the game ended with a grounder force out.

Curve manager Matt Walbeck has been named the Eastern League Manager of the Year.� The Curve have also announced team awards:� MVP — Catcher Hector Gimenez;� Pitcher of the Year — Rudy Owens; Reliever of the Year — Daniel Moskos;� Iron Man — Matt Hague;� Unsung Hero –� Josh Harrison.

State College Spikes� 6,� Williamsport Crosscutters� 2 ..� (box)

The Spikes wrapped up their season with a win, posting 10 hits along the way.� The Spikes got onto the scoreboard first, with a run in the bottom of the 1st.� CF Mel Rojas singled and stole second base, then advanced to third on a ground out.� DH Matt Curry brought in Rojas with a line drive single.� Williamsport tied the score in the top of the 3rd on a single, a stolen base, and scored on the throw in from a fly out.� The Crosscutters took a 2-1 lead in the 4th on two doubles.

The Spikes tied the score again in the 5th.� SS Drew Maggi led off with a single, and he stole second base.� Rojas was hit by a pitch, then both moved up a base on 3B Kelson Brown’s grounder to first base.� Curry was intentionally walked to load the bases, then RF Cole White plated Maggi with a sacrifice fly.

Williamsport helped the Spikes take the lead in the 7th.� With one out, Brown singled and Curry was hit by a pitch, and 1B Gerlis Rodriguez was intentionally walked.� 2B Kevin Mort took an unintentional walk, forcing in Brown with the go-ahead run.� Then the Spikes added some insurance with 3 runs in the 8th.� LF Pat Irvine led off with a walk.� Maggi dropped down a sacrifice bunt, but a throwing error put him safely on first and Irvine on third.� Maggi stole second, and a walk to Rojas loaded the bases. Brown slipped a single into left field, allowing Irvine to score.� A new Williamsport reliever struck out both Curry and White with runners on second and third, but Rodriguez lined a single into right field, scoring both Maggi and Rojas.� Brown also tried to score, but he was thrown out at the plate.

Colton Cain pitched 4 innings, allowing both of Williamsports’ runs, on 6 hits and no walks, with 6 strikeouts.� Kevin Decker pitched the next 4 innings and earned his 8th win of the season.� He gave up only one single in the 5th, and had a batter reach on a throwing error in the 6th, then finished his outing by retiring 9 straight batters.� Ryan Beckman pitched the 9th inning, working around a batter who reached on a missed catch error.

The Spikes finished their season with a 33 – 42 record.� They came in 5th in the New York-Penn League’s Pinckney Division, 12.5 games behind first place Batavia and 2 games behind fourth-place Auburn.� They also announced end-of-season awards:� MVP — Adalberto Santos; Pitcher of the Year –� Kevin Decker; Leadership Award — Chase Lyles and Cole White.

Author: Nancy Zinni

Nancy grew up in Rochester, NY, where her father indoctrinated her to the love of baseball as a small child. He taught her to keep score at the age of 5, and she hasn't stopped since. She now lives in the Indianapolis area with her husband and two sons. Nancy has followed the Indians on both the Most Valuable Network and the Bloguin group, before joining Pirates Prospects in 2011. She provides daily game recaps from Indianapolis, plus player analysis from the guys she sees live at the games.

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