Curve Lose Early Lead; Howard Homers
Fort Myers Miracle 5, Bradenton Marauders 4
C Ramon Cabrera collected 3 hits and 2 RBI, but it wasn’t enough to overcome runs allowed by a pair of errors (one his own) as the Miracle took the win.
The Marauders started the scoring in the top of the 3rd. SS Benji Gonzalez doubled, CF Robbie Grossman walked, and 2B Jarek Cunningham was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out. Cabrera singled into left field, and both Gonzalez and Grossman scored. The inning ended abruptly when 1B Aaron Baker lined to his first base counterpart, who doubled Cabrera off first.
The Miracle came right back in the bottom of the inning with 3 runs to take the lead. Starter Nate Baker gave up a single, a walk, and a double to tie the score. A throwing error by Cabrera on a stolen base attempt allowed the go-ahead run to come in. Another single and another throwing error, by 3B Elevys Gonzalez, plus a fielder’s choice put two Miracle runners on base in the 5th. A double play erased the second runner, but the lead runner came in to score, and the Miracle had a 4-2 lead.
Bradenton tied the score again in the top of the 6th. Cabrera led off with a triple, and he scored on Aaron Baker’s RBI single. Two wild pitches moved Baker to third, and Elevys Gonzalez’s grounder to first let Baker score. Jhonathan Ramos relieved Nate Baker to begin the bottom of the 6th. Ramos allowed two singles, but a double play and a strikeout ended the inning, with the score still tied. Then in the 7th, a single, a bunt, and another single put Miracle runners on the corners, then the third single of the inning let the go-ahead run score.
The Marauders went down in order in the 7th. Cabrera singled in the 8th, but was left stranded. In the 9th, Elevys Gonzalez walked, but was erased in a double play. Diego Moreno replaced Ramos with one out in the 8th, and he finished the inning with a fly out and a ground out.
Kannapolis Intimidators 4, West Virginia Power 1
The Power were scoreless until the last inning, despite 4 hits and 3 walks over the first 8 innings. RF Justin Howard, who had 2 hits in the game, doubled in the 2nd inning, and LF Dan Grovatt also walked, but both were left on base. SS Drew Maggi was hit by a pitch in the 3rd, but was caught stealing second, as was CF Mel Rojas after his single in the 6th. C Elias Diaz doubled in the 5th, and the Power again had two runners on in the 8th, when 2B Kevin Mort singled and Maggi walked. All were left on base. The Power scored their only run on Howard’s solo home run in the 9th inning. After his homer, Grovatt and DH Kawika Emsley-Pai both walked, but again were left on base.
Tyler Waldron pitched 6 innings for the Power. He worked around one base runner in each of the first three innings, but did not allow a run to score. In the 4th, 4 singles and a walk drove in 3 runs for Kannapolis. A solo home run gave Kannapolis their final run in the 6th inning. Brooks Pounders took the mound for the Power in the 7th, and he pitched 2 scoreless innings, allowing a single and a double, with one hit batter.