Bradenton Marauders 5, Fort Myers Miracle
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The Marauders had a 2-run lead going into the bottom of the 9th, but some last-minute heroics by the Miracle put the game into extra-innings.
Brett Lorin got the start for Bradenton. After retiring the side in order in the 1st inning, Lorin gave up one run in the 2nd on a single, a hit batter, and a fielding error. A single followed, so the run was not ruled unearned. Lorin allowed a double in the 3rd and worked around a walk in the 4th, then retired the side again in the 5th. He began the 6th with a walk, and was relieved by Jhonathan Ramos. The first batter Ramos faced lined a double into left field to bring in the runner from first. A fielding error and a sacrifice fly added another run for the Miracle.
The Marauders were hitless through the first 4 innings, though 2B Jarek Cunningham and LF David Rubinstein did reach base on walks. With two outs in the 4th inning, 1B Aaron Baker doubled into center, and DH Calvin Anderson lined a single into right field, to drive in Baker. In the 5th, again with two outs, SS Benji Gonzalez doubled, and he also scored on a single, this one by RF Robbie Grossman. That temporarily gave the Marauders a 2-1 lead. The two runs by the Miracle in the bottom of the 6th gave the lead back to Fort Myers, 3-2.
The Marauders regained the lead in the top of the 7th, when Anderson walked and CF Evan Chambers blasted a 2-run homer. Three consecutive walks after the homer loaded the bases, but a new Miracle reliever came on, and he got a strike out, an infield fly rule pop out, and a ground out to end the inning without further scoring. Grossman added an insurance run in the top of the 9th with a solo homer, to give the Marauders a 5-3 lead.
Ramos pitched 2 more scoreless innings, then gave way to Ryan Beckman for the bottom of the 9th. The Miracle began the inning with back-to-back singles, then a sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position. Beckman got a strikeout, then gave up a 2-RBI singled on a liner into left field. Another strikeout ended the inning, but the score was tied at 5-5, and the game headed into extra innings.
C Ramon Cabrera led off the top of the 10th with a double into left field, and he advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Baker. Chambers walked, but the two runners were left on the corners when a ground out ended the inning. Benji Gonzalez singled and Grossman walked in the 11th, but again the runners were left stranded.
Duke Welker came on to pitch the bottom of the 10th. He put two runners into scoring position with a pair of walks and a wild pitch, then struck out the next two batters to end the inning and preserve the tie. Welker put the side down in order in both the 11th and the 12th.
DH Adalberto Santos walked in the 12th, but was doubled off first on a short fly out. The Marauders went down in order in the 13th. Zach Foster replaced Welker for the bottom of the 13th. He hit a batter in that inning, but did not allow a run.
Finally in the top of the 14th, the Marauders squeaked out a run. Grossman led off with a walk, and moved to second base on 2B Kelson Brown’s sacrifice bunt. Cabrera lined a single into right field, and Grossman raced around from second to score. Cabrera stole second, then moved to third on a throwing error by the Miracle catcher. Baker walked and Chambers was hit by a pitch to load the bases, but a fly out ended the inning, with just one run in. It turned out to be the only run the Marauders needed. Foster retired the side in order in the bottom of the inning, striking out the last two batters to end the game and earn the win.
West Virginia Power 1, Hickory Crawdads 0
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The Power used a minimum of power at the plate, but a lot of pitching power to take their first game in the series against the Crawdads. Three Power pitchers held Hickory to just 4 hits in the shutout. Colton Cain allowed 2 hits and 2 walks in his 6 shut out innings. The biggest threat he faced came in the 5th, with a lead-off single and a walk, but a double play got Cain out of the inning. Zac Fuesser gave up one hit and one walk in 2 scoreless innings. He gave up the walk to begin the 7th, but then struck out the next three batters. He allowed a single in the 8th, but then picked him off first base. Fuesser was credited with the win, since he was the pitcher of record when the Power’s lone run scored. Victor Black pitched the 9th inning. He gave up a lead-off single, then erased that runner with a double play. A strikeout ended the inning.
The Power posted 9 hits, and 4 of them were singles by SS Drew Maggi. CF Mel Rojas had two hits, a single and a double. The Power loaded the bases in the top of the 1st, on singles by both Maggi and Rojas and a walk by 1B Justin Howard, but the inning ended with three left on base. Maggi and RF Dan Grovatt both singled in the 3rd, but Maggi was caught stealing home. to end the inning. Maggi singled with 2 outs in the 5th and Rojas doubled with two outs in the 6th. Maggi’s fourth single began the 8th inning — a liner back to the mound. A throwing error by the Hickory pitcher allowed Maggi to advance to second base. 2B Andy Vasquez bunted Maggi to third, then Howard lined a double into right field, scoring Maggi with the only run of the game. The Power had a small threat in the 9th, when LF Cole White singled and 3B Eric Avila walked, but a double play cut that rally short.
GCL Tigers 5, GCL Pirates 4
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A 4-run first inning by the Tigers had the Pirates trying to play catch-up all afternoon. With Jimy Hernandez making the start for the Pirates, the Tigers opened the game with a single, a wild pitch, and an RBI single. A stolen base and a ground out brought in another run, then a double and a 2-run homer gave the Tigers a 4-0 lead. Hernandez had a better 2nd inning, allowing only a walk.
The Tigers got one of the runs back, in the bottom of the 1st. SS Alen Hanson led off with a double, moved to third on 3B Francisco Aponte’s infield single, and scored on a balk. DH Jon Schwind tripled in the 4th inning, and scored on C Joey Schoenfield’s RBI single, and the Pirates added another run in the 5th when Aponte was hit by a pitch, stole second, advanced to third on 2B Yonathan Barrios’ single, and scored on RF Gregory Polanco’s sacrifice fly. That cut the Tigers’ lead to 4-3.
Brayan Almonte took over for Hernandez to begin the 3rd inning, and he pitched 3 scoreless frames. He retired the Tigers in order in the 3rd and 4th
(2 strikeouts). He gave up a lead-off single in the 5th, but that runner was doubled off second in a fly-out double play. A fielding error and another single put two Tigers on base, but Almonte got a pop out to end the inning. David Jagoditsh made his pro debut by pitching the 6th inning. He gave up one run on a triple and a sacrifice fly. Isaac Sanchez pitched the last three innings for the Pirates, and faced the minimum — he had one batter reach on a fielding error, but Schoenfeld threw him out when he tried to steal second base.
The Pirates added one more run in the bottom of the 7th. CF Ping-Hung Chi led off with a walk, and Hanson doubled, moving Chi to third. A wild pitch from a new Tigers’ reliever let Chi score from third. Hanson advanced to third on the wild pitch, and he tried to tag up and score on a fly out, but was thrown out at the plate.