The Bradenton Marauders were eliminated from the first round of the 2011 Florida State League playoffs tonight when the St. Lucie Mets pushed across the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning, winning 4-3. Nathan Baker provided the third straight strong start for Bradenton, but the offense which scored ten runs last night couldn’t built a big lead against the Mets tonight.
St. Lucie took an early lead in the second inning, thanks to a few throwing errors. Stefan Welch led off with a single, and moved to third two batters later on a throwing error by Nathan Baker. Welch scored on a throwing error by catcher Carlos Paulino on a caught stealing attempt to second base.
Baker would allow just one hit over the next three innings, while allowing Bradenton to tie the game in the fourth and take the lead in the fifth. The Marauders had a one out double from Adalberto Santos in the fourth inning, and tied the game on a two out double by Evan Chambers, bringing in Santos. Bradenton took the lead in the fifth inning on a Benji Gonzalez single. Carlos Paulino led off with a single, then moved to second on a ground out by Kelson Brown, scoring on a two out single by Gonzalez to take a 2-1 lead.
Nathan Baker pitched a good game, going seven innings and allowing one earned run on four hits, with a walk and five strikeouts. The earned run came in the sixth inning, when Pedro Zapata hit a solo homer, tying the game at 2-2.
Bradenton took the lead back in the eighth inning. Benji Gonzalez led off the inning with a single, and scored on a one out single from Ramon Cabrera. Bradenton had the bases loaded with two outs, but couldn’t score any more runs, with Carlos Paulino grounding out to end the inning. Ryan Beckman came on in the eighth inning and gave up three singles, resulting in one run to tie the game at 3-3.
The two teams remained tied going in to the tenth inning. Bradenton got a two out double from Elevys Gonzalez, but couldn’t bring him in. Zach Foster came on to pitch the tenth inning for the Marauders, getting two outs but giving up a walk. Left hander Tyler Cox came on for one batter and issued a walk. He was replaced by Victor Black, who gave up a walk off single, giving St. Lucie the series.
The player of the series for Bradenton would have to be Adalberto Santos, who hit for a .467 average, including three hits in each of the first two games.