Bradenton Marauders Riding a Wave of Walk Off Victories

Alen Hanson, pictured bunting earlier in the game, picked up four hits including the walk off double.

Alen Hanson, pictured bunting earlier in the game, picked up four hits including the walk off double.

The Bradenton Marauders have now had three straight walk off victories. On Friday night, Alen Hanson came up in the bottom of the ninth inning with one runner on and the score tied at 5-5. Hanson had given up two errors in the top of the ninth inning, which cost Bradenton a two run lead. He made up for the errors, lining a triple off the wall in right to score Elias Diaz from second and win the game.

On Saturday the Marauders won in a little bit more of a dramatic fashion. Down 3-0 in the bottom of the eighth inning, they battled back to tie the game at 3-3. Dan Gamache capped off the eighth inning comeback with a one out double, bringing in Jose Osuna to tie the game. In the ninth inning Jose Osuna came up with the bases loaded and one out and lined a single past the second baseman for the win.

Today the Marauders had their most dramatic walk off, entering the bottom of the ninth down 3-0 and coming back to win 4-3. Osuna started it off with a walk, and moved to third on a Willy Garcia single. Carlos Mesa came up and lined a single up the middle to bring in the first run. The throw from center got away from the second baseman, and Mesa showed some smart base running to take second base. Jacob Stallings came up next and lined a single past the shortstop up the middle to bring in the second run. Mesa had to dodge the line drive, which prevented him from scoring on the play. That didn’t prevent the center fielder from throwing home. Stallings used that opportunity to make the second smart base running move of the inning, moving up and putting the winning run in scoring position.

Chris Lashmet was hit with a pitch to load the bases, and Taylor Lewis couldn’t tie the game with the bases loaded and no outs. Lewis grounded into a 3-2 fielder’s choice, but used his speed to beat the throw to first and keep the bases loaded. That brought up Hanson again, who lined the first pitch to the gap in right field for a walk off double, giving him his fourth hit of the day and the Marauders a 4-3 win.

“I thought the more important part was keeping them to three the whole day,” manager Frank Kremblas said of the comeback after the game, noting that the pitching today wasn’t great.

Robby Rowland didn't have his best stuff today, but the Marauders offense picked him up with four runs in the ninth inning for a walk off win.

Robby Rowland didn’t have his best stuff today, but the Marauders offense picked him up with four runs in the ninth inning for a walk off win.

Robby Rowland had a strong outing last time out, throwing six shutout innings. Today he didn’t have his best stuff. He was mostly working with his sinker and slider, and wasn’t throwing the changeup that often. Rowland ran into a few jams, but managed to keep the scoring low.

Two of the runs allowed came off solo homers to Ryan Riegler. The first came in the first inning, and the second one came in the fifth, both one out shots by Riegler. Rowland ran into a jam in the third when he gave up a two out single and hit the next batter, but he got out of it with a fly out.

One run that shouldn’t have been charged to him was in the fourth. Rowland started the inning with a leadoff grounder to short. Alen Hanson fielded the ball, stumbled, and threw late to first. Despite the stumble costing him the out, the play was ruled a hit. The batter stole second base on the next play, advanced to third when Jacob Stallings threw wild down to second, and scored on a single to the next batter. Rowland was saved another run when Willy Garcia showed off his plus arm to nail a runner at home for the second out of the inning. Garcia got the runner by about ten feet, making an amazing throw on a line and right to Stallings on the third base side of the plate, leaving Stallings with an easy play.

“I thought he did pretty good for not having much,” Kremblas said on Rowland, noting that he didn’t have his best stuff today. “Got out of some trouble at times.”

Joan Montero and Zac Fuesser came on in relief and combined for 4.1 shutout innings. Montero gave up one hit in 2.1 shutout innings, while Fuesser picked up the win with two perfect innings, including three strikeouts in the ninth inning.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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