The struggles against the Milwaukee Brewers aren’t just for the major league level. On Wednesday the Bradenton Marauders, the high-A affiliate for the Pirates, went up against the Brevard County Manatees, the high-A affiliate for the Milwaukee Brewers. The Manatees had Drew Gagnon on the mound, who was an unsigned prep pitcher taken by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 10th round of the 2008 draft. After three years at Long Beach State University, Gagnon was taken in the third round by Milwaukee in the 2011 draft.
Gagnon was dealing this morning, to the tune of seven perfect innings. He struck out ten batters, including Gregory Polanco all three times he faced him. He also struck out Taylor Lewis in all three at-bats, and Dan Gamache in both at-bats. Gagnon was very efficient, throwing 84 pitches and 56 strikes on the day.
A light, but steady rain was falling throughout the entire game, which might have been helping both pitchers. Eliecer Navarro also had a strong start for the Marauders, giving up one run on two hits in six innings, with a walk and nine strikeouts. Emmanuel De Leon came on in relief and threw two shutout innings, allowing one walk, one hit, and striking out four.
The Manatees removed Gagnon for the eighth inning and brought in Seth Harvey in relief. Harvey got Jose Osuna to pop out for the first out of the eighth inning. However, he followed that by giving up the only hit of the game to Dan Gamache. That broke up the perfect game and the no-hitter. Harvey got Willy Garcia to fly out to center, and caught Gamache stealing second to get out of the inning.
The rain picked up in the ninth inning, and the players were pulled off the field after Jhondaniel Medina went to a 3-2 count on the leadoff hitter. The game was eventually called early due to rain, giving the Manatees a one hit, 1-0 victory.
Marauders Win Suspended Game
Last night’s game against the Manatees was also delayed by rain, and suspended in the seventh inning. Adrian Sampson was dealing in the first five innings, and carried a 4-0 lead into the sixth. That’s when Sampson fell apart, giving up four runs on the inning, including a three run homer to tie the game.
In the very next half inning the rain started, and the game was suspended. Without the four runs, the Marauders might have won a shortened game. It didn’t matter in the end, as the game was resumed this morning, and the Marauders took the win in extra innings.
In the bottom of the 10th, Junior Sosa led off with a single, then moved to third base on a single up the middle by Alen Hanson. With two outs in the inning, Gregory Polanco came to the plate, and the Manatees responded by bringing in a left-handed reliever. That was a strange move for high-A ball, but also a strange move considering the lefty Polanco has crushed left-handed pitchers in his career. Polanco didn’t come through with a big hit, but did hit a hard grounder to the right of the first baseman. The first baseman ranged over, tried to pick up the ball, but got it trapped under his glove, allowing Polanco to reach safely, and allowing Sosa to score the winning run on a walk off error.
Zach Thornton picked up the win, after pitching two perfect innings with one strikeout. Zac Fuesser also threw two shutout innings when the game resumed. Sampson finished with four runs on eight hits and a walk in six innings, with one strikeout. He threw 76 pitches, with 52 strikes. Four of the hits and the walk came in that four run sixth inning.