Palm Beach Cardinals� 4,� Bradenton Marauders� 2 — Game 1 (box)

The Cardinals kept plugging away, one run at a time, in Game 1.� Starter Nate Baker pitched 6 innings, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits, no walks, with 3 strikeouts for the Marauders.� Baker retired the first 8 Cardinals’ batters in the game, then gave up a solo home run in the 3rd inning.� In the 4th inning, with two outs, three consecutive singles gave Palm Beach a second run.� They added the third run with another solo home run in the 6th inning.� Baker finished his appearance with a 1-2-3 inning in the 6th.

The first 11 Bradenton batters also went down in order.� CF Starling Marte picked up the first Marauders’ hit by beating out an infield single in the 4th.� He moved to second base on a wild pitch, then scored from second base on LF Quincy Latimore’s RBI single in to right field.� 1B Calvin Anderson started another rally in the 5th with a walk.� He went on to third base on 2B Adam Davis’ single through the hole into right field.� DH Jordan Newton drove in Anderson with a sacrifice fly.� Marte doubled in the 6th and Anderson singled in the 7th, but neither could come around to score.

Palm Beach picked up one more run off reliever Casey Erickson in the top of the 7th.� He gave up a single, a sacrifice bunt, a wild pitch, then an RBI single to bring in the run.

Marauders� 1,� Cardinals� 0�� — Game 2 (box)

The Marauders had produced only 5 hits in the first game, and they came back to take the night-cap on only 4 hits.� Three of those hits belonged to C James Skelton, and the other was SS Shelby Ford’s.

Ford singled to begin the bottom of the 1st, and he was sacrifice-bunted to second by RF Robbie Grossman. Two fielding errors on back-to-back plays put both Starling Marte and Quincy Latimore on base.� Ford advanced to third base on the first error, but the alert Cardinals’ shortstop threw him out at the plate after the second error.

Skelton doubled to begin the 2nd inning but was left on base.� He singled in the run-scoring rally in the 4th.� With one out, Jeremy Farrell walked, then Skelton singled, and Anderson loaded the bases when he walked too.� Adam Davis’ ground out let Farrell score the only run of the game.� Skelton singled again in the 6th and was again left on base.

Three Marauders’ pitchers combined for the 7-inning shutout.� Matt McSwain earned his second win with the Marauders, going 5 scoreless innings and scattering 5 hits and a walk, while striking out 3 batters.� He gave up a double and a single in the 1st, but got out of the jam with a double play.� Another double play turned behind him erased the single McSwain allowed in the 3rd, and a third double play erased the walk in the 4th.� McSwain also allowed a ground-rule double in the 4th and a single in the 5th, and those runners were both left on base.

Diego Moreno and Noah Krol each pitched a scoreless inning to wrap things up.� Moreno struck out one batter, and Krol struck out two, earning his 28th save.

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