Bradenton Marauders 8, St. Lucie Mets 4
Rain cut short the game tonight, but not before the Marauders put up a big 5th inning, and not before DH Calvin Anderson hit his second game-changing home run in two days. The Marauders started their scoring in the top of the 1st. RF Robbie Grossman singled and 2B Jarek Cunningham was hit by a pitch to begin the game. After a grounder force out swapped CF Evan Chambers for Cunningham, 1B Aaron Baker walked to load the bases. 3B Elevys Gonzalez’s infield single and a throwing error by the Mets’ pitcher allowed both Grossman and Chambers to score.
The Mets got one run back in the bottom of the 1st on a triple and a sacrifice fly. They added another run off starter Jeff Inman in the 3rd inning on a double, and a fielder’s choice and throwing error by SS Kelson Brown, to tie the score at 2-2. Inman made a throwing error to put a runner on base with two outs in the 4th inning. The next batter smacked a 2-run homer, and the Mets had a 4-2 lead.
The Marauders came back in the top of the 4th. Grossman led off with a single, then Cunningham reached on a throwing error. Baker plated Grossman with a single into right field, leaving runners on the corners for Anderson. That set up Anderson for his 3-run blast.
Inman gave up a 2-out single in the bottom of the 5th, but C Carlos Paulino threw him out trying to steal second base. That was the point at which play halted, and the game was called done.
West Virginia Power 14, Hagerstown Suns 2 (Game 1)
This was the completion of yesterday’s game, which Jameson Taillon started. When we last left our heroes, Taillon had allowed a run on two walks, a single, and a double in the top of the 1st, but got a timely double play to get out of the inning. Taillon’s second inning was much better — he gave up a single, then got three outs. The Power scored 3 runs in the bottom of the inning, with an RBI single by DH Matt Curry and a 2-RBI double by RF Dan Grovatt. Curry added a 2-RBI double in the 2nd, 1B Justin Howard blasted a 2-run homer, and a walk by Gravatt and a double by CF Mel Rojas put two runners into scoring position when the game was halted.
The game resumed with a new pitcher on the mound for Hagerstown. C Elias Diaz greeted him with another 2-RBI double, driving in both Gravatt and Rojas to give the Power a 9-1 lead.
Zac Fuesser took over pitching duties for the Power with the restart. He pitched 5 scoreless innings, scattering three singles and a double, and striking out 8 batters. Fuesser eventually earned the win, his first of the season. Trent Stevenson pitched the final two innings. The first batter he faced, Bryce Harper, hit a solo home run, but that was the only run or hit that Stevenson allowed.
The Power kept their scoring attack going after the restart. 2B Gift Ngoepe tripled and scored on Curry’s sacrifice fly in the 3rd. LF Andy Vasquez homered in the 5th. The 6th inning began with a walk by Curry and a single by 1B Justin Howard. Curry scored on Grovatt’s sacrifice fly, and Howard scored on Diaz’s RBI single up the middle. Two walks, by SS Drew Maggi and Ngoepe, a ground out, and a wild pitch gave the Power their 14th run, in the 7th inning.
Suns 3, Power 2 (Game 2)
And the regularly-scheduled game, which went 7 innings…. Starter Colton Cain went 5 innings and allowed 3 runs on 5 hits and a walk, with 3 strikeouts. A double and two singles gave the Suns a run in the top of the 1st. The Power tied it up right away with their own run in the bottom of the 1st. 2B Gift Ngoepe walked, 1B Matt Curry singled, moving Ngoepe to third. RF Justin Howard’s grounder to first was not enough for a double play, which allowed Ngoepe to come in from third, tying the game at 1-1.
Cain retired the Suns in order in the 2nd, but gave up the go-ahead run in the 3rd on a single and a double by Bryce Harper. A single, a stolen base, and another single in the 4th added an insurance run for the Suns.
C Kawika Emsley-Pai, DH Jairo Marquez, and LF Andy Vasquez all singled for the Power in the 2nd inning, but Emsley-Pai was erased in a double play, and there was no score. Marquez singled again in the 4th, and Curry walked in the 5th, but both were left on base. The Power scored one more time in the 6th inning. CF Dan Grovatt singled, and moved to second base on a ground out. Then he came around to score from second base on 3B Kevin Mort’s single into center field.
Casey Sadler pitched the last two innings of the game, and retired the Suns in order for both of those innings.