Dunedin Blue Jays 6, Bradenton Marauders 4
The Marauders out-hit the Blue Jays 11-6, but the Jays’ 3-run rally in the top of the 9th gave them the win. The Marauders did all their scoring in the first two innings. CF Robbie Grossman led off the bottom of the 1st with a double lined into left field. He advanced to third base on a sacrifice bunt by 2B Jarek Cunningham. 1B Aaron Baker worked a walk, then 3B Elevys Gonzalez lined an RBI single into left field, and Grossman scored. LF David Rubinstein brought in Baker with another RBI single to give the Marauders a 2-0 lead. With two outs in the 2nd inning, Grossman started another rally with a walk. Grossman stole second base, and scored on Cunningham’s RBI single into center field. C Ramon Cabrera also walked, then Baker drove in Cunningham with his RBI single. Marauders up, 4-0.
Phillip Irwin pitched 6 innings in his start for the Marauders. He struck out 6 batters, while scattering three hits, no walks, and a hit batter. The only run Irwin allowed came on a solo homer in the 5th inning. Irwin hit the first batter of the game, but erased him with a double play. He gave up a single and had a batter reach on a fielding error by Cunningham in the bottom of the 1st, then ended the inning with a tapper back to the mound. For the next three innings, the only Dunedin batter to reach base did so on a double in the 3rd. After the homer to lead off the 5th, Irwin retired the next 6 batters he faced.
After the 2nd inning, the Marauders put at least one runner on base in each of the rest of the innings except the 9th, but could not bring any of them around to score. They left a total of 8 runners on base. The closest they came to scoring was in the 5th, when Elevys Gonzalez, Rubinstein, and RF Adalberto Santos led off the inning with three consecutive singles. Gonzalez tried to score from second on Santos’ hit, but was thrown out at the plate on the throw in from left field, and Rubinstein was picked off base.
Jason Erickson relieved Irwin to begin the 7th inning, and got in trouble right away with a double, a walk, and a fielding error by SS Benji Gonzalez to load the bases. The Marauders held off the Jays momentarily with a 1-2-3 double play — a tapper back to the mound let Erickson fire back to the plate for the force out on the lead runner, then Cabrera fired down to first base for the second out. That left runners on second and third — and both of them scored on the next batter’s 2-RBI single. The Jays had moved closer, 4-3.
Erickson retired the side in order in the 8th, then gave up a walk to begin the top of the 9th. A grounder to third let Elevys Gonzalez and Cunningham get the force out at second base, but Cunningham’s throw to first was wild, and instead of a double play, the batter reached second base on the error. Erickson was relieved by Duke Welker. Welker struck out the first batter he faced, then walked the next batter, for runners on first and second. Then Welker gave up a 3-run homer to give Dunedin the 6-4 lead. The Marauders could not answer in the bottom of the 9th, and Welker was charged with both the Blown Save and the loss.
Lakewood Blue Claws 11, West Virginia Power 6
A pair of 4-run innings boosted the Blue Claws over the Power, as the two teams combined for 26 hits. Lakewood began the game by pounding Power starter Zack Von Rosenberg for 4 runs. A double, a walk, and a single brought in the first run, then an RBI ground out gave them the second run. A sacrifice fly and a pair of doubles gave Lakewood a 4-0 lead.
The Power got two of the runs back in the bottom of the frame. SS Drew Maggi led off with a walk, but was out at second on a force play, leaving CF Mel Rojas on first. 1B Matt Curry also walked, and both Rojas and Curry scored on RF Justin Howard’s double. That cut the Lakewood lead to 4-2.
Von Rosenberg allowed only one hit over the 2nd and 3rd innings, then surrendered another run in the 4th on a hit batter, a stolen base, a wild pitch, and an RBI single. The Power kept pace with a run in the bottom of the 4th, when C Kawika Emsley-Pai and 3B Kevin Mort both singled, and Emsley-Pai scored on a throwing error in right field. The Power made it 5-4 in the 5th, when Maggi reached on a throwing error, moved up to third on Curry’s single, and scored on Howard’s RBI single.
Trent Stevenson relieved Von Rosenberg to begin the 5th inning, and retired the side. But Stevenson got into trouble in the 6th, as the Claws broke the game open with their second 4-run inning. A double, a single, and a walk loaded the bases, then a triple cleared them for the first three runs, all without an out being recorded. A sacrifice fly gave the Claws the 4th run of the inning, and a 9-4 lead. They made it a 10-4 lead in the 7th on a single, a stolen base, and a double.
The Power scored in the bottom of the 7th. Curry was hit by a pitch, and Howard and Emsley-Pai followed with back-to-back singles. After a pitching change, Mort’s sacrifice fly plated Curry, but that was all the Power could get in that inning. They added one more in the 8th, on a single by 2B Andy Vasquez and an RBI double by Maggi.
Porfirio Lopez pitched the final two innings for the Power. He gave up a single in the 8th, then gave up Lakewood’s final run on a single and a triple in the top of the 9th.
Maggi and Howard each had 3 hits in the game, and Emsley-Pai had 2 hits. Howard also recorded 3 RBI.