Bradenton Marauders 6, Clearwater Threshers 2
Two homers and a strong start by Kyle McPherson gave the Marauders the win in Bradenton. McPherson pitched 6 innings and allowed 2 runs on 5 hits and a walk, with 4 strikeouts. He allowed two base runners over the first three innings — a hit batter and a single — and erased them both with double plays. He gave up a walk and a single in the 4th, but ended that inning with a strikeout. Clearwater’s first run came in the 5th, on a double and two ground outs, and their second run scored in the 6th on a single and an RBI double.
The Marauders took advantage of a throwing error in the 1st inning to score their first run. RF Robbie Grossman walked, and 2B Jarek Cunningham singled, moving Grossman to second base. C Ramon Cabrera grounded to second, forcing Cunningham out, but a throwing error by the Clearwater shortstop put Cabrera on second base and let Grossman come around to score.
Two more runs scored in the 3rd inning. SS Benji Gonzalez led off with a double lined into right field. Grossman’s sacrifice bunt moved Benji Gonzalez to third base, and Cunningham made it runners on the corners with a walk. Cabrera’s sacrifice fly plated Benji Gonzalez, and 1B Aaron Baker’s RBI single brought in Cunningham. After the Threshers made it 3-2 in the top of the 6th, 3B Elevys Gonzalez gave the Marauders an insurance run with a solo home run. Cunningham gave them two more insurance runs in the 7th, with a 2-run homer after a single by Benji Gonzalez.
Brett Lorin relieved McPherson to begin the 7th inning. He pitched the final three innings, allowing only one hit, which was a triple in the 8th. Lorin earned his first save of the season, and McPherson earned his third win.
West Virginia Power 6, Kannapolis Intimidators 3
The Power also had two homers in their second win over the Intimidators. Kannapolis got onto the scoreboard first, with a solo home run in the 3rd inning. Starter Brandon Cumpton allowed just one other hit in his 6 innings of work (a single in the 4th), while he struck out 4 batters.
The Power had runners on base in each of the first two innings — a single by SS Drew Maggi in the 1st and one by CF Mel Rojas in the 2nd. Rojas stole second base, but Maggi was thrown out trying to steal. LF Andy Vasquez tied the score in the bottom of the 3rd with a solo home run.
Two errors gave the Power two runs in the 5th. C Elias Diaz led off with a single, and he scored when 3B Eric Avila reached on a throwing error by the Kannapolis third baseman. The throw sailed into center field, and a missed catch error by the second fielder let Avila reach third base. Vasquez’s sacrifice fly brought in Avila, to give the Power a 3-1 lead. DH Matt Curry, who had doubled in the 4th, began the 6th with a walk. 1B Justin Howard doubled, and Curry raced around to score from first. Howard moved to third base on a ground out, then scored when Avila reached on another error. Power up, 5-1.
Kevin Decker relieved Cumpton to begin the 7th inning. He held the Intimidators scoreless in that inning, despite a double. Kannapolis scored 2 runs in the 8th, when the inning began with a ground-rule double, an RBI triple, and a fielding error by Avila.
Curry added an insurance run for the Power with a solo homer in the bottom of the 8th. Jason Townsend pitched a perfect top of the 9th to earn his second Save of the season. Cumpton earned his third win.