Palm Beach Cardinals 2, Bradenton Marauders 1
This pitching duel involved both teams putting runners on base, but not being able to push them around to score. CF Evan Chambers singled 3 times for the Marauders, and 1B Aaron Baker singled and doubled, as both teams posted 8 hits. But the Marauders left 9 runners on base while the Cardinals left 10 on, and only 3 runs total were produced during the game.
The Marauders’ lone run came in the 5th, when C Carlos Paulino tripled, then scored on a fielder’s choice play on a grounder off the bat of SS Benji Gonzalez. Bradenton threatened in the 4th, when Chambers reached on a throwing error, and Baker’s ground-rule double gave the team two runners in scoring position. A strikeout and a ground out ended that inning. Chambers singled in the 1st, 6th, and 8th. LF Cole White singled in the 7th, and 3B Elevys Gonzales singled in the 8th.
The Cardinals were also stranding runners on base in nearly every inning. Bradenton starter Phillip Irwin pitched 4 scoreless innings, allowing 3 hits and 2 walks, with 2 strikeouts. The biggest threat Irwin faced came in the bottom of the 1st inning, when he gave up a 2-out walk and a single, then got a ground out to end the frame. Brett Lorin took over to begin the 5th. He allowed a lead-off double, then an RBI single, a walk, and another RBI single, to give the Cardinals a 2-1 lead. Lorin was charged with his second loss of the season.
West Virginia Power 5, Greensboro Grasshoppers 2
The Power also had base runners in all but one of their trips to the plate, posting a total of 13 hits. All but one of the batters in their lineup had at least one hit in the game. SS Gift Ngoepe began the scoring with a lead-off double in the bottom of the 1st, then moved to third on 2B Drew Maggi’s single, and scored on a passed ball. Greensboro tied the score at 1-1 in the top of the 3rd on two singles and an RBI double off starter Zack Dodson.
The Power took the lead again in the 4th. Back-to-back singles by RF Dan Grovatt and CF Mel Rojas put runners on the corners. DH Rogelios Noris’ RBI ground out plated Grovatt from third, and a double by C Elias Diaz brought in Rojas, for a score of 3-1. They added another run in the 5th, with a double by LF Justin Howard and an RBI single by Grovatt.
Dodson pitched 6 innings and did not allow another run after the 3rd. He gave up 5 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 5 batters. He was credited with his second win of the season. Brooks Pounders, back from a brief trip to extended spring training, pitched 2 scoreless innings, allowing one single while striking out 3 batters.
Diaz picked up another RBI in the bottom of the 8th, when his double drove in Rojas, who had singled again. Jason Townsend pitched the top of the 9th for the Power, and allowed Greensboro’s second run, on a two-out single, a wild pitch, and an RBI double. He ended the game on a tapper back to the mound.