Hendrie's Homer Walks it off for Marauders
BRADENTON, Fla. — The Marauders battled back from a five-run deficit Thursday night at LECOM Park, defeating the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels, 8-7, on a walk-off two-run homer by Wyatt Hendrie. With Fort Myers (22-34, 63-57) leading, 7-6, Termarr Johnson led off the bottom of the ninth for the Marauders
BRADENTON, Fla. — The Marauders battled back from a five-run deficit Thursday night at LECOM Park, defeating the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels, 8-7, on a walk-off two-run homer by Wyatt Hendrie.
With Fort Myers (22-34, 63-57) leading, 7-6, Termarr Johnson led off the bottom of the ninth for the Marauders (35-22, 63-58) with a walk. Hendrie then stepped to the plate and drove a 2-2 breaking ball from Juan Mendez over the left field wall, handing the Marauders a fourth straight win and placing them in a tie for first place with the Dunedin Blue Jays.
The walk-off homer was the second of the season for the Marauders, as Brenden Dixon hit a game-winning, inside-the-park home run on April 28 against Dunedin.
The game started on a sour note for Bradenton, as starter Carlos Jimenez was unable to finish the first inning, retiring just two of the eight batters he faced. The right-hander walked three and allowed a Tanner Schobel RBI-single, a Noah Cardenas sacrifice fly, and forced a run home by hitting Keoni Cavaco with a pitch with bases loaded. Right-hander Luigi Hernandez induced an inning-ending groundout in relief, but the Mussels had built a commanding 3-0 lead.
Sergio Campana put the Marauders on the board in the third with a solo home run, but Hernandez went on to allow three runs (two earned) across 3.1 innings of relief, and the score stood at 6-1 in favor of Fort Myers after four innings.
After three innings on the mound by Twins rehabber Bailey Ober, the Marauders got to Mussels reliever Jonathan Lavallee for three runs. Tsung-Che Cheng lined an RBI-single in the fifth inning, and after a Cardenas single re-extended Fort Myers’ lead to 7-2 in the top of the sixth, Bradenton plated two runs in the home half. Hendrie singled and Tanner Tredaway walked with two out to force Lavallee from the game, and Anthony Escobar entered and allowed a Campana single to load the bases. Escobar then walked Jasiah Dixon and Cheng, forcing home one run each to pull the score to 7-4 before a Matt Gorski strikeout ended the threat.
The Marauders pounced on Escobar again in the seventh, as Juan Jerez swatted a solo homer to left field, and the Marauders loaded the bases on singles by Jack Brannigan and Johnson plus a Hendrie walk. Mendez took over on the mound, striking out two batters before issuing a walk to Dixon, forcing another run home. Bradenton had cut the deficit to 7-6 but left the bases loaded once again, however, as Cheng struck out swinging.
Meanwhile, the Marauders’ pitching staff held Fort Myers to just one run across the game’s final five innings. Jack Hartman tossed a scoreless fifth, and Wilkin Ramos allowed just one run over three shutdown innings, striking out five. Carlos Lomeli earned the win after a scoreless ninth with the help of catcher Hendrie, who threw out Schobel at second base on a stealing attempt after he was hit by a pitch to begin the inning.
Campana, Cheng, Hendrie, and Johnson led the Marauders with two hits each, while all nine players in Bradenton’s lineup reached base safely, thanks in part to nine walks by Mighty Mussels pitchers.
The series continues Friday with first pitch scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at LECOM Park. LHP Luis Peralta will start for the Marauders, while RHP Marco Raya will start for the Mighty Mussels.
For more information about the Bradenton Marauders, please call (941) 747-3031, visit BradentonMarauders.com, or email [email protected].