Late Lead Slips Away in Walk-off Loss
CLEARWATER, Fla. — The Marauders rallied back from a deficit in the ninth inning Tuesday night but saw the lead melt away in a 5-4 loss to the Clearwater Threshers at BayCare Ballpark. The loss was the fourth straight for the Marauders (35-26, 64-62), who remain two games behind the
CLEARWATER, Fla. — The Marauders rallied back from a deficit in the ninth inning Tuesday night but saw the lead melt away in a 5-4 loss to the Clearwater Threshers at BayCare Ballpark.
The loss was the fourth straight for the Marauders (35-26, 64-62), who remain two games behind the first-place Dunedin Blue Jays, who lost to Palm Beach.
Entering the top of the ninth inning trailing, 3-1, the Marauders rallied off Threshers (22-38, 57-68) reliever Orion Kerkering. Jack Brannigan, Juan Jerez, and Wyatt Hendrie opened the inning with three straight singles to load the bases, and Tres Gonzalez doubled to right field, plating two runs to tie the score. Sergio Campana followed with a sacrifice fly to center field for a 4-3 Bradenton lead before Gonzalez was thrown out at home plate attempting to score on a grounder.
The lead would not hold. Johan Montero issued a leadoff walk to Clearwater’s Otto Kemp in the bottom half, and after Troy Schreffler flied out, Cade Fergus was grazed in the jersey by a pitch, placing the winning run on first base. Carlos Lomeli entered to pitch and saw Jamari Baylor bloop a game-tying RBI-double to center field, landing just in front of a sliding Matt Gorski and moving Fergus to third. Erick Brito followed with a grounder to second baseman Termarr Johnson, who made a full-extension reach and threw home in a last-ditch effort, but Fergus slid in ahead of the throw with the winning run for the Threshers.
The defeat was just the Marauders’ fourth walk-off loss of the season and handed the club its second four-game losing streak in a two-week span.
Clearwater had held the lead since the second inning, as Marauders starter Bubba Chandler surrendered a solo homer to Dakota Kotowski. But Chandler proceeded to retire the next nine straight batters, keeping the score at 1-0 after four innings. But in the fifth, Chandler returned and failed to record another out, allowing three straight singles to load the bases with none out before a Fergus RBI-single and a Baylor walk plated one run each to stretch the Threshers’ lead to 3-0. Wilkin Ramos entered in relief and escaped the jam, recording a strikeout and an inning-ending double play.
Estibenzon Jimenez was dominant in five scoreless innings as the Threshers’ starter, holding Bradenton to one hit, a Rodolfo Nolasco infield-single. Bradenton scored its first run of the night in the sixth on a Jack Brannigan RBI-single off reliever Josh Bortka.
The Marauders’ bullpen kept the game within reach, as Ramos provided two scoreless innings and left-hander Jake Sweeney pitched a scoreless seventh before yielding in the eighth to Montero, who stranded two inherited runners.
The series continues Wednesday with first pitch scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at BayCare Ballpark. LHP Anthony Solometo will start for the Marauders, while RHP Alex McFarlane will start for Clearwater.
For more information about the Bradenton Marauders, please call (941) 747-3031, visit BradentonMarauders.com, or email [email protected].