Ninth-Inning Scare Turns in Marauders' Favor
BRADENTON, Fla. — For the second straight game, the Marauders survived a turbulent ninth inning for an 8-7 win over the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels on Wednesday afternoon at LECOM Park. The win gave Bradenton (34-22, 63-58) its third consecutive victory and moved the team within one game of first-place
BRADENTON, Fla. — For the second straight game, the Marauders survived a turbulent ninth inning for an 8-7 win over the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels on Wednesday afternoon at LECOM Park.
The win gave Bradenton (34-22, 63-58) its third consecutive victory and moved the team within one game of first-place Dunedin, who have yet to play their Wednesday game as of the Marauders’ game completion.
The Marauders utilized six pitchers and, for the second straight game, issued a total of 12 walks, matching the season-high established less than 24 hours prior.
Fort Myers (22-33, 63-56) dropped its fourth straight contest. The visitors took a first-inning lead off Marauders starter Anthony Solometo on a Kala’i Rosario RBI-single, but Bradenton tied the score at 1-1 in the third on a Tres Gonzalez RBI-groundout off Pierson Ohl.
Solometo would finish after 4.1 innings for the Marauders, striking out five and allowing just one run but leaving after two one-out walks in the fifth. Jake Sweeney entered in relief and saw catcher Nick Cimillo nab Keoni Cavaco at second base on a snap throw before an inning-ending strikeout kept the score tied.
The bottom of the fifth began a chain of back-and-forth rallies for the two teams. Tsung-Che Cheng lined a two-run double in the fifth off Ohl for a 3-1 Marauders lead, which immediately vanished in the top of the sixth on a Rosario two-run homer off minor league rehabbing right-hander Will Kobos. But in the bottom of the sixth, Bradenton regained the upper hand, 5-3, as Tanner Tredaway swatted a go-ahead two-run homer—his first career home run—off Mussels reliever Jackson Hicks.
In the seventh, the Marauders stretched their lead to 8-3. Johnson drew a bases-loaded walk from Niklas Rimmel, Tredaway smacked an RBI-single to right field, and Dixon raced out a run-scoring infield single on a slow dribbler.
Johnson would finish 3-for-3 with two doubles and an RBI. Jasiah Dixon also collected three hits and an RBI while celebrating his 21st birthday, and Tredaway’s homer capped a 2-for-4, three-RBI performance. Cheng contributed two doubles and two RBI.
Wilber Dotel, who tossed scoreless seventh and eighth innings for the Marauders despite four total walks, returned for the ninth. The right-hander issued back-to-back one-out walks and was lifted in favor of Darvin Garcia, who promptly allowed a two-run triple to Luis Baez, who in turn scored on a passed ball, abruptly cutting the Marauders’ five-run lead to two runs. Garcia then walked two batters, struck out Noah Cardenas for the second out, then allowed an RBI-single to Rosario, bringing the Mussels within one run. With runners on the corners and two out, Johan Montero was summoned from the bullpen to record the final out for a second straight game. The right-hander preserved the win by getting Rubel Cespedes to pop out to first baseman Norkis Marcos in foul territory, stranding the tying and go-ahead runs.
The series continues Thursday with first pitch scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at LECOM Park. RHP Carlos Jimenez will start for the Marauders, while RHP Bailey Ober 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].