TAMPA, Fla. - The Tampa Tarpons (21-29) dropped a heartbreaker Saturday night to the Bradenton Marauders (26-24) at George M. Steinbrenner Field, 6-5. Tampa carried the lead into the eighth inning, but the bullpen surrendered the go-ahead runs. The Tarpons sparked a ninth inning rally to pull within one but
TAMPA, Fla. - The Tampa Tarpons (21-29) dropped a heartbreaker Saturday night to the Bradenton Marauders (26-24) at George M. Steinbrenner Field, 6-5. Tampa carried the lead into the eighth inning, but the bullpen surrendered the go-ahead runs. The Tarpons sparked a ninth inning rally to pull within one but could not climb all the way back.
RHP Justin Lange (4.0IP, H, 3R, 1ER, 4BB, 4K, HR) took the mound Saturday night and gave Tampa four solid innings, only allowing one hit. Lange primarily relied on his sinker, using the pitch 43% of the time. He held Bradenton to an average exit velocity of under 90 MPH on the sinker.
The Marauders' offense struck early in the first. Jack Brannigan reached on a fielding error by Lange, and Rodolfo Nolasco jumped on a 97 MPH fastball and put it in the seats, giving Bradenton the early two-run advantage.
After getting the first out in the third, Lange lost command. He drilled Brannigan and walked Enmanuel Terrero and Nolasco to load the bases. Tanner Tredaway lifted a SAC-fly to center to grow the Bradenton lead.
1B Beau Brewer reached second base to start the third when he hustled out an infield single and moved up a base on a throwing error by Javier Rivas. SS Jared Serna’s hot season continued as he hit an RBI single to right field. Serna showed off the wheels, swiping second base.
Hulk Smash! RF Anthony Hall demolished a game-tying two-run home run onto the roof of the outfield bar in right field. Hall knew he got all of the 407-foot blast as he pulled off quite the bat flip before rounding the bases.
DH Christopher Familia picked up Thor’s hammer to launch Tampa’s second homer of the night. The go-ahead shot traveled 404 feet and left the bat at 106 MPH.
RHP Matt Keating (3-4) came in for the seventh and was unable to hold the Tarpon lead. Nolasco worked a leadoff walk and advanced to third on back-to-back stolen bases. Alexander Mojica played villain, tying the game up with a 112 MPH double to the left field wall. Next, Geovanny Planchart dumped a single to shallow right field to give Bradenton the lead.
Bradenton added what turned out to be a very important insurance run in the ninth. Termarr Johnson singled, stole second base, and came around to score on a Tredaway single.
For the second night in a row, Tampa rallied in the ninth, but they were unable to finish this one off. With one away, Serna lined his third hit of the night down the left-field line for a double. A walk to CF Daury Arias put the tying runs on the base path. C Omar Martinez lined an RBI single into center field, cutting the lead to one and moving the tying run into scoring position, but 3B Jesus Rodriguez was unable to finish the rally, as he flew out to center field to end the game.
The Tarpons will host the final game of the six-game set tomorrow at 12:00 p.m. RHP Baron Stuart will take the ball, looking to lead Tampa to the series win.