Marcos’ multi-homer game leads Marauders past Tarpons, 6-0
TAMPA, FL - In dire need of a victory, the Tampa Tarpons (24-17) were unable to answer the call, dropping Tuesday’s contest to the Bradenton Marauders (28-15) at George M. Steinbrenner Field, 6-0. Both sides are aware of what’s possibly on the line this week - a spot in the
TAMPA, FL - In dire need of a victory, the Tampa Tarpons (24-17) were unable to answer the call, dropping Tuesday’s contest to the Bradenton Marauders (28-15) at George M. Steinbrenner Field, 6-0.
Both sides are aware of what’s possibly on the line this week - a spot in the Florida State League playoffs. Bradenton came into Tuesday’s contest two games ahead of Tampa in the FSL West division. The Marauders recently leap-frogged the Tarpons, who have led the division for the majority of the second half. Tampa’s current slide has slipped them into second place in the standings and out of the final playoff spot.
The Tarpons deployed RHP Yon Castro (2-5) for his 17th start of the season with hopes that the right-hander could make a statement in the opener of this fate-sealing six-game set.
The Marauders had other plans and immediately scratched across a run in the top of the first. Sergio Campana walked on a full count and made his way to third base on a single by Tres Gonzalez. With runners on the corners, Jack Brannigan snuck an RBI-single past SS Luis Santos to plate Campana.
Norkis Marcos added to Bradenton’s lead in the top of the second by driving Castro’s offering opposite field into the seats in right. His third home run of the season increased the Marauders lead to 2-0.
The Tarpons had some traction at the plate in the third inning but were unable to cut into the lead. CF Spencer Jones, the Yankees’ 2022 first round pick, singled on a ground ball to left and swiped second for his first Single-A stolen base. Next up, C Antonio Gomez lined a base hit to right fielder Jasiah Dixon. Jones rounded third and darted home, but Dixon corked an absolute missile to the plate which beat Jones by a mile and neutralized the threat.
Castro was able to settle in and finished with a modest stat line before being replaced by RHP Bailey Dees. Tampa’s starter lasted five innings and did not surrender another run after the second inning.
Dees served his purpose, pitching a spotless sixth and seventh inning to keep Tampa in the game. After two quick outs to start the frame, it appeared Dees would breeze through the eighth as well. Instead, Tanner Tredaway worked a four-pitch free pass and manager Rachel Balkovec turned to RHP Harold Coritjo. Juan Jerez greeted Cortijo with a single to left, followed by Wyatt Hendrie who smoked an RBI-single of his own the same way. The single drove in both Tredaway and Jerez to double the Marauders’ lead to 4-0.
Marcos added a couple extra insurance runs by demolishing his second homer of the night just for good measure.
The Tarpons were unable to muster any run support the rest of the way and now find themselves now three games out of first place for that final playoff spot.
Both squads square off tomorrow night for game two of their six-game series - RHP Sean Hermann (0-0, 1.76 ERA) is slated to make the start for Tampa with first pitch scheduled for 6:30 PM EST.