By: Justin Terry
The Bradenton Marauders (18-18) would score the go ahead run in the 11th inning to complete the sweep of Palm Beach (15-23) in the three game series.
Blake McKnight would have his best outing of the year as he went seven innings, giving up eight hits, two runs (one earned), while walking one and striking out two. He would get the no decision as he came out of the game in a 2-2 tie in the seventh.
Things looked good for the Cardinals early as McKnight worked a perfect first inning. Vaughn Bryan would then hit a one out double in the bottom half of the first, but would get stranded there.
The Marauders would get on the board first in the top half of the second inning. Logan Hill would start the inning with a single and McKnight thought he had him erased on a caught stealing, but Joey Hawkins would drop the ball and Hill would eventually come around to score on a Connor Joe single. The Marauders would take the 1-0 lead.
Bradenton would then score another in the fifth to make it 2-0. Tomas Morales would hit a one out single to left and reach second on a wild pitch from McKnight. Michael Suchy would then plate Morales on a ground rule double to left. McKnight would then get out of the inning with a ground out and a strikeout.
Palm Beach would then tie things at two apiece in the home half of the fifth. Mercado would drive a ball to the opposite field for a one out single. Cole Lankford would then put two runners on after getting hit by a pitch from Stephen Tarpley. Joey Hawkins would bring Mercado around to home on a perfectly executed hit and run as he put a 1-1 pitch through the right side and put runners at the corners with one out and cutting the lead in half. Andrew Brodbeck would then tie the game by hitting a Sacrifice Fly to center and making it a 2-2 ball game.
The Cardinals would then have a chance to win the game in the bottom of the ninth as Orlando Olivera got things started with a single to right center. Grayson would then strike out and Chris Rivera would reach on a one out walk. Darren Seferina would come into the game to pinch run for Olivera at second with one away. With Oscar Mercado up to the plate Seferina would get caught trying to swipe third. This would kill any rally and chance that the Cardinals would have to win the ball game.
The Marauders would take the lead for good in the 11th inning as the hero of Saturday’s game, Connor Joe, would lead off the inning with a double to right center. He would get to third on a high chopper to short. He would then eventually score on a single up the middle that was just out of the reach of Hawkins. Nick Frey would then get out of the inning with no more damage to his name, but it would be too little too late.
Vaughn Bryan would get on base after getting hit by a pitch from Henry Hirsch with one out on the board. Darren Seferina would then fly out to center for the second out. Casey Grayson would then come to the plate, but never get a chance to drive Vaughn in as he was thrown out at second trying to steal the bag to end the game.
Palm Beach will continue a seven game home stand as the Lakeland Flying Tigers will come to town for a four game series. The series will start Monday evening as the Tigers will start Tyler Alexander (2-3) and Palm Beach will send Jacob Evans (2-2) to the mound to break the home losing streak. First pitch is set for 6:30 EST.