The Bradenton Marauders took game one of a best of three game series against the Charlotte Stone Crabs in the first round of the Florida State League playoffs. Bradenton beat Charlotte 5-0, led by a four run seventh inning, and strong pitching from Aaron Pribanic and Kyle McPherson.
Pribanic has been excellent in the 2nd half of the 2010 season, with a 2.03 ERA in 93.1 innings after the FSL All-Star break, with a 36:18 K/BB ratio and a .220 BAA. That’s a huge upgrade over his 5.34 ERA in 60.2 innings in the first half, with a 35:15 K/BB ratio and a .320 BAA. Tonight, Pribanic pitched seven shutout innings, allowing six hits, one walk, and striking out four. Pribanic got some run support in the bottom of the seventh, as Bradenton put up their four spot to break a 0-0 tie.
Calvin Anderson led off the inning with a walk, and was replaced by Adenson Chourio on the bases. Chourio moved to second on a wild pitch, leading to an intentional walk to Jordan Newton to put runners at first and second with one out. Chourio scored the first run on an RBI single by Greg Picart. Shelby Ford followed that up with a two RBI double, and scored two batters later on a Starling Marte double.
Bradenton added an extra insurance run in the eighth inning, as Eric Fryer doubled and scored on an RBI single from Jordan Newton, on a ball that deflected off of shortstop Tim Beckham’s glove.
Kyle McPherson, who had one of the best strikeout ratios in the Pirates’ farm system this season, pitched the final two innings. McPherson allowed just one hit, no walks, and struck out two. McPherson was added to the Bradenton roster at the end of the season, and now has six shutout innings in high-A, with three hits, no walks and nine strikeouts.
Bradenton sends Brian Leach to the mound tomorrow to try and take a 2-0 sweep over Charlotte. The game starts at 7:05 PM. Altoona also starts the first round of the Eastern League playoffs tomorrow, sending Rudy Owens to the mound to take on Harrisburg. I’ll be covering that game from the stadium, and will be providing updates on the site.