Bradenton Marauders 16, Jupiter Hammerheads 4
Two wild innings gave the Marauders a huge win over Jupiter. Three Bradenton players (1B Aaron Baker, C Ramon Cabrera, and LF David Rubinstein) all had 3 hits each, and Baker contributed 4 RBI. With starter Kyle McPherson on the mound, Jupiter scored an unearned run in the 2nd inning, on two singles and a fielding error by 2B Jarek Cunningham. Cunningham more than made up for his mistake.
The bottom of the 3rd began with a single by SS Benji Gonzalez, a walk to RF Robbie Grossman, and a double by Cunningham, to bring in the first run (1). CF Evan Chambers drove in Grossman (2) with a sacrifice fly. Rehabbing C Chris Snyder walked, then Baker doubled to plate Cunningham (3). Cabrera was intentionally walked to load the bases, and Rubinstein doubled, scoring Snyder and Baker (4,5). 3B Elevys Gonzalez also brought in two runs (Cabrera and Rubenstein, 6,7) with a single. Elevys moved to second on the throw in, and advanced to third on a passed ball. He scored (8) on Benji Gonzalez’s sacrifice fly.
The 4th inning brought even more fun for the Marauders, as 11 batters came to the plate again. Cunningham opened the inning with his second home run in two days (1). Chambes walked and Snyder singled, and both scored when Baker hit his first home run of the season (2,3,4). Cabrera followed the homer with a double (still no outs). Rubinstein walked, but not before he ripped a long foul ball down the line that was just a few feet from being the third home run of the inning. Elevys Gonzalez singled to load the bases. Benji Gonzalez’s single scored Cabrera (5), then a throwing error at first base allowed both Rubinstein and Elevys Gonzalez to score (6,7). Cunningham was hit by a pitch, and the umpires believed that to be a retaliatory move, so both benches were warned. A pop out and a double play ended the inning, but all 7 runs had scored before an out was made.
McPherson’s first pitch of the top of the 5th came in high and tight, and though it did not hit the batter, the umpires called it too close — so both McPherson and Bradenton manager Carlos Garcia were ejected. McPherson had pitched 4 innings and allowed one unearned run on 4 hits, with 5 strikeouts. Gabriel Alvarado came on to replace McPherson. He retired the side in the 5th and worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the 6th. Alvarado began the 7th with a walk and a single, and with a fielding error by Chambers, a run scored. Porfirio Lopez relieved Alvarado and gave up two doubles, driving in two more runs (one charged to Alvarado). Jhonathan Ramos finished the game with a scoreless inning.
The Marauders scored one more time in the 5th, when they began that inning with three consecutive singles (Baker, Cabrera, and Rubinstein). A new relief pitcher walked the first batter he faced, Elevys Gonzalez, to force in the run.
West Virginia Power 6, Asheville Tourists 3
DH Matt Curry and 1B Justin Howard had 3 hits each, and Howard drove in 4 of the Power’s 6 runs in this win. The Power scored their first run in the 2nd inning, Howard bounced a ground-rule double over the center field wall, but he was thrown out at the plate when he tried to score on CF Mel Rojas‘ single into right field. Rojas advanced to second base on a throwing error on a pick-off attempt. 2B Kevin Mort’s single and a throwing error allowed Rojas to score from second base. The Power added a run in the 4th, when Curry tripled and scored on Howard’s sacrifice fly.
Asheville cut the lead to 2-1 with a solo home run in the top of the 5th. That was the only run starter Zack Von Rosenberg allowed in his 5 innings of work. He scattered 3 other hits and a walk, while striking out 9 of the 20 batters he faced. Brooks Pounders relieved Von Rosenberg to begin the 6th inning. He loaded the bases with two singles and a hit batter in the first three batters he faced. A sacrifice fly brought in one run for the Tourists, and a passed ball allowed a second run to score, giving Asheville a 3-2 lead.
The Power came right back in the bottom of the 6th. RF Dan Grovatt walked, then was forced out at second on 3B Eric Avila’s grounder. Avila avoided the double play, though, and he scored on Curry’s second triple of the game. Howard again brought Curry in from third, this time with a single, to get the lead back for the Power, 4-3. Howard added two insurance runs in the 8th, when he homered after Curry doubled.
Pounders pitched a scoreless 7th inning, and he was the pitcher of record in the 6th, so he was credited with both a Blown Save and the win. Ryan Beckman pitched the final two scoreless innings for the Power.