Homers By Marte, Rodriguez, Cunningham, And Rojas

Palm Beach Cardinals  9,  Bradenton Marauders  3
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A 5-run 8th inning by the Cardinals put the game out of reach for the Marauders.  Nate Baker suffered his 5th loss of the season (4-5 record) for the Marauders.  He pitched 6 innings and allowed 3 runs on 4 hits, while striking out 8 batters.  Those 3 runs came in the first two innings.  A walk and a double brought in the first run in the top of the 1st.  When Baker threw a wild pitch, the runner from second took off for third.  C Carlos Paulino tried to throw him out at third, but his throw went wild, and the runner scored on the throwing error.  A solo home run by 3B Niko Vasequez opened the second inning for the Cardinals, giving them a 3-0 lead.  

The Marauders threatened in the bottom of the 1st, when they loaded the bases on singles by RF Robbie Grossman and LF Adalberto Santos and a walk to DH Pedro Alvarez.  But the inning ended with a ground out, leaving all three runners on base.  They loaded them up again in the 5th.  SS Benji Gonzalez led off with a single, Grossman walked, and Alvarez was hit by a pitch.  A double play ended that inning.  

The bottom of the 6th began with Santos being hit by a pitch.  A wild pitch moved him to second base, and CF Evan Chambers worked a walk.  Paulino’s RBI single drove in Santos and put Chambers on third base.  When Benji Gonzalez grounded out, Chambers also scored.  2B Jarek Cunningham gave the Marauders’ their final run with a solo homer to greet the Cardinals’ new reliever in the bottom of the 7th.  Grossman ended the inning with a strikeout, which he argued — and was promptly ejected by the plate umpire.  

Zach Foster relieved Nate Baker to begin the top of the 7th.  With two outs, Foster hit 2B Starlin Rodriguez with a pitch, then gave up a line drive into center field to C Robert Stock.  When the speedy Rodriguez tried to come around to score from first, the throw from CF Chambers to SS Gonzalez to C Paulino was not in time.  Paulino fired back to Gonzalez at second base, where Stock was tagged out to end the inning.  

The Marauders were trailing 4-3 going in to the top of the 8th, still not out of the game.  With Foster still on the mound, two singles, a hit batter, and another single gave the Cardinals one run.  With two outs, Niko Vasquez smacked a grand slam for his second homer of the game, and the Cardinals had a 9-3 lead.  Foster was ejected after the homer.  Jason Erickson took over for Foster to finish the 8th, then pitched a scoreless top of the 9th.  The Marauders were retired on three strikeouts in the bottom of the 9th, including striking out Alvarez.  

GCL Pirates  14,  GCL Yankees  11
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A hit-o-rama in Bradenton this afternoon, with each team posting 14 hits.  The difference was in the errors:  3 for the Pirates but a whopping 8 for the Yankees.   The Yankees started off well with a triple and a run scored on a fielding error in the 1st.  Another throwing error put the lead-off runner on base in the top of the 2nd, and a 2-run homer followed, to give the Yankees a 3-0 lead.  Those runs came off starter Logan Pevny, who pitched the first 3 innings.

The Pirates answered with 4 runs in the bottom of the 2nd.  CF Gregory Polanco led off with a single and a fielding error put him on second base, then a wild pitch moved him to third.  He scored when RF Willie Garcia reached on a fielding error.  1B Jared Lakind singled, and C Joey Schoenfeld’s sacrifice fly brought in Garcia.  SS Alen Hanson tripled, scoring Lakind, and LF Junior Sosa’s RBI single scored  Hanson.  2B Yhonathan Barrios doubled to lead off the 3rd, and Polanco reached on a fielding error.  A sacrifice bunt put both into scoring position and 3B Ashley Ponce loaded the bases when he was hit by a pitch.  Schoenfeld’s line drive into right field plated both Barrios and Polanco, to give the Pirates a 6-3 lead.  

Brayan Almonte relieved Pevny, and gave up 2 runs in the 4th on two singles, two stolen bases, a sacrifice fly, and a wild pitch.  That brought the Yankees within one run of the Pirates, 6-5.  The Yanks took the lead in the 5th, when they scored 4 runs, on a single, a ground-rule double, two walks, a double, and a wild pitch.  Cristopher Richardson finished the 5th for Almonte, who was responsible for 6 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks.  Yankees 9,  Pirates  6.

The Pirates came roaring back with 5 runs in the bottom of the 6th, to take an 11-9 lead.  DH Jon Schwind walked, then Barrios and Polanco singled, scoring Schwind.  Garcia’s sacrifice fly brought in Barrios.  Ponce’s single drove in Polanco.  Lakind walked and Schoenfeld was hit by a pitch to load the bases.  Another Yankees’ fielding error let Ponce and Lakind score the last two runs of the inning.  Polanco tripled to lead off the 7th, and he scored on Garcia’s RBI single, to bring the score to 12-9.  

Isaac Sanchez took over for Richardson to begin the 8th.  He gave up a single and two doubles to again bring the Yankees within one run, 12 -11. But the Pirates came right back in the bottom of the inning.  Hanson led off with a single and moved to second base when the Yankees’ pitcher made a throwing error on the pick-off attempt.  Sosa reached on another throwing error by the pitcher, and that let Hanson score.  Schwind doubled in Sosa to put the Pirates up by 3 runs again.  Barrios also reached on the Yankees’ pitcher’s third throwing error of the inning.  Polanco flied out, but the runners advanced to scoring position when the shortstop made a missed catch error on the throw in from the outfield.  A strikeout and a pop out ended the inning before any more runs could be scored or any more errors made.  Sanchez loaded the bases with a single and two walks the top of the 9th, but ended the threat with a strikeout.  

West Virginia Power  5,  Lexington Legends  4
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RF Dan Grovatt’s RBI single with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 14th inning gave the Power a hard-earned win.  The Power posted 14 hits, with each member of the line-up picking up at least one hit.  The Power got onto the scoreboard first, with a run in the bottom of the 2nd.  DH Cole White tripled, then scored on 3B Chase Lyles’ single up the middle.  Power starter Tyler Waldron had held the Legends hitless for the first two innings, but gave up 3 runs in the top of the 3rd, when Lexington staged a 2-out rally — two singles, a missed catch error by 2B Kevin Mort, a double, a walk, and another single.  CF Mel Rojas tied the game in the bottom of the 3rd with a 2-run homer after SS Drew Maggi’s lead-off double.  

Four scoreless innings followed.  Waldron pitched a scoreless 4th,
then Trent Stevenson took over on the mound.  He gave up a single and two walks over the next three innings.  The Power put runners on base over those innings, but did not score.  C Kawika Emsley-Pai singled in the 4th, White doubled in the 6th, and Maggi singled in the 7th.  Lexington rallied in the top of the 8th, scoring one run on a single, stolen base, and an RBI single, with the run charged to Stevenson.  

The Power went into the bottom of the 9th trailing 4-3.  With two outs, LF Rogelios Noris tied the score again on his solo home run, sending the game into extras.  More scoreless innings followed again.  Jason Townsend pitched 3 scoreless innings, allowing just 2 hits.  Porfirio Lopez relieved Townsend in the 12th, and he also allowed 2 hits.  The Power went down in order in the 10th and 11th innings.  They threatened in the 12th, when Mort walked and Grovatt singled, but both were left on base.  Both teams were retired in order in the 13th.  Lopez allowed a lone single in the top of the 14th, but still no score.

Finally, in the bottom of the 14th, with one out, Noris slipped a single in to left field and Mort lined another single into center field.  After a pitching change, Maggi was intentionally walked to load the bases.  Then Grovatt stepped to the plate and sent everyone home with his line drive into center field, scoring Noris from third.  The game took 3 hours 40 mins.  Lopez was credited with the win, his first of the season.  

Mahoning Valley Scrappers  7,  State College Spikes  3
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The Spikes had a 3-2 lead after the 3rd inning, but could not hold off late-inning rallies by the Scrappers.  After two quick scoreless innings to begin the game, the Scrappers scored 2 runs in the top of the 3rd.  They loaded the bases with a single, a hit batter, and a walk, then another single drove in the 2 runs.  The Spikes answered with 3 runs in the bottom of the inning.  RF Justin Bencsko singled, but was forced out at second when CF Taylor Lewis grounded to short. Lewis was left on first, and he reached third on SS Brian Sharp’s double.  LF Alex Fuselier lined a single into right field, scoring both Lewis and Sharp.  Fuselier, who advanced to second base on the throw in from right, scored on 3B Chris Lashmet’s RBI single into center.  

But that was all the scoring the Spikes could do.  Lashmet had singled in the 2nd inning, and 1B Matt Skirving singled in the 4th, but after the 4th the Spikes did not record another hit.  They threatened in the 7th, when 2B Kirk Singer reached base on an error, stole second, and reached third on a grounder.  Benscko walked, but was forced out at second on Lewis’ ground out.  A walk to Fuselier loaded the bases, but all were left there when the inning ended.  Lewis and Sharp both walked in the bottom of the 9th, but were again left on base.  

Ryan Hafner pitched the first 5 innings for the Spikes.  He was responsible for the first 2 Scrappers’ runs in the 3rd, on 3 hits and 3 walks, with 4 strikeouts.  Cliff Archibald pitched the 6th and 7th innings, and he gave up the tying run in the 6th, on a hit batter, a walk, a stolen base, and an RBI ground out.  Josh Poytress made his pro debut in the 8th inning, and it was not what he’d hoped.  He allowed 3 runs on 4 hits — 3 singles and a double — and was charged with the loss.  Fraylin Campos pitched the top of the 9th and allowed a run on a single, a stolen base, and an RBI ground out.  

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