Bounce Back Night for Bradenton
PORT CHARLOTTE, FL (April 4, 2014) - Some games just start surreptitiously, where things unfold so quickly that the momentum is seized in the blink of an eye. And that's exactly what happened on Friday night, as the Marauders dominated the Stone Crabs from the outset after wasting a 3-0 lead in Thursday's season opener. Bradenton hardly needed Chad Kuhl, who allowed just a pair of singles across five scoreless innings after his offense staked him to an early lead in a 9-1 victory.
Bradenton wasted no time in the first against Stone Crabs starter Reinaldo Lopez, who allowed a leadoff single to center fielder Jeff Roy. Max Moroff's groundout to first baseman Patrick Leonard moved Roy to second, where he eventually scored on Adam Frazier's bloop single into shallow left center. Andrew Toles' throw to the plate was not in time, and catcher Jake DePew's errant throw to second to try and nab Frazier escaped into center field. Toles had one more crack at Frazier at third base, but his throw missed the mark and the two errors resulted in a 2-0 Marauders lead.
The offense continued to pepper Lopez (0-1) slowly as the 2013 Midwest League All-Star struggled to find his form through two and two thirds. After sandwiching a Moroff walk in between retiring Roy and Frazier, Lopez allowed Josh Bell to continue his fine series with an RBI double that made it 3-0. What followed was five straight Marauders singles that includes RBIs from Jin De Jhang, Walker Gourley, and Raul Fortunato. In total, 10 batters came to the plate in the top of the third to put the Stone Crabs in a 7-0 hole.
Moroff opened the fourth inning with a triple to the left center field wall off lefthander Bruedlin Suero, the first reliever out of Charlotte's bullpen. Frazier's groundout to Tommy Coyle at second base scored the run and made it 8-0. Coyle led off the bottom of the inning with a single of his own, but Kuhl (1-0) fanned Leonardo Reginatto and retired the next five batters on groundouts to end his night.
Charlotte's best opportunity came in the sixth after Toles made it to first on a dropped third strike with one out. Reginatto's two out single put runners at the corners for cleanup hitter Kes Carter, but he flew out to center field on a 3-2 pitch to retire the side. Fortunately, it wasn't all doom and gloom for the offense with the bottom of the order contributing for the second night in a row. Following a one out single by Maxx Tissenbaum, Leonard grounded out to Gourley at third base, whose only play was at first. That allowed Josh Sale to come through again with an RBI single that snuck into center field, getting the Stone Crabs their only run of the night.
Notes: Sale has driven in four of the first six Stone Crabs runs to start the year...all nine Marauders finished with a hit and designated hitter Jordan Steranka was 4-for-5 with a double, making him 6-for-8 in the first two games of the series...Parker Markel was the only Charlotte pitcher to record a 1-2-3 inning when he retired the side in the ninth...Markel made 16 starts for the Stone Crabs last season...Friday night's attendance of 3,681 topped Thursday night's crowd of 3,563.
The commuter series heads to McKechnie Field on Saturday night when the Stone Crabs hit the road for the first time in 2014. Former first round pick Jeff Ames gets the nod against the Marauders John Kuchno. Follow the game by listening live on the Stone Crabs website by visiting www.stonecrabsbaseball.com. Or if you're in the Port Charlotte area, tune into WVIJ 91.7 FM on your radio dial. The Stone Crabs Pregame Show begins at 6:10 with first pitch set for 6:30 on the Stone Crabs Radio Network.
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