Herald staff report
CLEARWATER -- The Bradenton Marauders could not hold a late lead, falling 7-5 to the Threshers on Monday night at Bright House Field. A four-run rally by Clearwater in the eighth inning proved too much for the Marauders to overcome.
The game featured a starting pitching matchup of Colton Cain for Bradenton and Jessie Biddle for the Threshers. Neither claimed a decision. Cain pitched six innings and Biddle went five. Both allowed three runs.
Bradenton (14-11) opened the scoring with a double steal in the third inning to take a 1-0 lead. Kawika Emsley-Pai stole home while Benji Gonzalez swiped second. The Threshers (15-10) leapt back in front in the fourth, plating three runs on a wild pitch and a two-run homer from Cameron Rupp.
In the top half of the fifth, Carlos Mesa homered for the first time this season leading off the inning. Emsley-Pai doubled and later scored on a fielder's choice grounder by Mel Rojas Jr. to tie the game.
In the eighth, the Marauders struck for a pair. Alex Dickerson tripled home Rojas Jr. and scored himself on a single by Mesa. Dickerson now leads the league with 67 runs-batted-in. Garrett Claypool faced one batter to finish the inning to earn the decision.
In the bottom of the eighth, 10 men batted for Clearwater against Quinton Miller. The first five batters all reached, with a bases-loaded double by Drew Hillman taking the lead back for Clearwater. Juan Sosa closed out the Marauders for his fourth save. Dan Grovatt went 0-for-4, ending his hitting streak at 18 games.
The Marauders and Threshers play at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at Bright House Field before finishing the series Wednesday at noon.