Bradenton Marauders drop season opener at Fort Myers

April 5, 2013 

The Bradenton Marauders dropped a 4-3 nail-biter to the Fort Myers Miracle on Thursday to open the 2013 season. Bradenton and Fort Myers picked up where they left off in 2012 with another one-run game. The teams played 12 one-run contests last season. In a game that featured three ties and four lead changes, the Marauders struck first when Taylor Lewis homered with one out in the first. The lead was short-lived. Fort Myers manufactured a run against Robby Rowland in the bottom of the first. Jacob Stallings homered in the second to put the Marauders ahead 2-1. Stallings finished 3-for-3, needing only a triple for a cycle. The Miracle was quick to answer again, tying the score in the home half of the inning. Rowland pitched five innings, allowing three runs, two earned. He walked four and whiffed two. The Miracle surged ahead 3-2 in the fourth, but this time the Marauders were quick to bounce back. Lewis doubled to lead off the sixth, chasing Miracle starter Tom Stuifbergen, then moved over on a long fly out by Gregory Polanco, and scored on a wild pitch to again knot the score. Fort Myers went ahead for good in the bottom of the sixth. Jhon Goncalves doubled with one out against Eliecer Navarro (L, 0-1). A wild pitch and a wild throw by Stallings allowed Goncalves to score the decisive run. Ryan O’Rourke pitched two scoreless innings to earn the win for Fort Myers. Zach Jones pitched the ninth for his first save. The Marauders and Miracle meet again on Friday night in Bradenton. Nick Kingham is slated to start on the mound for Bradenton at newly renovated McKechnie Field. First pitch is at 6:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on

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