Bradenton Marauders fall to Dunedin Blue Jays 2-1


Bradenton Marauders pit her Adrian Sampson warms up at the start of Tuesday's game against the Dunedin Blue Jays at McKechnie Field in Bradenton. PAUL VIDELA/Bradenton Herald


The Bradenton Marauders (14-24) dropped a 2-1 game to the Dunedin Blue Jays (15-21) on Tuesday night at McKechnie Field. The game was played in a brisk two hours and six minutes following a 35 minute weather delay at the start. In a classic pitchers’ duel, the Marauders broke through first against Scott Copeland (W, 9-5). Elias Diaz led off the fifth inning with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Ashley Ponce. Gift Ngoepe pulled a single into right field to give Bradenton a 1-0 lead. Ngoepe also had a double in the game. Adrian Sampson turned in a second straight excellent outing, pitching seven innings and striking out four without a walk. Sampson carried a shutout into the seventh inning with a 1-0 lead. Marcus Knecht and K.C. Hobson hit consecutive one-out doubles in the inning to knot the score 1-1. Sampson completed the seventh and did not factor in the decision. The Blue Jays plated the winning run in the top of the eighth inning off Orlando Castro (L, 1-2). Nick Baligod led off the inning with his third hit of the game, an infield knock deflected by Castro. Jon Berti fouled off a bunt attempt, then doubled into right-center field, narrowly eluding the outstretched glove of Junior Sosa to plate the decisive run. The Marauders held the Blue Jays off the board in the top of the fifth inning with an outfield assist by Benji Gonzalez. Gonzalez threw out Oliver Dominguez trying to score from second on a single to left by Chris Schaeffer. Bradenton put the tying run on in the eighth against Copeland, but couldn’t advance Ponce past first. An error to start the ninth put Willy Garcia at first against Ajay Meyer, but again the tying run moved no farther. Meyer earned his eighth save. Frank Kremblas was ejected for the second time this season with one out in the ninth inning. Game three of the series is Wednesday night at McKechnie Field. First pitch is at 6:30 p.m. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. Joely Rodriguez starts for the Marauders on the mound. Rodriguez has recorded six scoreless innings in each of his last two starts

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