Bradenton Marauders fall to Fort Myers Miracle in season finale, but attendance record set

September 2, 2013 

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Jim Dietrich sprays kids with a water gun as they watch the Bradenton Marauders host the Lakeland Flying Tigers on Wednesday during Summer Camp Day at McKechnie Field. GRANT JEFFERIES/Bradenton Herald

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Fort Myers, Fla.-The Marauders fell to the Miracle 3-2 in 10 innings in the season finale on Sunday at Hammond Stadium. Bradenton finished the season with a record of 56-77. The Marauders played 51 one-run games, including the final seven of the season, going 19-32 in games decided by a single run. Bradenton struck first, getting a sacrifice fly from D.J. Crumlich in the second inning. Dan Gamache doubled the lead in the sixth with a solo home run, his fifth of the season. Joan Montero pitched five scoreless innings and struck out two in his third start of the season. Fort Myers rallied in the seventh against rehabbing Pirate James McDonald. McDonald retired the side in order in the sixth, but Kennys Vargas led off the seventh with a towering homer to make it 2-1. With one out, Fort Myers strung together three straight hits to even the score 2-2. Meanwhile the Miracle staff of Matt Tomshaw, Luke Bard, and Adrian Salcedo (W, 6-3) combined to retire the final 14 Marauders batters in order. The winning run scored in the 10th inning against Zach Von Rosenberg (L, 2-1). Andy Leer led off with a bunt single. The next two batters were hit by pitches, forcing the infield to come in with Vargas at the plate. Vargas singled to center to end the game. Stetson Allie, Junior Sosa, and Jose Osuna each hit doubles for Bradenton. Kirk Singer pitched a scoreless inning out of the bullpen.

Attendance record set

The Bradenton Marauders set franchise attendance records for overall attendance and average attendance in 2013. 109,845 fans attended Marauders games this season, an average of 1,772 per game in the fourth season of Florida State League baseball at McKechnie Field. The total attendance mark eclipsed the previous record of 103,978 (69 openings) set in 2011, despite seven fewer openings. The average attendance at McKechnie Field this summer surpassed the prior high mark of 1,515 per game, set last season. Doubleheaders are counted as a single attendance figure, giving the Marauders 62 openings this season. “The support of our fans this season has been tremendous,” Pittsburgh Pirates Senior Director of Florida Operation Trevor Gooby said. “We were able to achieve these records because of our dedicated fans that have been coming to Marauders games since 2010, and many more that took in a game for the first time this year. We look forward to seeing them all back at McKechnie Field in 2014.” McKechnie Field underwent a $10 million renovation following the 2012 season. The 90-year-old ballpark gained many new fan amenities, while still maintaining the integrity of its classic appearance and atmosphere. The outfield boardwalk, new seats, an expanded fan plaza, new concessions facilities, and two new bars were among the many improvements made during the project. The successful Marauders season follows up a record-setting Spring Training for the Marauders’ parent club, the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates set records for overall attendance, average attendance, and single game attendance this spring.

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