CLEARWATER -- The Bradenton Marauders (28-28) used Jason Creasy's (W, 3-2) strong pitching and Josh Bell's fifth home run of the season to defeat the Threshers (12-43) 4-3 on Sunday afternoon at Bright House Field. Creasy matched season highs with six innings pitched and six strikeouts. He allowed two hits and one walk before a 21 minute rain delay between the sixth and seventh innings.
The game started as a pitcher's duel between Creasy and Clearwater's Ethan Stewart (L, 2-6). Bradenton didn't break through until the top of the fifth inning. Jeff Roy bunted for a base hit with one away, then stole second. Raul Fortunato popped out in foul territory, but Adam Frazier came through with a single to center to plate the first run of the game. Frazier went 3-for-5 with a double and a walk as well as a run scored.
Following the rain delay, the Threshers turned to Lino Martinez on the mound. With one out, Frazier walked and went to third base when Walker Gourley lined a single to right. Gourley stole second for his second steal of the game. Bell worked the count full and fouled off three pitches before launching the ninth pitch of the at-bat onto the roof of the tiki bar in Bright House Field's left field corner. The mammoth blast was Bell's first home run batting right handed this season, as well as the first home run by a Marauder versus a left-handed pitcher this year.
Clearwater answered quickly, using two doubles and Andrew Knapp's first home run of the season to plate three runs against Thomas Harlan in the bottom of the seventh. Harlan was able to retire the next two batters after the home run. In the eighth, Harlan surrendered two singles but picked off one runner and got a stellar leaping grab by Gourley at first base to snare Pete Lavin's liner to end the inning.
Bryton Trepagnier pitched a perfect ninth for Bradenton to earn his third save. Walker Gourley extended his hitting streak to eight games in his 14th multi-hit game of the season.
Game three of the series is Monday night at 7:00 p.m. in Clearwater. Tyler Glasnow will pitch for Bradenton. The game will be broadcast online at www.BradentonMarauders.com.