BRADENTON -- The Marauders (3-1) thumped the Charlotte Stone Crabs (1-3) 11-3 on Sunday at McKechnie Field. Bradenton has now won three straight heading into Monday's off day. Orlando Castro (W, 1-0) struck out seven batters over five innings to earn the victory.
Bradenton opened the scoring for the fourth straight game. Jon Schwind blasted a first inning grand slam off Austin Pruitt (L, 0-1). The grand slam was the first by a Marauder since May 19, 2013. Schwind has hit safely in three straight games.
Charlotte's Patrick Leonard launched a solo home run to left in the second to cut Bradenton's lead to 4-1, but the Marauders answered in the bottom of the inning. Raul Fortunato walked, stole second, moved to third on a ground out and scored on Jeff Roy's single.
The Stone Crabs closed to within 5-3 with a pair of runs in the fifth. Tyler Goeddel tripled in two runs with one out. Castro recovered to strand the runner by striking out Andrew Toles and inducing a ground out from Thomas Coyle.
Bradenton padded the lead over the last two home turns at bat. Max Moroff doubled in two runs with the bases loaded in the seventh. In the eighth inning, Ashley Ponce scored on a Parker Markel wild pitch, Jacob Stallings singled home Roy, and Jin-De Jhang followed with a two-run home run to establish the final margin.
Monday is an off day for the Marauders. On Tuesday the team opens a three-game series against the Palm Beach Cardinals at McKechnie Field. First pitch is at 6:30 p.m. with gates opening at 5:30.