Reigning Florida State League Player of the Week Dante Bichette Jr. launched a two-run home run off Pat Ludwig (L, 2-1) with one out in the ninth to flip a one-run deficit into a one-run lead and give the Tampa Yankees a 3-2 victory over the Bradenton Marauders on Friday night at McKechnie Field.
The victory allowed the Yankees to avoid a four-game sweep.
State College of Florida standout Nick Goody (W, 2-0) pitched two scoreless innings in relief to earn the win for the Yankees. He struck out three batters and allowed one hit. Phil Wetherell (S, 3) collected his third save, stranding the tying run at third in the home half of the ninth. John Kuchno started the game for Bradenton and blanked the Yankees through seven dominant innings. Kuchno faced the minimum through five innings and was only threatened in the seventh, when he collected two of his four strikeouts to strand a pair of runners. The right-hander walked one and hit one. Bradenton’s two runs came across in the third inning. Adam Frazier, Walker Gourley, and Josh Bell hit three consecutive singles against Yankees starter Daniel Camarena with two outs, and a throwing error in right field on Bell’s single allowed Gourley to score all the way from first. The third-inning rally almost ended prematurely when Frazier appeared to be thrown out at third base while trying to take an extra bag on Gourley’s knock. Frazier was ruled to have been obstructed after the umpires conferenced on the play. Yankees Manager Al Pedrique was thrown out while arguing the call. Ludwig took over for Kuchno in the eighth, and promptly surrendered a solo home run to Zach Wilson that cut the lead in half. Tampa got the tying run to second later in the inning, but Ludwig was able to retire the side with a 2-1 lead. A leadoff error in the ninth again put the tying run aboard, and after Greg Bird’s first pitch fly out, Bichette launched his game winner to left. Gourley extended his hitting streak to seven games with his fourth multi-hit game of the streak. Jonathan Schwind’s nine-game streak came to an end in an 0-for-4 performance. The game featured a 99 minute rain delay at the start, making it the third game in the four game set to be delayed from the outset. The Marauders embark on an eight-game road trip that begins in Clearwater on Saturday night. Bradenton faces the Threshers at Bright House Field for the first of four straight games. Orlando Castro is slated to start for the Marauders. The game can be heard online on www.BradentonMarauders.com.