Clearwater 2, Bradenton 1
CLEARWATER Ranfi Casimiro shut down the Bradenton Marauders through a season-high seven innings on Tuesday, leading the Clearwater Threshers to their third-straight win over Bradenton at Bright House Field.
The right-hander needed only 72 pitches in seven innings of shutout baseball, scattering four hits without issuing a walk. Of the four hits he allowed only one was well-struck - Connor Joe’s one-out double to right-center in the fifth.
Bradenton (34-29) broke the shutout and put the tying run on third with only one out in the ninth.
Carlos Tocci made a diving snare of a sinking liner to rob Kevin Kramer to start the inning, but Chase Simpson followed with a double to right field off Ulises Joaquin. Jordan Luplow’s infield single and subsequent error on shortstop Malquin Canelo placed men at the corners.
Taylor Gushue followed with a single to left, scoring Simpson to cut Clearwater’s lead to one.
With the tying run 90 feet from home, Joaquin came up clutch.
The right-hander struck out Connor Joe on a low offspeed pitch for the second out, and got Elvis Escobar out swinging to end the ballgame and earn his fifth save in as many tries.
The Threshers opened the scoring in the first inning against Bradenton hurler Austin Coley, after Tocci notched an infield hit and Andrew Pullin smashed a double to the wall in center to score Tocci with the game’s first run.
Coley (8-5) worked in an out of jams over the next five innings, but the Threshers squeezed out a key second run in the third.
Up next: The Marauders look to avoid a sweep of the four-game set on Wednesday, with a noon first pitch on Camp Day at Bright House Field. Shane Watson (1-2) of Clearwater toes the rubber against Bradenton’s Colten Brewer (2-7).