Bradenton, Fla.--- The Marauders (29-18, 64-48) and the Lakeland Flying Tigers (30-17, 56-56) for the penultimate game of a six-game series at LECOM Park on a humid and breezy Saturday night on the Suncoast. Lakeland led heading into the final inning but could not hang on as Bradenton punched back
Bradenton, Fla.--- The Marauders (29-18, 64-48) and the Lakeland Flying Tigers (30-17, 56-56) for the penultimate game of a six-game series at LECOM Park on a humid and breezy Saturday night on the Suncoast. Lakeland led heading into the final inning but could not hang on as Bradenton punched back late and locked up a 5-3 win to guarantee a series split.
Marauders starter and Pirates big leaguer Max Kranick showed his MLB-caliber arm as he tossed three dominant innings while striking out two and holding the Tigers scoreless.
Bradenton went out in front in the second inning when Charles McAdoo led off the inning with a triple off the wall before a sac fly from Omar Alfonzo brought the leadoff man home to make it 1-0 good guys.
In the fourth, Lakeland shot themselves in front thanks to a two-RBI double from their switch-hitting RBI leader Mike Rothenberg to make it 2-1 in favor of the visitors.
Marauders starter Wilber Dotel tossed innings 4-8 for Bradenton, allowing three earned runs while striking out three of the 21 men he faced. Dotel earned the win by night’s end, his fifth of the season.
The Tigers doubled their lead with a solo home run in the seventh to make it 3-1, but this would be the last joyous moment at the plate for Lakeland.
Bradenton scored two runs in the home seventh thanks to RBI singles from Lonnie White Jr. and Geovanny Planchart to level the contest at 3-3.
In the home half of the eighth, the Marauders gave away a pair of outs when a runner was caught stealing and then gunned down trying to stretch a double. Yordany De Los Santos walked to put a man on with two away as Bradenton pulled Deivis Nadal off the bench to pinch hit.
Nadal proved to be one of the hottest bats in the FSL last week and lived up to the moniker when he crushed a triple off the wall in left to score De Los Santos and put Bradenton ahead for the first time since the fourth inning.
Nadal charged home on a wild pitch, the first offering of the next at-bat, to make it a 5-3 lead for the Marauders.
In the ninth, Brandan Bidois surrendered a leadoff single but went on to shut down the Tigers, sealing the 5-3 win with a game-ending ground out.
The series finale on Sunday at noon is loaded with playoff implications, as the Marauders can tie the Tigers for first with a win. Paul Skenes will start for Bradenton.