Bradenton, Fla. -- The Marauders (27-16, 62-46) and the Lakeland Flying Tigers (28-15, 54-54) met for the opening game of a six-game series at LECOM Park on a humid Tuesday night, with Paul Skenes on the hill for Bradenton. The Young Bucs jumped out to a massive lead early on
Bradenton, Fla. -- The Marauders (27-16, 62-46) and the Lakeland Flying Tigers (28-15, 54-54) met for the opening game of a six-game series at LECOM Park on a humid Tuesday night, with Paul Skenes on the hill for Bradenton. The Young Bucs jumped out to a massive lead early on and were able to hang on to take the win 14-13.
Marauders starter Paul Skenes made his Single-A debut. They tossed a dominant first inning while striking out two and hanging a zero.
Bradenton’s offense came out fighting in the first, putting up a four spot with the inning highlighted by a three-run blast off the bat of the red-hot Charles McAdoo.
With the Young Bucs up 4-0, the bats splashed out even more damage. Mitch Jebb tripled to score a run, with McAdoo bringing in two more before Planchart and Alfonzo both collected RBI knocks to put Bradenton ahead 10-0.
The Marauders splashed out four more runs in the third on what would turn out to be a game-winning grand slam from Deivis Nadal, his second granny of the year, to put the good guys up by two touchdowns.
The Tigers began to rally in the middle innings, putting up three in the fourth and seven in the fifth. A lone tally in the sixth pulled Lakeland back into the game at 14-11 with three innings to go.
With Lakeland scoring a run in the seventh inning and the Marauders held scoreless since the third, the game went to the ninth with Bradenton holding a narrow 14-12 lead.
Brandan Bidois would strike out two but give up a run and load the bases to put the tying tally 90 feet away for Lakeland. The team saves leader Elijah Birdsong was called upon to lead the Marauders out of the massive jam.
Birdsong was pushed to the wire as Cristian Santana worked a full count to force a game-deciding pitch from the sinker-balling right-hander. Santana hit a high drive to right but did not get enough of it as Charles McAdoo was there to snare the fly ball to seal Bradenton's 14-13 win.
The Marauders now sit just one game behind the Tigers with 23 games to go in the race for the final playoff spot in the FSL West Division.
Game two is set for 6:30 on Wednesday night, with Owen Kellington set to start for Bradenton.