BRADENTON – The Dunedin Blue Jays (29-11) scored a 3-2 win over the Marauders (19-22) on Friday night at McKechnie Field. K.C. Hobson’s pop fly into shallow center carried just far enough to fall for an RBI-single to plate the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth against Josh Smith (1-1).
The game started as a battle of highly rated prospects, as Tyler Glasnow and Daniel Norris matched zeroes through the first five innings. Dunedin broke through against Glasnow first. Nick Baligod led off the sixth with a single to center. Hobson grounded into a fielder’s choice and replaced Baligod at first, then moved to second on Glasnow’s wild pitch. After Marcus Knecht walked and Emilio Guerrero flew out, Derrick Chung hit a bouncer that snuck into left field to plate Hobson with the game’s first run.
Bradenton answered in the home half of the sixth. Adam Frazier singled and went to second on a wild pitch by Norris. One out later, Josh Bell reached on an infield single to shortstop to extend his hitting streak to 10 games and put runners on the corners. Eric Wood singled to left to bring home Frazier and tie the score 1-1.
Glasnow and Norris each recorded their longest starts of the season. Glasnow pitched six innings, allowing five hits, three walks, and striking out four. Norris pitched 6 2/3 innings, striking out six Marauders in a no decision.
Pat Ludwig replaced Glasnow and struck out the side in the seventh inning. Chung struck again in the eighth, singling off Ludwig with one away to bring home Knecht to give Dunedin a 2-1 lead. Smith retired the final two batters of the eighth.
The Marauders answered again in the bottom of the eighth. Raul Fortunato hit an infield single to third base off Chad Girodo, stole second, and scored on Walker Gourley’s one-out single against Will Browning (W, 1-0). Browning struck out Bell to end the inning.
Arik Sikula struck out the side in the ninth to earn his 12th save in 13 tries after Hobson’s go-ahead hit in the top half of the inning.
Game two of the series is Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. The first 1,000 fans will receive a Rinku Singh bobble head.