LAKELAND – The Marauders (56-46, 21-12) climbed to within 1.5 games of first place with a 6-2 win over the Flying Tigers (50-50, 8-25) on Friday night at Joker Marchant Stadium. Chad Kuhl (W, 11-5) matched Nathan Adcock for the most wins in a single season by a Marauder, tossing five innings and striking out three while allowing two runs.
The Marauders plated two runs in the first against Tommy Collier (L, 1-1). Adam Frazier walked to start the game and Max Moroff followed with a bunt single. Frazier alertly took third base on Moroff’s hit, and scored one out later on a balk. Moroff scored when Eric Wood reached on a two-out error.
James Robbins homered in the second for Lakeland, his second of the series and 14th of the year to trim the lead to 2-1, but Bradenton answered quickly. Walker Gourley singled in one run and Jacob Stallings doubled home two more to put the Marauders up 5-1. Stallings finished 2-for-4 with two doubles, while Gourley went 3-for-4 with a double and two runs driven in, along with a run scored and a stolen base.
Ryan Hafner retired all nine batters he faced in relief of Kuhl. Hafner struck out three. Josh Smith pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning. The last 13 Flying Tigers batters were retired in succession.
Game three of the series is at 6:00 on Saturday night. John Kuchno goes to the hill for Bradenton, while Lakeland counters with Yorfrank Lopez. The game will be broadcast online at www.BradentonMarauders.com.
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