PORT CHARLOTTE – The Marauders (18-16) scored five runs in the second inning and cruised to an 8-2 win over the Stone Crabs (16-18) on Thursday night at Charlotte Sports Park. Thomas Harlan (W, 1-1) earned the win with 2 2/3 scoreless innings of relief, striking out four Charlotte batters in the process.
Josh Bell doubled in the first inning to start a big day at the plate, but it wasn’t until the second that the Marauders got on the board against Reinaldo Lopez (L, 2-2). Max Moroff singled and Jin-De Jhang doubled to put two runners on. Taylor Lewis hit a grounder to third to bring home Moroff, and reached himself with the throw was wide of the bag. D.J. Crumlich moved Jhang and Lewis over with a sacrifice bunt, and Lopez proceeded by walking Jeff Roy to load the bases and Adam Frazier to force in the second run. Jonathan Schwind hit a sacrifice fly to center to push the lead to 3-0 before Bell doubled again to score two more.
Charlotte got a run back in the bottom of the second against John Kuchno. Kuchno pitch 4 1/3 innings, walking five and allowing two runs, only one of which was earned. He struck out one.
Bradenton scored again in the fifth. Schwind, Eric Wood, and Moroff singled to load the bases with one out. Moroff’s single chased Lopez. Jhang hit a sacrifice fly to center to increase the lead back to five runs at 6-1.
After the Stone Crabs trimmed the lead to 6-2 and chased Kuchno, Bell came through again from Bradenton. Crumlich singled and Roy walked to put two on in the sixth against Bruedlin Suero. Frazier bunted the runners over, but Schwind’s fly out to right was not deep enough to score Crumlich. Bell singled to center field to plate both runs and give the Marauders the final two runs of the game.
Bryton Trepagnier pitched two scoreless innings to finish the game for Bradenton. Bell finished 3-for-5 with two doubles and four RBI.
Game three of the series is Friday night at Charlotte Sports Park at 6:30 p.m. Jason Creasy will start for the Marauders against Jeffrey Ames of the Stone Crabs. The game will be broadcast online at www.BradentonMarauders.com.
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