BRADENTON – The Marauders (18-19) fell under .500 by losing a 4-3 10-inning thriller on Monday at McKechnie Field against the Lakeland Flying Tigers (24-12). Josh Bell provided a big day at the plate for the Marauders, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI.
Chad Kuhl started the game on the mound and battled uncharacteristic wildness early. Kuhl walked Dixon Machado leading off the game, and with two outs hit consecutive batters to load the bases. Austin Green smashed a hard comebacker that Kuhl was able to knock down to strand the bases loaded.
The teams traded runs over the first three innings. Bell doubled with one out in the first to score Jeff Roy and give the Marauders a 1-0 lead. Lakeland struck back with two runs in the second to go on top 2-1, but the Marauders answered in the third with three straight two-out singles by Ashley Ponce, Bell, and Eric Wood to knot the score 2-2.
Kuhl and Lakeland starter Josh Turley cruised through the middle innings. Kuhl whiffed four over six strong frames, while Turley made it through seven innings and whiffed seven. Lakeland scratched out a run in the top of the seventh against Josh Smith, who walked in the go-ahead run with the bases loaded, to put Turley in line for the win.
The Marauders rallied against the Flying Tigers bullpen. Ponce worked a one-out walk against Guido Knudson in the eighth, and Bell followed with a double to left-center to tie the game again 3-3.
Green singled in the 10th against Robby Rowland (L, 0-3), who had previously tossed a scoreless ninth. Green reached third with two outs, and came in to score on an infield single deep to third by Tyler Hanover.
Roy walked with one out against Angel Nesbitt (S, 5). Roy moved over on Ponce’s groundout, leading Nesbitt to intentionally walk Bell. Wood grounded back to the mound to end the game.
Tyler Clark (W, 3-0) earned the win on the mound by pitching a scoreless ninth.
The Marauders and Flying Tigers meet again on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. John Kuchno will start for the Marauders. Gates open at 5:30 p.m.
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