BRADENTON – The Marauders stifled the Palm Beach Cardinals on Wednesday night at McKechnie Field, holding the Red Birds to five hits in a 3-1 win. The game was played in a brisk two hours and two minutes.
Pat Ludwig (W, 1-2) and Kurt Heyer (L, 5-4) traded zeroes until the bottom of the sixth inning. Stetson Allie smoked a one-out solo home run to put Bradenton on top 1-0. The Marauders plated two more runs in the seventh and led 3-0 into the eighth.
Ludwig tossed two-hit ball over seven innings. He struck out seven and walked just one. The Marauders played outstanding defense in support of the righty. Gift Ngoepe threw out Alex Mejia on a ball deflected by Ashley Ponce in the third.
Dan Gamache made a diving stop to take a hit away from Ronny Gil in the third. In the fourth inning Taylor Lewis ran full speed into the scoreboard while holding on to rob Jacob Wilson of a double.
Orlando Castro allowed a leadoff triple to Nick Longmire in the eighth inning, and the Cardinals promptly got on the board when Danny Stienstra followed with a single to cut the Bradenton lead to 3-1.
Later in the inning Castro faced David Popkins with the tying runs in scoring position and induced a comebacker to save a run. He then got out of the jam with a ground out by Mejia. Castro pitched a perfect ninth for his first save.
Elias Diaz went 2-for-3 with an RBI. Diaz has had two hits or more in five of his last six games, including four straight. Junior Sosa had two hits and a sacrifice fly. Jose Osuna added his 22nd double for the Marauders.
The series finale is Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. Joely Rodriguez will be on the hill for the Marauders, while the Cardinals counter with Marco Gonzales.
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