Port Charlotte, FL – The Marauders (0-1) did not trail until the bottom of the eighth, but the Charlotte Stone Crabs (1-0) first lead of the game was the final margin as the home team emerged with a 5-4 win Thursday night at Charlotte Sports Park. After an infield error set the Stone Crabs up with the go-ahead run at third with nobody out, a wild pitch from Robby Rowland (L, 0-1) brought home Maxx Tissenbaum with the eventual winning run.
Bradenton jumped in front early on a solo home run by Jordan Steranka in the top of the third. The blast off Roberto Gomez sailed onto the boardwalk in right center and sparked the Bradenton offense. The Marauders extended the lead to 3-0 in the fifth inning. A one-out walk to Max Moroff and a single from Adam Frazier set up Josh Bell for his first RBI as a Marauder. Bell ripped a single to right field to bring home Moroff. Bell was thrown out trying to advance on the throw home. Frazier wound up at third on the play and scored on a throwing error.
Charlotte battled back in the fifth, breaking through against Jason Creasy for the first time. Creasy pitched 4 2/3 innings and left with a 3-2 lead. Creasy struck out two and walked a pair. Tyler Waldron recorded the final out of the fifth.
The Marauders took advantage of another errant throw to plate a run in the top of the sixth, but Charlotte answered against Ryan Hafner in the bottom half. Josh Sale’s two-RBI single knotted the game 4-4.
The game remained even until the eighth. Tissenbaum led off with a single to right off of Rowland. Patrick Leonard’s grounder between third and short was snared by the shortstop Frazier, but his throw to second was high and allowed each runner to take an extra base and set up Tissenbaum’s chance to score on the next pitch.
Marcos Jensen (W, 1-0) pitched two scoreless innings for the Stone Crabs. Jensen gave way to Kevin Brandt (S, 1), who worked around a leadoff infield single by Jeff Roy to earn the save.
The Marauders return to Port Charlotte on Friday for the second game of the season. Chad Kuhl is the scheduled starting pitcher for Bradenton. First pitch is at 6:30 p.m. Live coverage of the game will be available online starting at 6:15 p.m. at www.BradentonMarauders.com.