BRADENTON – The Marauders (34-21,69-55) exploded for five runs in the eighth to erase a 2-0 deficit and defeat the St. Lucie Mets (28-26, 68-55) 5-2 on Saturday night at McKechnie Field. Jordan Steranka gave the Marauders the lead with a three-run double off T.J. Chism with one out in the decisive inning.
The game started as a duel between John Kuchno and Luis Cessa. Cessa was the more dominant of the two, striking out seven and allowing only one hit and one walk over five innings. Kuchno lasted longer, tossing seven innings and allowing two runs on three hits. Kuchno retook the league lead for innings pitched, passing teammate Chad Kuhl.
The rally in the eighth started against Beck Wheeler (L, 4-3). Wheeler surrendered solid singles to Justin Howard and Jacob Stallings to start the inning. Raul Fortunato put down a bunt to the left of the hill that wound up as a hit to load the bases. Chism was summoned to set up a left on left matchup with Adam Frazier, who looped a run-scoring single to left. Chism struck out Walker Gourley for the first out of the inning, but Steranka tagged the go-ahead hit down the third base line. The final run came across on an error.
Joan Montero (W, 2-0) pitched a scoreless eighth in relief of Kuchno to get the win. Yhonathan Barrios (S, 7) fired a scoreless ninth to earn the save.
Tyler Glasnow heads to the mound with a chance to clinch a season series win over the Mets on Sunday. The game starts at 5:00 p.m. with gates opening at 4:00 p.m. Seth Lugo will start for the Mets.
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