BRADENTON – The Marauders (4-3) fell 6-0 to the Palm Beach Cardinals (5-2) on Thursday night at McKechnie Field. Palm Beach took two of three in the series. Mike Mayers (W, 1-1) fired six inning of three-hit, shutout ball to earn the win. Robert Stock was credited with a save for pitching three scoreless innings to close the game.
Bradenton starter Chad Kuhl (L, 1-1) escaped a bases loaded, one out jam in the first inning. All of the scoring occurred in the top of the second. Casey Rasmus led off with a single. Kuhl struck out Alex Mejia looking, but then threw away a pickoff throw to allow Rasmus to move to second. Ilgemaro Vargas dropped down a bunt single to the left side to put men on the corners with one out. The next three batters all hit safely, capped by a two-run double by Jacob Wilson to push the lead to 4-0. Kuhl induced a popup from David Washington for the second out before being lifted. Pat Ludwig took over on the mound and quickly surrendered a two-run home run to Anthony Garcia to close the scoring.
Ludwig dominated after the home run. He proceeded to strike out the side in the third inning and finished with six strikeouts over four innings. Justin Smith added 3 1/3 scoreless innings and struck out three.
Josh Bell singled with two outs in the first to extend his hitting streak to six games. The Marauders did not put a runner in scoring position until the ninth when Raul Fortunato and Bell led off with consecutive walks. Stock induced a double play grounder from Jin-De Jhang and then a fly out to left from Max Moroff to end the game.
The Marauders embark on a six-game road trip to Jupiter on Friday. Bradenton will play consecutive three-game series against the Jupiter Hammerheads and the Cardinals. John Kuchno will start Friday’s series opener against the Hammerheads. Kuchno did not allow a hit in five innings pitched in his season debut. First pitch is at 6:35 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on www.BradentonMarauders.com.
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