BRADENTON – The Marauders (18-20) were stifled for nine innings by the Lakeland Flying Tigers (25-12) on Tuesday night at McKechnie Field. Kevin Eichhorn (W, 3-0) fired seven scoreless innings, limiting the Marauders to three hits while striking out three.
Lakeland leapt in front in the first inning after a 19 minute weather delay. Dixon Machado doubled on a high chopper down the third base line, then moved to third on an infield single by Jeff Holm. Jeff McVaney walked to load the bases. John Kuchno (L, 3-3) struck out cleanup hitter Lance Durham, but Conner Harrell’s single to center plated a run. Austin Green grounded into a double play to end the inning.
In the third, Machado doubled for a second time and came in to score on a wild pitch with two outs. Durham singled home a run in the fifth off Kuchno for the game’s final tally. Kuchno whiffed five and walked four while allowing five hits over five innings. Two of the three runs were earned.
The Marauders brought the tying run to the plate with two outs in the sixth, but Josh Bell’s fly to center was caught just shy of the track. With two outs in the eighth, Ashley Ponce came up with two on, but grounded out to third against Calvin Drummond (S, 1). Drummond struck out the side in the ninth to earn his first save.
Adam Frazier, Ponce, Bell, and Jeff Roy each had a base hit for the Marauders.
Game three of the series is at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday night at McKechnie Field. The Marauders will send Orlando Castro to the mound. Gates open at 5:30 p.m.
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