PORT ST LUCIE, FL – The Marauders (29-43, 3-1) rode a dominant start by Adrian Sampson (W, 3-3) to a 4-2 win over the St. Lucie Mets (39-32, 2-2) on Sunday at Tradition Field. Bradenton has now won all three series openers at Tradition Field this season.
Sampson pitched seven innings for the second time this season. He struck out four and didn’t walk a batter while carrying a shutout into the seventh. Matt Reynolds reached on an error and Jayce Boyd homered to break up the shutout and cut the Marauders’ 4-0 lead in half, but St. Lucie could get no closer. Ryan Beckman pitched the final two innings for his first save.
Bradenton dealt Matt Bowman (L, 4-1) his first loss of 2013. Carlos Mesa brought home Willy Garcia with a groundout to second to open the scoring in the second inning. Garcia doubled to open the frame.
The Marauders tripled their 1-0 lead in the fifth. Mesa led off the inning with a home run, his sixth of the season. With two away, Alen Hanson smashed his fifth homer of the year. Bowman ended up with seven strikeouts through six innings.
Eric Avila added an RBI-double in the seventh for the Marauders off St. Lucie reliever Bret Mitchell. Garcia finished 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored.
On Saturday night, the Marauders erased an early 3-0 deficit and defeated the Charlotte Stone Crabs (30-40, 1-2) 5-3 at McKechnie Field. Willy Garcia mashed his team-best ninth home run of the season in the comeback win.
Orlando Castro (W, 1-0) shook off some early struggles in his Marauders debut, pitching five innings and striking out four. He allowed three runs on six hits.
Trailing 3-0 in the fourth inning, the Marauders struck back for two runs against Felipe Rivero (L, 5-4). Dan Gamache walked and Stetson Allie doubled to put two in scoring position with nobody out. Rivero struck out Garcia, but Jose Osuna singled home Gamache to get Bradenton on the board. After Osuna was caught stealing for the second out, Carlos Mesa doubled to cash in Allie and make the score 3-2.
The Marauders took the lead for good in the fifth. Alen Hanson doubled with one out in the frame. Junior Sosa walked. Dan Gamache singled to right, scoring Hanson and chasing Rivero from a tie game. Jim Patterson relieved Rivero and immediately allowed a sacrifice fly to Allie, scoring Sosa from third on a fly ball to center.
Zac Fuesser pitched three scoreless innings in relief of Castro. Garcia extended the lead to 5-3 with his home run in the eighth. Robbie Kilcrease pitched a perfect ninth for his fourth save.
The second game of their series with the Mets is Monday at 6:30 p.m. Zack Dodson will start for the Marauders against Alex Panteliodis for St. Lucie. The game will be broadcast on www.BradentonMarauders.com.