Stefan Welch forces in the winning run
photo by Craig Jorgensen
BRADENTON -- The Bradenton Marauders topped the St. Lucie Mets 3-2 in 11 innings to open their season in front of 4,256 exillerated fans. The decisive run scored when former St. Lucie Met Stefan Welch was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the 11th.
Gift Ngoepe starred for the Marauders, collecting three hits and playing outstanding defense at shortstop. Ngoepe scored two of the Marauders three runs, including the game winner.
Colton Cain started on the hill for Bradenton, throwing 3.2 innings and striking out four. Eliecer Navarro, Casey Sadler and Jhonathan Ramos (W, 1-0) combined to throw 7.1 innings of four-hit ball with seven strikeouts. Ryan Fraser (L, 0-1) was the pitcher of record for the Mets.
Marauder players celebrate at the plate after a hard-fought
win: photo Craig Jorgensen
Each team scored a single run in the first and second innings. Evan Chambers pick up an RBI with a first-inning sacrifice fly. The Marauders were able to win despite being held hitless from the sixth inning until Ngoepe's leadoff single in the 11th.
Mel Rojas Jr. added a double for the Marauders offense.
The Mets and Marauders meet again tomorrow night at McKechnie Field. A.J. Burnett will take the hill for the Marauders, making a rehab start. The game will be preceded at 5:45 by a fantastic Easter Egg Hunt, provided in partnership with Cheney Brothers.
You can hear the game onine at BradentonMarauders.com with pregame coverage beginning at 6:15.
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