LAKELAND, Fla. - In the season debut of LHP Cam Vieaux, it was the bats of the Bradenton Marauders that stole the show on Monday night at Publix Field at Joker Merchant Stadium, home of the Lakeland Flying Tigers. The offensive prowess began in the top of the very first inning as Adrian Valerio roped a one out double to left field and came around to score on a wild pitch from Lakeland starting pitcher Tom de Blok. The Marauders added another run on a Lucas Tancas single to left field that plated Hunter Owen from first base and brought the score to 2-0 Marauders after one inning.
After the Flying Tigers scored a run in the bottom of the 2nd inning on an Anthony Pereira single, Bligh Madris answered as he drove his first home run of the season to right field in the 3rd to bring the score to 4-1 Bradenton. The home side would tack on another pair of runs in the 3rd inning on the back of Blaise Salter's first home run of the season, a two run shot that brought the score to 4-3 with Bradenton clinging on to the tight lead until the top of the very last inning. It was at that point that the Marauder's bats re-awakened to the tune of three additional runs to add on to their lead in the frame. The inning began with an Alfredo Reyes bunt single and a Jason Delay HBP; both runners were advanced a base on a sacrifice bunt from Casey Hughston. After Reyes scored when Lakeland reliever Will Vest misplayed a ball in the infield, Bligh Madris capped off his explosive night at the plate with two more RBIs on a double to right field to make the score 7-3 Bradenton. Matt Eckelman finished his 2.1 innings of scoreless relief in the bottom of the 9th to earn his second save of the season and move the Bradenton Marauders to 4-1 on the young season.
The Marauders take on the Flying Tigers in Game 2 of a 4 game set in Lakeland Tuesday night, with RHP Eduardo Vera and Tigers number 10 prospect LHP Gregory Soto squaring off and first pitch scheduled for 6:30 pm.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.