TAMPA, Fla. - The Tampa Tarpons (21-28) walked off the Bradenton Marauders (25-24) for the second time this series Friday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field. After falling behind early, Tampa never gave up, putting together quality at bat after quality at bat. It was all capped off with the
TAMPA, Fla. - The Tampa Tarpons (21-28) walked off the Bradenton Marauders (25-24) for the second time this series Friday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field. After falling behind early, Tampa never gave up, putting together quality at bat after quality at bat. It was all capped off with the help of some poor Marauder defense that allowed the Tarpons to come all the way back.
RHP Sean Hermann (4.0IP, 11H, 6R, 4ER, 2BB, 4K, 2HR) took the mound for the Tarpons and had trouble keeping the Marauders off the base path. He allowed eleven hits in his four innings of work. Bradenton was able to square up Hermann’s pitches, averaging an exit velocity of 90.5 MPH off of him. The sinker, Hermann’s second most relied-on pitch, was the pitch Bradenton really hit hard, averaging an exit velocity of 102 MPH.
The rally would not have mattered if it were not for RHP Luis Velasquez. After falling behind 6-0, Velasquez came in and was able to keep the deficit right where it was. He recorded six outs, and they all came via the strikeout. He allowed his offense to chip away while holding Bradenton's hitters down. Velazquez lowered his ERA to 1.05.
After the one-hour rain delay, Bradenton came out swinging in the first. Enmanuel Terrero and Jack Brannigan hit game-opening singles, and the Pirates’ number one prospect, Termarr Johnson, ripped a three-run home run over the left field wall to give the Marauders an early three-run advantage.
The Marauders were able to scratch across one more run in the fourth. After a funky play in which Tampa executed a 7-6-1 relay to get Deivis Nadal at third base trying to stretch out a double, Geovanny Planchart reached first on an infield single. He advanced to third when 1B Jesus Rodriguez made a diving stop at first but threw the ball away trying to get the force out at second. C Agustin Ramirez hosed Terrero, trying to steal second and gave Hermann a chance to work out of the jam, but Hermann balked, letting Planchart score, extending the Bradenton lead to four.
Nick Cimillo reached first base to start the fifth on a throwing error by 3B Beau Brewer. Shalin Polanco wasted no time capitalizing on the error, blasting a home run over the right field wall to grow the lead to six runs. The homer was Polanco’s team-leading seventh of the year.
Rodriguez blasted a 102 MPH leadoff triple into the left-center gap to start the fifth inning. A productive groundout for 2B Brett Barrera put the Tarpons on the board, cutting the lead to five. RF Felix Negueis drew a walk, moved up to second on a wild pickoff throw from Alessandro Ercolani, and crossed the plate when SS Jared Sena dumped a single into right field. CF Anthony Hall smoked a 106 MPH triple down the right field line that scored Serna all the way from first.
Cimillo walked to start the seventh inning. He advanced all the way to third on a wild pitch when Ramirez could not find the ball behind the plate. With time left to rally, stranding the runner at third was important, and Negueis did that by making an all-out dive to rob Jesus Castillo of an RBI. The line drive had an expected batting average of .580.
With Brewer on first after a leadoff knock in the seventh, he advanced to second on a wild pitch and moved to third on a dropped third strike that retired Negueis. Serna walked, and that brought up Hall with runners on the corners, and he lofted a SAC-fly to center field to bring Tampa within two.
Was that Ricky Vaughn on the mound or Joshua Loeschorn? Whoever it was, it did not matter because the Tarpons put together quite a rally in the ninth. It all started when Barrera reached on an E4 and a walk by Brewer. After a fielder's choice by Negueis, Serna dropped in a single to bring the Tarpons within one, picking up his second RBI of the game. A botched pickoff attempt from Loeschorn put the tying run on third and the winning run on second. The nightmare inning for Loeschorn continued when he balked to bring in the tying run and moved the winning run ninety feet away from scoring. Bradenton elected to intentionally walk the bases loaded to set up the force at all bases. Would you believe what happened next? A wild pitch! Serna rushed home as the game-winning run to cap off his excellent night. The Tarpons mobbed home plate as the crowd cheered for Tampa.
The Tarpons will be back at it against the Marauders tonight for Marvel Defenders of the Diamond Night. RHP Justin Lange will toe the slab, with first pitch set for 6:30 p.m. at GMS Field.