TAMPA, Fla. - In a duel between two southpaws, Ian Clarkin came out on top. The 22-year-old tallied a season-high eight strikeouts in six shutout innings as the Tampa Yankees (6-4) defeated the Bradenton Marauders (8-2), 3-1, on Friday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
LHP Taylor Hearn made the start for Bradenton and didn't surrender much until the fifth inning.
Mandy Alvarez and Abiatal Avelino lined back-to-back singles, placing runners on the corners. Avelino stole second before Sharif Othman drove home Alvarez with a groundout to shortstop. Hearn struck out the next two batters to end the threat.
Clarkin (W, 2-0) held the Marauders to two hits and three walks, throwing 55 of 93 pitches for strikes. The lone two hits allowed by the San Diego native were weak groundball singles by Mitchell Tolman in the first and Danny Arribas in the third.
Jhalan Jackson pinch-hit for Tito Polo in the sixth and lined a one-out single into left. Trey Amburgey followed with a line drive home run inside the left field foul pole, giving Tampa a 3-0 lead.
Hearn (L, 1-1) allowed three earned runs on six hits in six innings, striking out seven while not allowing a walk. The 22-year-old threw 57-of-81 pitches for strikes.
RHP Jose Peña relieved Clarkin in the seventh and retired the first five batters he faced before Bradenton got on the board. Arribas legged out an infield single and scored on a two-out RBI double by Cole Tucker.
RHP Colten Brewer (SV, 2) entered for Peña and struck out Tolman, ending the Bradenton threat. Brewer tossed a 1-2-3 ninth, picking up his second save.
Jorge Mateo (1-for-4) extended his hitting streak to six games. Amburgey (1-for-4, HR, 2RBI, R) hit his first home run of the season. Clarkin (8K), Peña (3K) and Brewer (1K) combined to strike out 12 Marauders.
The series concludes on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. RHP Zack Littell (0-0, 2.25 ERA) is set to start for the Yankees against RHP Gage Hinsz (0-0, 9.82 ERA) for the Marauders. On Salute to Service Members Saturday, all military receive free upper reserved tickets with a valid I.D. Player autographs will occur on the concourse from 5:40-6:00 p.m.
Prior to Saturday's game, kids ages 14-and-under can hunt for 10,000 Easter eggs at the stadium. Gates open at 4:30 p.m. and the hunt starts at 5:00 p.m. For tickets and promotional information, call (813) 673-3055 or visit tybaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.