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Comeback Falls Short as Tarpons Drop Finale to Marauders, 11-6

DeMarco Clubs 6th HR, Falls Triple Shy of Cycle
Pat DeMarco looks on after smashing a solo home run for the first of his three hits on Sunday afternoon. (Mark LoMoglio)
June 20, 2021

TAMPA, Fla. – After falling behind early, 9-1, the Tampa Tarpons put up a five-run seventh, but the comeback fell short as the Bradenton Marauders tacked on two late insurance runs and held on to win the series-finale, 11-6, on Father’s Day Sunday at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Bradenton (27-15)

TAMPA, Fla. – After falling behind early, 9-1, the Tampa Tarpons put up a five-run seventh, but the comeback fell short as the Bradenton Marauders tacked on two late insurance runs and held on to win the series-finale, 11-6, on Father’s Day Sunday at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Bradenton (27-15) won the series, 4-2, issuing Tampa (28-14) its first series-loss of the season.

LHP Clay Aguilar began his first career start by striking out a pair in a clean first inning. One out into the second, on an 0-2 pitch, Aguilar plunked Eli Wilson. Dariel Lopez followed with a single and, one out later, Norkis Markos worked a nine-pitch walk before Hudson Head cleared the bases with a two-out double into the right field corner, giving Bradenton a 3-0 lead.

Aguilar (L, 0-1) completed two innings, yielding three earned runs on two hits, one walk and one hit-batter, striking out three on 38 pitches (25 strikes).

Tampa got a run back in the third when Pat DeMarco clobbered a solo homer to center – his sixth of the season. A base hit by Jesus Bastidas and a walk by Austin Wells put two on with two outs, but RHP Jared Jones escaped to preserve a 3-1 for the Marauders.

RHP Sean Boyle relieved Aguilar and worked a scoreless third before running into trouble in the fourth. After a hit and a walk began the frame, a throwing error by Bastidas allowed a run to score and placed runners at second and third. Back-to-back walks followed, pushing another run home. Boyle then got a pop out and a strikeout before departing.

Sammy Siani greeted RHP Tanner Myatt with a two-run single into right and stole second before scoring on a two-run single to center by Endy Rodriguez. Myatt then got Wilson to ground into a force for the final out, ending a six-run inning by Bradenton.

In the fourth, a walk by Carlos Narvaez and a base hit by DeMarco put two on with two out, but Jones stranded the pair. Jones completed four innings allowing one earned run on four hits and two walks, striking out five on 65 pitches (38 strikes).

Fast forward to the bottom of the seventh, Tampa put up a crooked number of its own, starting with a one-out solo home run by Evan Alexander off RHP Domingo Gonzalez. Bastidas was hit by the next pitch, and Gonzalez proceeded to walk the next three batters before Jake Sanford grounded a two-run single into left.

RHP Sergio Umana took over for Gonzalez (W, 1-3) and allowed one more run to score on a fielding error before getting a flyout by Eric Wagaman to end the inning, with the Tarpons cutting the deficit to 9-6.

Myatt held the Marauders scoreless in the fifth and sixth before RHP Nelvin Correa took over in the seventh. Correa retired five of the six batters he faced over two innings, with the exception being a solo homer by Head in the eighth.

LHP Michael Giacone entered in the ninth and allowed a single by Maikol Escotto followed by an RBI double by Siani to start the frame. Giacone then issued a walk to Rodriguez before finishing the inning strong with a pair of strikeouts and a flyout to strand a pair.

In the eighth, DeMarco lined a leadoff double off the wall in left, but RHP Sergio Umana retired the next three batters to strand the runner. Wells and Trevor Hauver each singled to begin the ninth, but Umana got a flyout by Sanford and a double play by Narvaez to close the game.

Anthony Volpe (0-for-3, 2BB, R) reached base twice, but saw his 15-game hitting streak come to an end. Wells (2-for-3, 2BB, R) logged his second-straight multi-hit game. DeMarco (3-for-4, HR, 2B, RBI, R) finished a triple shy of the cycle.

Up next, Tampa takes on the Lakeland Flying Tigers for a six-game series at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. RHP Yoendrys Gomez (0-0, 5.14) is scheduled to start the opener vs. RHP Joseph Salazar (0-2, 7.66) on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

The Tarpons will return to action at GMS Field on Tuesday, June 29, at 6:30 p.m. when they play host to the Jupiter Hammerheads. On Tail Waggin’ $2 Tuesday, fans can enjoy $2 select concession items through the 2nd inning AND bring your dog to the game with the purchase of a $2 dog ticket.