DAYTONA BEACH, FL - The Daytona Tortugas erased an early deficit but couldn't come out on top, losing to the Bradenton Marauders, 5-3, on Thirsty Thursday evening at Radiology Associates Field at Jackie Robinson Ballpark in front of 2,491 fans.
For the third time in the series, the Marauders got on the board first. The first three men reached against Tortugas RHP Jonathon Crawford in the top of the first. Then Logan Hill coaxed a walk to force in Cole Tucker and put Bradenton in the lead, 1-0. Ke'Bryan Hayes would follow that with a sacrifice-fly to right, scoring Logan Ratladge, to give the visiting team a two-run lead.
In what ended up being a very long first frame, the Tortugas also put a run up in the first. Shed Long and Nick Senzel put runners on the corners with one out and Gavin LaValley striding to the dish. Bradenton's catcher Christian Kelley attempted a pickoff throw to third that went awry after the opening strike to LaValley, enabling Long to score to cut the deficit to 2-1.
The Marauders were next up in the scoring column. In the fourth, RHP Austin Orewiler plunked Will Craig with the bases loaded to bring in another run and extend Bradenton's lead to 3-1.
The resilient Tortugas got their first two men on in the sixth on an Alfredo Rodriguez single and a Long double. LaValley's grounder to second with the infield back brought in A-Rod to make it 3-2. That was his 26th RBI of the campaign.
Daytona evened the score in the eighth and was inches away from taking the lead. Mitch Piatnik notched his first triple of 2017 to left-center field to start the stanza off of new RHP Casey Stadler. After a walk to Rodriguez, Long hit a bounder to second in which Alfredo Reyes came home with the throw. It was too late, as Piatnik beat it out and notted the game at 3. Two batters later, LaValley hit consecutive foul balls that went just foul in the left field corner and the Tortugas wouldn't score any more runs.
As fate would have it, Logan Hill homered with one out in the ninth off of RHP Robert Stock (1-3) and Casey Hughston would hit an RBI triple which gave the Marauders the margin of victory it needed, 5-3.
Five pitchers logged time on the mound for Daytona after Crawford couldn't work his way out of the fourth. He went 3 1/3 innings, allowing three hits, three earned runs, and five walks, receiving another no decision.
RHP Dario Agrazal was fantastic for the Marauders in his start. He went seven strong innings, yielding five hits, two runs (one earned), no walks and eight punchouts. Sadler (1-0) would surrender the Bradenton lead in the eighth but pitch the ninth to save his own victory.
Daytona hits the road for a seven game road trip that begins in Tampa against the Yankees on Friday night. RHP Jose Lopez gets the ball for the Tortugas opposite of RHP Albert Abreu. First pitch at Steinbrenner Field will be at 7:00 PM with the Metcare Pregame Show beginning at 6:50 PM on AM 1230 and AM 1490 WSBB.
Notes: The Tortugas are 1-3-2 in their last six series… Daytona turned two more double plays on Thursday evening and lead the league with 43… Austin Orewiler pitched 2 2/3 shutout innings on the evening of his 24th birthday… The Tortugas have lost three straight series finales after winning six straight… Daytona suffered its first Thursday loss of 2017 (6-1)… Alfredo Rodriguez extended his hitting streak to a career-best 11 games.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.