The Stone Crabs opened strong and held off a late rally by the Bradenton Marauders as they won the series opener 9-5 on Saturday night at Charlotte Sports Park.
The Stone Crabs jumped out to a three run lead in the opening frame. Andrew Toles went deep to right for his first home run of 2014. Later in the inning, Maxx Tissenbaum would drive home Leonardo Reginatto and Pat Leonard to give the Stone Crabs a 3-0 lead.
Bradenton would get back a run on the third on a solo shot by Walker Gourley to pull within two runs.
The Stone Crabs orchestrated another multiple run inning in the bottom of the third. Reginatto drew a free pass to lead off the inning. Josh Sale drove home Reginatto with a double to left. Sale would later score on a double by Hector Guevara to extend the lead to 5-1.
The biggest inning of the night for the Stone Crabs came in the fifth inning. Leonard doubled to center followed by a single by Sale. Leonard scored the first run of the frame on a sac fly by Tissenbaum. Then Tommy Coyle cleared the bases with a three run homer to give the Stone Crabs a commanding 9-1 lead.
The Marauders rallied in the eighth inning, scoring four runs off the Stone Crabs bullpen. But the Stone Crabs closed the door before things got too far out of hand to preserve the 9-5 victory.
Reinaldo Lopez picked up the win for the Stone Crabs while John Kuchno was charged with the loss.
The series now shifts to McKechnie Field for the finale on Sunday. Bruedlin Suero (3-2, 4.12) is scheduled to start against Orlando Castro (3-2, 2.90).
- Andrew Toles (CF): 1 for 4 with a home run
- Tyler Goeddel (3B): 0 for 4
- Leonardo Reginatto (SS): 1 for 3 with a walk and 2 runs scored
- Pat Leonard (1B): 1 for 3 with a double, walk and 2 runs scored
- Josh Sale (LF): 2 for 3 with a double, RBI and 2 runs scored
- Maxx Tissenbaum (C): 1 for 3 with 3 RBI’s
- Hector Guevara (DH): 3 for 4 with a double, RBI and a run scored
- Tommy Coyle (2B): 1 for 4 with a three run homer
- Marty Gantt (RF): 1 for 4
- Reinaldo Lopez (Win, 3-2): 1 run on 4 hits with 5 strikeouts and 4 walks in 7 innings
- Eli Echarry: 4 unearned runs on 3 hits with a walk in 1 inning
- Ryan Garton: 1 scoreless inning with a hit, 2 strikeouts and a walk