CLEARWATER, FL – Cade Fergus’ fifth-inning grand slam gave the Clearwater Threshers (25-9) a nine-run lead, which was enough to hold off a late comeback by the Bradenton Marauders (20-14) in a 12-10 victory at BayCare Ballpark on Tuesday night. The top two teams in the Florida State League West Division square off again on Wednesday morning in Clearwater.
Gabriel Rincones Jr. started off the second inning with a double to left off of Marauders reliever Blake Cedarlind. Rincones Jr. moved to third on a single by Fergus after Felix Reyes was hit by a pitch. Bryan Rincon scored with an RBI single to plate Rincones Jr. and make it 1-0 Threshers. With two outs in the inning, Erick Brito hit a deep fly ball into the Threshers bullpen to extend the lead to 4-0 after two.
Ricardo Rosario and Otto Kemp each walked and stole a base to lead off the third, and Jordan Dissin singled off Marauders reliever Miguel Fulgencio to score them both and give the Threshers a 6-0 lead. Back-to-back home runs by Geovanny Planchart and Shalin Polanco cut the Threshers lead in half to 6-3 in the top of the fourth.
Rincon led off the home half of the fourth with a walk but was thrown out trying to advance to third on Brito’s single. Emaarion Boyd doubled in Brito to make it 7-3 but was thrown out at third trying to stretch the hit into a triple.
Kemp doubled to left to lead off the fifth inning, and Rincones Jr. walked to put two on with nobody out, advancing to third on an RBI single by Dissin that scored Kemp and made it 8-3 Threshers. After a five-pitch walk to Felix Reyes, Fergus hit a grand slam off the batter’s eye that extended the Threshers lead to 12-3.
Bradenton mounted a comeback in the fourth, scoring four runs on two doubles, a sacrifice fly, and a wild pitch to make it 12-7. They plated three more in the ninth, and with the go-ahead run at the plate, Jack Dallas struck out Alexander Mojica to end the game with the Threshers victorious at 12-10.
Samuel Aldegheri tossed 4.0 innings, allowing three runs on four hits with one walk and six strikeouts in a no-decision. Jace Vines (1-0) earned the win in 1.0 scoreless hitless frame with one strikeout. Jonathan Petit allowed four runs on five hits with one walk and two strikeouts in 3.0 innings. Eduar Segovia allowed three runs on three walks in 0.1 innings and Dallas earned the save with two hits and a strikeout allowed in 0.2 frames.