The Bradenton Marauders took advantage of a balk with the bases loaded to defeat the Fort Myers Miracle 3-2 in 12 innings in front of 3,919 fans at Hammond Stadium Saturday night.
With the two teams tied 2-2 in the 12th, the Miracle sent Adrian Salcedo out to start the 12th. After getting a ground out, Salcedo struggled with his command and walked the bases loaded. On a 3-2 count to Stetson Allie, Salcedo was called for a balk which forced home Benji Gonzalez for the go-ahead run.
Kirk Singer induced a double play ball and struck out Stephen Wickens to end the game and get the win.
The two teams played scoreless ball until the Miracle struck in the fifth. With one out, Mike Kvasnicka doubled to center field and Gonzalez misplayed the ball, allowing Kvasnicka to take third base. J.D. Williams then lifted an RBI sac fly to deep center field to put the Miracle up 1-0.
The Marauders also got their first run with the help of an error. Bradenton put runners at the corners with two outs in the seventh. Nelvin Fuentes appeared to pick Gift Ngoepe off, but D.J. Hicks' wild throw from first to second base skipped away which let Gonzalez score from third to tie the game.
Jose Osuna doubled in a run to give the Marauders a 2-1 lead in the seventh, but Wickens answered with a two-out run scoring double in the eighth to tie the game.
A fireworks show followed the game, but the real fireworks came on the field in the top of the fourth. With two outs and the bases clear, Jason Wheeler threw a pitch toward Dan Gamache that just grazed his backside. Marauders manager Frank Kremblas stepped out of the dugout to say something to home plate umpire Sean Ryan and Miracle manager Doug Mientkiewicz came racing out of his dugout toward Kremblas. The two managers tussled with Mientkiewicz tossing Kremblas to the ground.
Both benches and bullpens emptied but the fracas dissipated when Mientkiewicz and Kremblas moved off to the side to talk. After conversing, Kremblas patted Mientkiewicz on the backside and both managers left the field. They were ejected.
In the two teams' previous meeting on Friday in Bradenton, Gamache collied with Miracle catcher Jairo Rodriguez in a play at the plate. The collision knocked Rodriguez out of the game.
Miracle starter Jason Wheeler pitched 6 2/3 innings. He scattered six hits and gave up one unearned run. Tyler Jones pitched three scoreless innings of relief.
Wickens went 3-for-6 and extended his hitting streak to 12 games. Byron Buxton went 2-for-4 with a triple and a double. He walked twice. Buxton is now riding an 11 game hitting streak.
The Miracle and Marauders conclude their three-game series at 5 p.m. Sunday in Bradenton.