Vaughn Grissom had not one but two grand slams on Thursday.
Vaughn Grissom hit two grand slams in one game, which may be the story of the month down on the farm. That performance overshadowed a dominant start from Andrew Hoffmann in that same game. Outside of Rome, we also saw a big game out of Justin Dean, a three-hit night from Brandol Mezquita, and a mostly strong start from Jared Shuster.
Gwinnett Stripers 10, Indianapolis Indians 5
- Delino DeShields Jr. CF, 1-1, 2 BB, R, 3 RBI, HR, SB, .746 OPS
- Preston Tucker, DH: 2-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR, .788 OPS
- Pat Valaika, SS: 2-4, 3 R, RBI, BB, 2B, .789 OPS
- Bryce Elder, SP: 5 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 5.83 ERA
Bryce Elder didn’t have his best game, but it didn’t matter since his team was able to spot him with 10 runs in this win. Elder went five innings and allowed five runs – four earned, on eight hits and a walk while striking out three. Victor Vodnik struck out two in a scoreless inning of relief while Brad Brach, Brandyn Sittinger, and Michael Tonkin each added scoreless frames to finish this one off.
It’s hard to pick one offensive standout in a game like this because most of the lineup did something. Delino DeShields Jr. homered, walked twice and knocked in three. Preston Tucker had two hits, including a homer while Pat Valaika went 2-for-4 with a double and scored three runs. Kramer Robertson had two hits, two steals and scored twice. Every starter except for Mike Ford picked up at least one base hit as the Stripers combined for 12 hits and six walks while scoring 10 runs.
Birmingham Barons 6, Mississippi Braves 5
- Justin Dean, CF: 3-4, 2 R, BB, 2B, 2 SB, .724 OPS
- Yariel Gonzalez, SS: 1-4, 3 RBI, 2B, .671 OPS
- Jared Shuster, SP: 5.1 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 3 BB, 6 K, 3.63 ERA
Jared Shuster’s final line may not look like anything good, but he actually pitched very well last night. Through five innings he had allowed just one run, but appeared to run out of gas once he came back out for the sixth. Shuster allowed five runs, including a pair of homers, while recording just one out before being chased out by the Barons’ bats. Overall he ended up giving up six runs on six hits and three walks with six strikeouts over 5 1/3. Just like in the Gwinnett game, the pen didn’t allow any further damage, as Justin Maese, Tyler Ferguson and Indigo Diaz went closed things out.
Justin Dean was the star of the offense on Thursday, filling up the boxscore with a three-hit game that included a double, a walk, two steals, and two runs scored. Dean started the year slow, but since May 10 he has started to hit much better and this was just a continuation of that. Yariel Gonzalez added a double and three RBI while Riley Delgado went 2-4 and Drew Lugbauer added a double.
Rome Braves 22, Asheville Tourists 1
- Vaughn Grissom, SS: 4-7, 5 R, 8 RBI, 2B, 2 HR, .829 OPS
- Justyn-Henry Malloy, DH: 3-5, 2 R, 5 RBI, 2 HR, .916 OPS
- Cody Milligan, 2B: 3-5, 4 R, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 2B, HR, .890 OPS
- Willie Carter, RF: 5-6, 4 R, 3 RBI, 2B, HR, .586 OPS
- Andrew Hoffmann, SP: 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 5 K, 2.71 ERA
On almost any other night the start that Andrew Hoffmann had here would be the top story in the game, maybe even in the system, but not on a night where the offense put up an eye-popping 22 runs. Hoffmann went seven innings, allowing a solo homer and a single while striking out five to cruise to one of the easiest wins of his career. Trey Riley and Jake McSteen followed Hoffmann with a scoreless inning apiece to finish off this blowout.
Vaughn Grissom slaughtered the helpless Tourists by himself in this one as he hit not one, but two grand slams on his way to a four-hit night that saw him score five runs to go along with eight RBI. Grissom wasn’t the only multi-homer game here as Justyn-Henry Malloy added a pair while going 3-for-5. Those weren’t the only huge stat lines either, as Cody Milligan went 3-for-5, homered and drove in four. Outfielder Willie Carter went 5-for-6 and homered as well. Those four guys alone combined to go 15-23 with 15 runs, 20 RBI, three doubles, and six home runs. Beau Philip, Drew Campbell and Tyler Tolve all finished with two hits each.
Augusta GreenJackets 7, Charleston RiverDogs 2
- Brandol Mezquita, CF: 3-5, R, .835 OPS
- Caleb Durbin, 2B: 1-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, HR, SB, .839 OPS
- Jordano Perez, SP: 5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K, 3.24 ERA
Jordano Perez got the start and pitched five scoreless innings as the 21-year old Dominican right-hander is quietly putting up a very strong season. With this game Perez is at eight starts and 41.2 innings with a 3.24 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, and 37 strikeouts to just 10 walks. Estarlin Rodriguez followed and gave up a run during his two innings of work, as did Rob Griswold, who pitched the final two innings.
Caleb Durbin and Brandol Mezquita led the Augusta offense in this one. Durbin homered, scored twice and added a stolen base. Mezquita went 3-for-5 at the plate and scored a run. Adam Zebrowski added a homer as well, going 2-4 on the night, and Brandon Parker, Stephen Paolini, and Brian Klein each had two-hit games. The Jackets combined for 13 hits and four walks, and every starter except Cal Conley and Connor Blair had at least one hit.