The Mississippi Braves won their fourth straight game to take over the lead in the south division
On most levels it was a quiet offensive day, though down in Pensacola the Mississippi Braves broke out again to win their fourth consecutive game. Jordano Perez delivered a fantastic outing for Single-A Augusta, leading them to a close win over the top team in the Carolina League.
(24-24) Gwinnett Stripers 4, (23-25) Norfolk Tides 8
- Braden Shewmake, SS: 0-3, BB, .268/.333/.384
- Drew Waters, CF: 1-4, 2B, RBI, .297/.318/.469
- Phil Gosselin, 3B: 2-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI, .306/.364/.507
- Touki Toussaint, SP: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 6.03 ERA
- RJ Alaniz, RP: 2.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 3.10 ERA
The Stripers were challenged offensively on Sunday afternoon, and outside of a big fifth inning they struggled to make consistent contact and didn’t put up any runs. Gwinnett found themselves trailing 6-0 going into the fifth and had recorded just one hit, so when the first two batters went down easily it seemed like more of the same. Then a burst of energy came from them with Ryan Casteel doubling to flip the lineup over and Drew Waters bringing home the first Gwinnett run with an RBI double. After a walk Phil Gosselin cut the deficit to three on a two RBI double and it was reduced even further on a hit from Preston Tucker that scored Gosselin. Unfortunately Tucker was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a double, putting an end to a big two-out rally that had Gwinnett on the doorstep of a huge comeback. John Nogowski doubled with two outs in the next inning to give a bit of hope for another breath of life, but Gwinnett couldn’t bring him home and didn’t get another runner past first base in the game.
To say Touki Toussaint has struggled this season would be an understatement, but after the first inning on Sunday it seemed there was reason to hope as he went 1-2-3 and struck out two batters. Hope quickly turned to pain in the second inning as he walked the first three batters of the inning to load the bases and then allowed a bases-clearing double to put Gwinnett in a big hole. After hitting a batter he did record a ground out, but a double scored the inning’s fifth run and ended Toussaint’s day. This put RJ Alaniz in an unenviable position out of the bullpen, but he had a fantastic outing and gave Gwinnett 2 2⁄3 valuable and dominant innings. Alaniz allowed a solo home run in the fourth inning but was otherwise untouchable with six strikeouts and no other baserunners allowed. Nick Vincent was able to cover two scoreless innings, but a potential comeback got a little tougher when Michael Tonkin struggled and allowed two runs in the seventh inning. Brandon Brennan kept the game there with a scoreless eighth, but as mentioned the Gwinnett bats were a bit sleepy and never threatened a comeback.
Next Game: 5/30 vs (17-30) Louisville Bats @ 7:05 PM ET
(23-22) Mississippi Braves 7, (20-20) Pensacola Blue Wahoos 2
- Andrew Moritz, LF: 2-4, 2B, BB, 2 RBI, .247/.348/.312
- CJ Alexander, 3B: 2-4, RBI, .265/.310/.462
- Luke Waddell, 2B: 2-4, 2B, 2 BB, 3 RBI, .268/.363/.369
- Alan Rangel, SP: 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 4.54 ERA
- Tyler Ferguson, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 4.50 ERA
Mississippi’s offense doesn’t seem to be missing Michael Harris much, as they once again put on a show in Pensacola to win their fourth straight game and move into a tie for the division lead. Three base hits in the second inning brought home their first run of the day, with Trey Harris delivering the run-scoring hit to give Mississippi a lead. Pensacola responded with two runs to flip the lead to their side, but the Braves answered right back in the top of the third with a double play from Yariel Gonzalez which brought in Andrew Moritz who had singled to lead off the inning. A further run in the fourth on a Jalen Miller double put Mississippi in the driver’s seat once again and from there they continued to add to the lead. Mississippi was the beneficiary of two unearned runs in the fifth inning, then got the final of their blows in when Andrew Moritz ripped a double to knock in two runs.
On the other side of the ball Alan Rangel was dealing for the Braves, and his day got off to a roaring start as he struck out the first two he faced before forcing on infield pop out for a perfect first inning. His second inning was the one he would like to forget, as a hit batter and a two run home run gave up the lead, but that was the only real hiccup in an otherwise marvelous outing. Rangel went through four more scoreless innings and departed the game with a 7-2 lead. The bullpen was up to the task of protecting that big lead, as neither reliever allowed a hit or walk over the final three innings. Coleman Huntley was the first of those to get in the game, and he went two innings with the only action on the basepaths coming from a hit batter. Tyler Ferguson got the ball in the ninth inning and looked to bounce back from a seven run outing on Thursday. He did so with no fun at all striking out two batters in a perfect ninth inning to cap the Mississippi win.
Next Game: 5/30 vs (15-23) Montgomery Biscuits @ 7:05 PM ET
(26-19) Rome Braves 1, (20-24) Hudson Valley Renegades 2
- Willie Carter, LF: 1-3, 2B, BB, RBI .179/.284/.196
- Landon Stephens, DH: 1-4, .269/.3992/.614
- Justyn-Henry Malloy, 3B: 0-3, BB, .297/.399/.469
- Luis De Avila, SP: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 3 K, 3.30 ERA
- Dylan Spain, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 8.22 ERA
Rome’s offense was quiet for most of the game, but woke up at the last moment to force a wild finish. The Braves bats were outmatched for most of the game and through five innings only had one hit and no runs to show for their efforts. A two out single from Landon Stephens in the sixth inning gave a little bit of action in this game as it put a second runner on base for the first time in the game for Rome, but a pop up into foul territory ended the scoring threat. Rome’s biggest chance came when Tyler Tolve led off the eighth inning with a double, but after being advanced to third by Justyn-Henry Malloy’s ground out Tolve was stranded at third base as the next two batters popped out to the second baseman. Down to their final at bat and trailing by two runs the Rome hitters needed to get going, and Christian Robinson delivered the first shot with a double. This brought to the plate Willie Carter, who drove a 1-0 pitch for an RBI double to cut the deficit to one run with one out in the inning. A strikeout brought Rome to their last out, but also brought up the top of the order and Cody Milligan. Milligan drew a walk to put the go ahead run on base and let Tolve get another shot, but on a 2-2 ball in the dirt Milligan went too far off of first base and was picked off to end the game.
Luis De Avila had a strange outing, although the way in which he gave up his two runs was altogether normal. De Avila benefitted from a double play and a pick off in the first three innings of the game to escape jams with multiple runners on base, though his luck was not meant to last. In the fourth inning he allowed a leadoff walk and then gave up a two run home run which proved to be the deciding blow in the game. He retired the next three batters of the inning and only allowed a single in the fifth inning before his command evaporated in his sixth and final inning. De Avila allowed three consecutive walks with one out before finding the strike zone again and getting the final two outs and escaping a bases loaded jam. Dylan Spain made his first appearance in relief since getting hit on the hand by a line drive Friday night, and he looked good with a nine pitch 1-2-3 seventh inning. Austin Smith also had an easy inning and pitched a clean eighth to give Rome that last opportunity to come back.
Next Game: 5/31 vs (27-17) Bowling Green Hot Rods @ 7:00 PM ET
(21-22) Augusta GreenJackets 3, (32-11) Myrtle Beach Pelicans 1
- Caleb Durbin, SS: 1-4, .274/.388/.407
- Brandol Mezquita, LF: 0-3, .329/.401/.436
- Brandon Parker, DH: 0-1, 2 BB, .204/.394/.352
- Jordano Perez, RP: 6 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 4.55 ERA
- Darling Florentino, RP: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 3.12 ERA
Augusta managed to score enough runs in this game to win, which is an accomplishment given that they only had two hits in the game. Another accomplishment came to an end in this game, as Brandol Mezquita went 0-3 and finished the game in the on deck circle as his 35 game on base streak was snapped. Augusta had an early chance to put runs on the board as Caleb Durbin led off the game with a single and Geraldo Quintero was hit by a pitch, but nothing was made of this and the game remained scoreless for one more whole inning. The GreenJackets took advantage of an error, walk, and hit batter to run the bases loaded with no outs in the inning, then had the go ahead run score on a wild pitch. After two pop outs threatened to let this opportunity slip away Brian Klein delivered a two-out, two-run double which was the final hit of the afternoon for Augusta. They did a whole lot of nothing for the remaining six innings, but it was irrelevant as Myrtle Beach had nothing going all game for themselves either.
Credit for this win goes to the Augusta pitching staff, led by starter Jordano Perez, who shut down the Carolina League’s best offense. Perez set down 11 of the first 12 batters he faced in the game, with the only person that reached coming due to an error. With two outs in the fourth inning the no hitter was broken up by a single, and the next batter doubled to end the shutout. This was the entirety of the damage done against Perez, who struck out the next batter and then retired six more in a row to finish six fantastic innings. Miguel Pena continued this streak by retiring the first four batters he faced, but he ran into eighth inning trouble with one out when he allowed a base hit and a walk before being pulled from the game. Darling Florentino was the man brought in to put out the fire, and did so marvelously by stranding both of those runners and then pitching a scoreless ninth inning to close out his first career save.
Next Game: 5/31 vs (18-27) Kannapolis Intimidators @ 7:05 PM ET