It was an organizational sweep for the Braves one Saturday…with an asterisk.
It was a fun night in the Braves’ minor league system as strong performances on both side of the ball led to a 3-0 night with Augusta’s game getting suspended early because Mother Nature sucks. Bryce Elder went eight innings, Mississippi rallied late, and Roddery Munoz helped Rome absolutely dominate Asheville. Lets get into the games.
Gwinnett Stripers 5, Charlotte Knights 3
- Pat Valaika, 2B: 2-4, HR, 2 RBI, .752 OPS
- Preston Tucker, DH: 2-4, 2B, 2 R, .747 OPS
- Bryce Elder, SP: 8 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 5.25 ERA
Gwinnett got eight strong innings out of Bryce Elder as they took down Charlotte by the final score of 5-3. Elder managed to get through eight innings thanks in part to getting back to what he had been historically good at: getting groundballs. He recorded 13 groundouts on Saturday evening. We do wish he could find a way to miss bats more consistently, though. Roel Ramirez, who the Braves signed as a minor league free agent at the end of June out of the Mexican Baseball League, pitched a clean ninth with a strikeout.
Pat Valaika led the offense for Gwinnett as he had a pair of hits including a solo homer which was his ninth homer of the season. He also had a nice leaping catch at second base in the game…so have a night, Pat. Old friend made new again Preston Tucker joined Valaika with a multi-hit game as did Chadwick Tromp and Delino DeShields. Drew Waters and Braden Shewmake were both held hitless which made us sad.
Mississippi Braves 7, Pensacola Blue Wahoos 6
- Drew Lugbauer, 1B: 1-4, HR, 2 RBI, .838 OPS
- Jalen Miller, LF: 2-4, HR, RBI, 2 R, .725 OPS
- CJ Alexander, 3B: 2-5, 2B, 2 RBI, .752 OPS
- Tanner Gordon, SP: 4 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 6.92 ERA
Thanks to a three run rally in the bottom of the eighth inning, Mississippi was able to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat as they took down Pensacola by the final tally of 7-6. Tanner Gordon got the start for Mississippi and he was….okay. He had a lot of baserunners and he wasn’t missing bats, but the defense behind him picked him up in some key moments to at least let him get through four innings. He didn’t give up a homer, which is good news since he has given up 11 of them in 53.1 with Mississippi this season. Hayden Deal, however, was not good in relief as he got tagged for four earned runs in just 1.1 innings to put Mississippi in a hole. The Mississippi bullpen did hold up after that with 3.2 innings of scoreless relief. Tyler Ferguson ended up getting the call to slam the door in the ninth.
The Mississippi offense did good work to hang around despite the pitching imploding in the middle innings. Drew Lugbauer hit his 18th homer of the season and Jalen Miller joined him with a solo homer in the 6th inning. The story of the offense, though, was the bottom of the eighth inning when a Trey Harris double put runners on second and third with one out. A Cody Milligan sac fly got Mississippi within a run and then after a walk to Justin Dean (who is, fortuitously, very fast) to allow CJ Alexander to line a double up the first base line that hit the first baseman’s glove to drive in both runners to give Mississippi the lead for good.
Rome Braves 11, Asheville Tourists 0
- Beau Philip, 3B: 3-5, 2B, 2 RBI, SB, R, .655 OPS
- Vaughn Grissom, SS: 2-3, 2B, 2 BB, 3 R, .891 OPS
- Roddery Munoz, SP: 6 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 9 K, 4.39 ERA
Roddery Munoz put together his best start of the season and, well, the offense made that look unnecessary at Rome blew out Asheville by the final score of 11-0. Roddery has needed a start where he both showcased his very real stuff while also being efficient with the latter being a real struggle for him this year. Not only did he pitch six full innings for the first time since the end of the May, but he set a season high in strikeouts with nine. Hat tip to the Rome bullpen for pitching three scoreless innings to keep the shutout intact and to keep it at a one-hitter.
As for the offense, well…there was a lot of it. Tyler Tolve hit an absolute tank of a home run (he can launch a baseball) and Brian Klein also went yard. Six different Rome Braves drove in runs on Saturday and who was consistently in the mix helping to set the table? Yep, Vaughn Grissom was at it again as he reached base four times including a double. He also scored on some of the worst rundown execution you are likely to ever see. Beau Philip isn’t having a great season and is maddening inconsistent at the plate, but every once in a while…he puts together a really good game and Saturday was one of them as he had three hits, drove in a pair of runs, and stole a base for good measure.
Augusta GreenJackets 0 , Charleston RiverDogs 0 – Suspended