It was a light slate on Saturday night due to a couple of rained out games, but fortunately the two remaining affiliated brought their game and went home with wins. Big pitching performances from Hayden Deal and Darius Vines were the story of those games. Mississippi came through with a bizarre walk off win for their fourth straight.
(21-19) Gwinnett Stripers, (24-13) Nashville Sounds PPD
Next Game: 6/20 vs (25-14) Nashville Sounds @ 1:05 PM ET
(24-17) Mississippi Braves 3, (23-17) Birmingham Barons 2
- Trey Harris, RF: 2-4, .236/.317/.291
- Braden Shewmake, DH: 0-4, RBI, .148/.204/.273
- CJ Alexander, 3B: 1-3, .192/.234/.358
- Hayden Deal, SP: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 3.28 ERA
- Josh Graham, RP: 2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 2.33 ERA
Mississippi has been on a roll lately, and they pulled off a walk off win against the Barons to extend their winning streak to four games. Birmingham took a lead in the top of the first inning and for quite awhile the Braves had no answer to that run. While the pitching staff kept it close no Mississippi batter reached base until the 7th inning on a leadoff walk to Wendell Rijo. Another walk followed and then Trey Harris came through with the first hit of the game to load the bases. With the bases loaded and no outs Mississippi had a prime scoring opportunity, but only came away with one on an RBI ground out from Braden Shewmake. In the 8th the Barons got that run back to take the lead but Mississippi came back to answer. A leadoff single from Drew Lugbauer and a double by Hendrik Clementina had the Braves with two runners on an another prime scoring opportunity, but yet again they only came away with one run. A ground out with the infield in was not enough to score Lugbauer, then after a hit by pitch the bases were loaded for Jacob Pearson. Pearson grounded into a 3-6 double play to end the inning, but because the first baseman stepped on first and eliminated the force play the run counted and the game was tied up. Mississippi got a huge opportunity to walk it off in the ninth inning when Trey Harris led off with a single and CJ Alexander doubled to put the winning run on third with no outs. It almost went awry as a ground out and strike out had Mississippi on the verge of giving away another big opportunity, but the pitcher spiked a fastball and Trey Harris came in to score on the wild pitch for the game winner. Mississippi started the season off slow but over their past 29 games they are 20-9.
The pitching had a big task on their plates to keep a struggling offense in this game, and the job was done masterfully by Hayden Deal who delivered his best start of the season. Deal had some trouble in the first inning after a leadoff single and he allowed his lone run of the game on another hit with two outs that put Birmingham in the lead. He pitched the rest of the game with little margin for error not wanting to allow the Barons to extend that lead and he seemed to get stronger as the game progressed. Over the next two innings he worked around a bunt single and a walk, with the only solid contact after that first inning coming on a two out single in the fourth. Deal got his first clean inning in the fifth then finished off his start by striking out the side in the sixth. Kurt Hoesktra walked the bases loaded in the seventh inning but managed to get out unscathed, turning it over to Josh Graham who attempted a two out save. Graham allowed four hits in the 8th inning but somehow only allowed one run and was able to strand the bases loaded. He allowed a two out hit in the 9th inning but was able to get the final batter to pop out to complete his two innings and send the game to the bottom of the ninth with a chance for the Braves to walk it off.
Next Game: 6/20 vs (23-17) Birmingham Barons @ 3:05 PM ET
(20-20) Rome Braves, (27-13) Bowling Green Hot Rods PPD
Next Game: 6/20 vs (27-13) Bowling Green Hot Rods @ 2:00 PM ET
BG: Zack Tragerton (3-1, 3.90 ERA)
(19-22) Augusta GreenJackets 8, (22-16) Columbia Fireflies 3
- Ricardo Rodriguez, C: 2-5, HR, 2 RBI, .269/.380/.478
- Willie Carter, RF: 0-3, BB, RBI, .320/.420/.440
- Vaughn Grissom, 2B: 1-4, BB, 2 RBI, .276/.384/.366
- Darius Vines, SP: 6 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 10 K, 2.25 ERA
- Kenny Wells, RP: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 3.86 ERA
The GreenJackets offense delivered an eight run outburst to take the win, helped by nine hits including two home runs, ten walks, and two hit batters. Augusta was out to a big lead before they even recorded an out, as after a leadoff walk to Cade Bunnell and a single from Vaughn Grissom, Landon Stephens delivered a huge home run to center field to make it 3-0. Augusta had a couple of scoring opportunities following this, like the second inning in which four players reached base but a caught stealing led to them stranding the bases loaded and getting nothing. This allowed Columbia to come back and tie it before Augusta pulled away down the stretch. Two walks and two hit batters gave the GreenJackets the lead in the fourth inning, then in the fifth Augusta earned a couple with actual contact. A leadoff single from Cody Birdsong set the table and following a walk to Cam Shepherd it was Bunnell with the big hit on an RBI double. Grissom grounded out to score Shepherd and Augusta once again had a three run lead. In the eighth Ricardo Rodriguez went deep for the third time this season, sprinkling in a couple of insurance runs to put Augusta in control of the game for good.
Darius Vines filled up the scoreboard with strikeouts, but one big mistake and some poor defense led to three runs against him over six innings. The first of those came in the first inning when a throwing error with two outs brought a run in to score. Vines worked around a hit and error in the second inning, but in the third he left a fastball over the plate to Juan Carlos Negret who hit the ball a long way for a two run home run. Vines settled in over the final three innings, with the only runner reaching against him coming via error. He struck out seven of those final ten batters including each of the final five in a dominant ending to his start. He now has 48 strikeouts on the season, which is second in the Low-A East and tied for second in the Atlanta Braves system. Kenny Wells held on to an Augusta lead with two scoreless innings and Justin Yeager closed it out in the ninth with a scoreless inning despite two walks.
Next Game: 6/21 @ (22-16) Columbia Fireflies @ 5:05 PM ET
COL: Rylan Kaufman (1-2, 5.79 ERA)