The young Atlanta Braves’ teams combined to go 2-2 on Thursday night. Despite the split, there were some strong pitching performances from Bryce Elder and Darius Vines with big hits from Justin Dean, Greyson Jenista and Bryson Horne.
Here’s how it went down Thursday on the farm.
Gwinnett Stripers 0, Nashville Sound 1
- Bryce Elder, SP: 5 IP, 1 H, 1 R (unearned), 4 BB, 6 K
- Travis Demeritte, RF: 2-for-3, .298 BA, .999 OPS
- Cristian Pache, CF: 1-for-4, .271 BA, .770 OPS
Bryce Elder was effectively wild in this one, landing 48 of his 78 pitches for strikes through five innings. That’s a short outing for the bulldog of the Stripers’ rotation as he had been averaging just over six innings per outing since the beginning of August. That said, it was another strong performance in which he kept the Stripers in the ballgame. Unfortunately, he was on the wrong side of a super unlucky loss, one in which five Stripers’ pitchers allowed just four hits and combined to strike out 11.
The Stripers couldn’t muster any run support and only had six hits with Travis Demeritte accounting for two. Johan Camargo got another hit and has hit safely in 10 of his last 12 games.
Mississippi Braves 2, Chattanooga Lookouts 4
- Freddy Tarnok, SP: 4 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 5 K
- Justin Dean, CF: 1-for-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI, .237 BA, .709 OPS
- Greyson Jenista, 1B: 1-for-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI, .212 BA, .800 OPS
Freddy Tarnok started this one and was rolling through three no-hit frames until the wheels came off a bit in the fourth. He still pitched well in his final start before the playoffs. Corbin Clouse was solid in two shutout innings, but it was Indigo Diaz who proved he was human. Diaz, who hadn’t allowed a run in the month of August, has now let up runs in back-to-back games. He picked up his first loss of the season for Mississippi.
The M-Braves only had three hits but made two of them count. Justin Dean launched his eighth home run of the season in the third ad Greyson Jenista hit his 19th in the fifth.
Rome Braves 6, Hickory Crawdads 2
- Darius Vines, SP: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K
- Cody Milligan, 2B: 1-for-3, 1 2B, 1 R, 2 RBI, .232 BA, .624 OPS
- Andrew Moritz, LF: 1-for-3, 1 R, 2 RBI, .283 BA, .661 OPS
Six. That is the number of consecutive starts from Darius Vines in which he has allowed two runs or less. Vines needed just 56 pitches to get through his five innings, 36 of which were strikes. He has been highly efficient in his breakout season and has developed into a reliable starter who can go innings, limited runners and execute the game plan. Benjamin Dum, Jake Higginbotham and Dylan Spain combined to shut down the Crawdads over three innings, allowing just one hit, while Trey Riley allowed a pair of runs in the ninth closing out the victory. For Spain, it was his High-A debut, and he has now tossed 17.2 scoreless innings to begin his pro career.
Dylan Spain — another #D2baseball alum out of @ThePacWest for Hawaii Hilo — picks up his first High-A strikeout for @TheRomeBraves. He's been impressive with 17.2 scoreless innings across 3 levels to start his pro career. #Braves pic.twitter.com/6CMPZhSTAg— Wayne Cavadi (@UofDWayne) September 17, 2021
The damage all came in one crooked inning for Rome. The R-Braves put up six in the fourth inning led by a pair of two-RBI hits — one a single from Andrew Moritz and the other a double from Cody Milligan. Drew Campbell and Riley Delgado contributed two hits each. Vaughn Grissom and Jesse Franklin V were both held hitless, but both were plunked in the game. Franklin came around to score in the big fourth.
Augusta GreenJackets 3, Myrtle Beach Pelicans 2
- Ryan Cusick, SP: 4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 10 K
- Bryson Horne, 1B: 2-for-3, 2B, HR, 1 R, 3 RBI, .274 BA, .743 OPS
- Justyn-Henry Malloy, DH: 1-for-4, 1 R, .270 BA, .834 OPS
One thing is for certain: Ryan Cusick’s fastball strikes Low-A hitters out. Cusick struck out a career-high 10 batters in just four innings and has now struck out 34 in 16.1 innings. Rolddy Munoz allowed two runs — albeit one unearned — while striking out five and walking none. Miguel Pena went 2.1 scoreless innings to pick up his second save.
Can we talk about Bryson Horne for a moment? He has had a nice season, especially when you consider he signed in 2020 and never saw the field. Horne accounted for all the scoring with an RBI double in the first and put the game away with his 10th home run in the sixth. He’s slashing .274/.326/.743 with 17 doubles, 10 home runs and 48 RBI.