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Atlanta Braves Minor League Playoff Recap 9/9

Chris Ellis pitches 7 masterful innings

Chris Ellis

(1-2) Columbus Clippers 1, (2-1) Gwinnett Braves 11

Box Score

  • Mel Rojas Jr, RF: 4-5 2B, 3B, 2RBI, 3R
  • Ronnier Mustelier, LF: 2-3 2RBI, 2R
  • Tyler Moore, DH: 1-3 HR, 4RBI
  • Chris Ellis, SP: 7.0IP 3H 0R 0BB 8K

This is going to happen isn’t it? A team that was close to 20 games under .500 than they were to being .500 absolutely thumped the Clippers at home thanks to a stellar outing by Chris Ellis. Ellis, reverted back to AA Ellis, with his first no walk game since the 18th of April. If you like to use the gamescore stat, it was his highest rated out of the year (84). On the biggest state, Ellis shined. The game was built around his fastball which he had complete control of last night. With his ability to locate his fastball to all four quadrants of the strikezone, his change and curveball got ugly swings as batters were expecting the fastball. He looked good. I like playoff Chris Ellis. Lets keep playoff Chris Ellis.

The game was in hand after the first inning, as it turned out, after Gwinnett loaded the bases with 1 out. A Sean Kazmar sac fly scored Mel Rojas Jr, and moved Ronnier to 3rd on the throw. That was immediately followed by a wild pitch allowing Ronnier to score and to increase the lead to 2-0 in the first.

The big damage came in a huge 5th inning for Gwinnett which involved an absolutely mammoth grandslam by Tyler Moore. Moore, who has struggled with injuries seemingly the entire season, came through with a hammered shot to left center field that put Gwinnett up 10-0. Columbus then went to the pen and brought in TJ House who then allowed a homer to Reid Brignac to extend the lead to 11-0. It was a wild night up at Coolray Field, and they go for the series clinching win tonight with Tyrell Jenkins on the mound.

A spare note got a good look at Rio Ruiz against a left handed pitcher and the dramatic splits unfortunately proved true. He got under almost everything, and had no chance against the curveball/slider moving away from him which is why I believe he was hitting 6th last night. Seemingly every arm Columbus threw out there was left handed which didn’t help Rio at all.

Gwinnett has

(1-2) Pensacola Blue Wahoos 2, (2-1) Mississippi Braves 9

Box Score

  • Mallex Smith, CF: 3-3 2B, 3B, BB, RBI, 3R
  • Keith Curcio, RF: 1-5 HR, 2RBI, R
  • Dustin Peterson, LF: 2-4, RBI, R
  • Kade Scivicque, C: 4-4 RBI, R
  • Max Povse, SP: 4.2IP 7H 2R 1ER 2BB 5K

This game could not have started off worse for Povse with a walk and two singles to load the bases with none out. The magician managed to escape any damage after getting a shallow pop up to Mallex, a weakly hit grounder to Carlos Franco who threw the runner out at home, and then a soft pop up by Ray Chang, who has dominated Mississippi, in foul territory. Povse didn’t have his A game, needing 89 pitches through 4 innings, but he limited the Blue Wahoos to 1 earned run which is all Mississippi needed. With the game still in the balance Akeel Morris, and Chad Sobotka provided solid work out of the pen combining for 3.1 scoreless innings. Taylor Lewis came in, in the 9th and worked an easy 9th inning to seal the game for Missisippi who are one win away from the championship series.

The offense combined for 9 runs on a whopping 17 hits. Mallex Smith, continuing his rehab, was an absolute game changer leading off two innings and getting on base both times. He showcased his speed going 1st to 3rd, scoring on a shallow sacrifice fly, and doing well in the field. With the game in hand his quest for the cycle came to an end when Luis Salazar opted to give him the rest of the night off and had Connor Lien pinch hit for Smith.

The rest of the offense was great as well. Dustin Peterson, Joey Meneses, and Kade Scivicque all had multi-hit games combining to go 10-for-12. Keith Curcio, the Carolina Mudcats position player of the year, got the start and hit a controversial inside-the-park homerun. It appeared to be a catch by the right fielder who dropped the ball and the ball got stuck underneath the right field pads. The fielder threw his hands up in the air to indicate the ball was stuck, but the umpires let it go and allowed it to be ruled as a homer.

Mississippi turns to Lucas Sims tonight to try and close out the series and move to the championship series.

(1-1) Rome Braves 3, (1-1) Charleston Riverdogs 4

Box Score

  • Ray-Patrick Didder, CF: 2-4 RBI, R
  • Austin Riley, 3B: 0-3, BB
  • Tyler Neslony, RF: 2-4 3B, RBI
  • Kolby Allard, SP: 6.0IP 3H 0R 2BB 1K

As good as the other two games were, this was a heart breaker for the kids up in Rome. Kolby Allard contributed 6 very effective innings allowing no runs and just 3 hits. He threw 68 strikes on 97 pitches and finished with a 67 gamescore and Rome had the lead 3-0 at his departure. Unfortunately the pen just could not hold the lead with Chase Johnson-Mullins and Corbin Clouse surprisingly off of their games. Mullins started the 7th with a strikeout of Estevan Florial. He followed that with two walks and a single to load the bases before being replaced by Corbin Clouse, who has been dynamic this season with a 14 K/9 in 23 innings for Rome. Unfortunately, this was not the Clouse that showed up as he started off with a bases loaded walk to put Charleston on the board. He followed that up with allowing a 2 run single to tie the game up 3-3. Clouse then struck out Alvarez for the second out of the inning. Clouse then induced a groundball to Austin Riley who delivered a terrible throw which allowed Kyle Holder to score from second base which was enough for Charleston. It was a disastrous play which netted the young third baseman 2 errors on one play.

Rome had hits by only 3 players and still had a shot to win the game. Didder reached base three times including a bases loaded hit by pitch because of course he did, and had another stolen base. Neslony had an RBI triple scoring Jared James.

Rome turns to Max Fried to rebound and try to propel Rome to the championship series.

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