After an exciting (perhaps too exciting in some ways) walk-off win at the big league level last night over the Marlins, the minor league squads weren’t quite able to match that effort as they went 1-2 on Saturday evening with one postponement down in Mississippi. Justin Janas and Ethan Workinger each had big nights at the plate for Augusta, Hernan Perez had a three-hit night for the Stripers, and the Rome Braves....tried their best. Lets get into the games.
Gwinnett Stripers 3, Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 4 - F/9
- Hernan Perez, LFL 3-3, 2B, 2 RBI, BB, .734 OPS
- Jake Marisnick, DH: 1-4, 3B, .689 OPS
- Darius Vines, SP: 4.2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 3.24 ERA
Darius Vines struggled early in his start on Saturday and the Stripers ultimately fell in extra innings by the score of 4-3. It is worth noting that Friday’s Gwinnett game that was suspended did get completed on Saturday although the score of 7-0 from yesterday’s recap did not change whatsoever. Just know that Connor Johnstone held down the fort with three scoreless innings. As for the scheduled Saturday game, Darius Vines was on the mound and was really struggling in the first inning, particularly with his command, as the first four batters reached base on two hits and two walks. He did settle down to set down the next three hitters, but not before two runs crossed the plate in the inning. This wasn’t the typical “bad” Vines appearance where he makes mistakes in the zone and gets a couple hit into the next zip code...just wasn’t crisp early. Unfortunately, the Gwinnett bullpen was the one that blinked first in extras as a two-out triple off of Williams Woods (who had struck out the first two batters with the ghost runner on second) ended up driving in the winning run for Jacksonville.
Offensively, the star for the Stripers was Hernan Perez who went 3-3 with a double while driving in a pair of runs and tacking on a walk as well. Jake Marisnick, who the Braves just acquired for some added quad-A type depth, made his organizational debut and he had a triple for Gwinnett. Pat Valaika had the other multi-hit game for the Stripers as he went 2-4 with a double.
Mississippi Braves, Tennessee Smokies - Postponed
Rome Braves 0, Greenville Drive 8
- Keshawn Ogans, 2B: 1-4, 2B
- Tyler Tolve, C: 1-4, 2B, .733 OPS
- Dylan Spain, SP: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 5.40 ERA
We won’t linger long here as Rome got routed by Greenville by the final score of 8-0. Dylan Spain got the start for the Rome Braves and he was honestly quite good. While you would probably prefer he at least finish the fifth inning, Spain was a reliever for most of this season and he was largely efficient as he only threw 67 pitches. Moreover, one of the two runs he “gave up” in that fifth inning was on a throwing error by the catcher on a pickoff. Spain was missing bats consistently with seven strikeouts in less than five innings and really didn’t start getting squared up until late in the start....so good job, Dylan. This game stayed relatively close until the ninth inning where Ben Dum gave up five runs and basically quashed any hope of a late inning comeback.
Offensively, there isn’t a lot to talk about as Rome was shut out and not a single Rome batter had a multi-hit game or even drew a walk. If you are looking for a silver lining, three of Rome’s six hits in the game were for extra bases as Keshawn Ogans, Beau Philip, and Tyler Tolve each had doubles in the game. Cal Conley did have a hot start to his time in Rome, but has cooled off considerably as he has hits in just five of his last 13 games.
Augusta GreenJackets 6, Salem Red Sox 3
- Justin Janas, DH: 2-4, HR, 3 RBI, .643 OPS
- Ethan Workinger, RF: 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, .854 OPS
- JR Ritchie, SP: 2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 3.00 ERA
The bright spot of the Braves farm system on Saturday was the GreenJackets as they powered their way to a 6-3 win over Salem. JR Ritchie was on the mound for Augusta and the Braves’ 35th overall pick in the 2022 draft didn’t have a banner start to the game in the first inning where he allowed the first two batters to reach and both got cashed in on a two-run single, however, he settled down after that and struck out two batters in the second inning before he was taken out. Peyton Williams came in after that for bulk innings and was excellent as he struck out five batters over four scoreless innings which proved to be invaluable for Augusta on Saturday.
Two batters for Augusta proved to provide the key swings in this game: Ethan Workinger and Justin Janas. Workinger connected for a two-run homer in the sixth inning that gave Augusta the lead for the first time in the game. Then in the seventh inning, Justin Janas hit his first home run in low-A and it was a three-run shot that gave Augusta plenty of breathing room the rest of the way. Fear not, Nacho Alvarez fans, as Nacho did record a hit the game and he currently sports a .977 OPS in 46 plate appearances in low-A.