The Gwinnett Stripers are finally getting things going, and it’s a good thing too because elsewhere on the Atlanta Braves farm system it’s been a bit of a tough week. Augusta’s pitching staff continues to be the class of the Carolina League, but the offense once again threw up a stinker in a close loss
(5-12) Gwinnett Stripers 9, (7-9) Omaha Storm Chasers 3
- Luke Waddell, 2B: 0-2, 2 BB, RBI, .273/.333/.273
- Braden Shewmake, SS: 1-4, HR, BB, 2 RBI, .220/.246/.390
- Jared Shuster, SP: 3 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 5 BB, 1 K, 1.00 ERA
- Kyle Wilcox, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 0.00 ERA
We’re gonna start off with the lone win of the evening, but it wasn’t all smooth sailing for Gwinnett. The Stripers went scoreless once through the lineup but Nick Solak led off the fourth inning with a single to open the floodgates. Walks to Luke Waddell and Braden Shewmake followed to load the bases and Yolmer Sanchez broke through with a three run triple to put Gwinnett on top 3-1. Joe Hudson added an RBI single to extend the lead and Gwinnett cruised from there. In the following inning Braden Shewmake delivered the biggest hit of the day with a two run home run - his second of the season - which put Gwinnett up 7-1. Gwinnett tacked on the final two runs in the eighth inning on a base hit from Forrest Wall which scored Sanchez and Magneuris Sierra.
Sweet Swingin' Shew with a 2-run homer to extend the lead pic.twitter.com/pi0IU7Yw0q— Gwinnett Stripers (@GoStripers) April 21, 2023
Jared Shuster managed to escape this game with only one run allowed over three innings, but it was an ugly affair that he was quite lucky to get out of relatively unharmed. Shuster’s command was off and he ended up walking five batters before being pulled from the game. His first close shave was in the first inning when a 103.6 mph line drive was fortunately hit directly at Sanchez at third base where he was able to glove the final out and prevent any runs scoring. Shuster allowed no solid contact in the second inning but two walks ultimately came back to bite him in the third when a sacrifice fly put Omaha up 1-0. Shuster was brought out to face a batter in the fourth inning but was pulled after walking him. Matt Swarmer was able to retire the next three batters to ensure a shut down inning for Gwinnett but struggled himself in the fifth inning and allowed three walks and two runs before being pulled from the game. The remainder of the bullpen allowed just one hit and no runs while striking out seven batters in 4 1⁄3 innings.
(3-9) Mississippi Braves 0, (9-3) Montgomery Biscuits 3
- Cal Conley, SS: 1-4, .214/.313/.286
- Cody Milligan, 2B: 0-4, .341/.491/.561
- Tanner Gordon, SP: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 3.00 ERA
- Alex Segal, RP: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 4.15 ERA
Mississippi’s offense couldn’t get anything going right in this game as they were shut out and took their seventh consecutive loss. Mississippi scattered six hits in the game but never got more than one in any inning and after falling behind 2-0 early never put themselves in a position to make it interesting. Cody Milligan has been by far the team’s best player and most consistent contributor this season, but went hitless in this one to snap a stretch where he reached base 11 times in four games.
Tanner Gordon took the unfortunate loss in this game, but he had a tremendous outing with 17 swings-and-misses in the game and six innings covered. Gordon unfortunately got into trouble in the second inning and put two runners in scoring position with no outs until he was able to strike out the next two batters to put himself on the verge of escaping. He then unleashed a wild pitch and then a horrendous scoop throw attempt by Arden Pabst got past him to allow the second run to score. Gordon then buckled down and pitched four scoreless innings while finishing with seven strikeouts. Alex Segal allowed a run in an inning of work, but has been impressive this season in his first full season back from Tommy John surgery. Segal has struck out six batters and walked only one in 4 1⁄3 innings and remains an interesting left-handed relief arm for the system.
(4-7) Rome Braves 4, (8-4) Hudson Valley Renegades 10
- Kevin Kilpatrick Jr., CF: 2-4, 3B, BB, .279/.426/.395
- Ignacio Alvarez, SS: 0-4, BB, RBI, .262/.415/.310
- Adam Zebrowski, DH: 2-3, 2 BB, RBI, .391/.517/.652
- JJ Niekro, SP: 4.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 3 K, 3.55 ERA
Rome’s pitching staff walked 14 batters and allowed 13 hits, so you can take a guess how this game ended up. The Braves were quite fortunate the score didn’t end up even worse as Hudson Valley left 15 runners on base during the game. Rome’s offense took until the fifth inning to record their first hit with the only prior runners being Kadon Morton who was hit by pitch twice. Kevin Kilpatrick Jr. led off in the sixth inning with a triple and scored Rome’s first run on a ground out from Ignacio Alvarez, but it was too little too late at that point. Hudson Valley’s bullpen was sloppy and allowed five walks over three innings which did allow Rome to get a bit of offense going. Rome blew a bases loaded chance in the seventh inning but in the eighth got a two run single from Stephen Paolini to draw things a bit closer. Kilpatrick scored again after leading off the ninth inning with a hit, this time being brought around by a base hit from Adam Zebrowski.
Sometimes absolutely no one has it working, and that was true for the entire Rome staff. JJ Niekro allowed three runs in his first inning pitched, and although he managed to finish 4 2⁄3 innings with no more runs scored it was never pretty. Niekro allowed two or more runners in three of those final four innings as well and in total allowed 11 baserunners. Things went south once he left the game in the fifth inning, with Peyton Williams allowing three runs the next inning and Estarlin Rodriguez mirroring that task by allowing three of his own in the seventh. Finally Ronald Alesandro came into the game and left without any more runs being put on the board though he only threw 10 of his 22 pitches for strikes.
(4-6) Augusta GreenJackets 2, (6-5) Myrtle Beach Pelicans 3
- Tyler Collins, CF: 2-5, 2B, RBI, .250/.333/.321
- Ambioris Tavarez, SS: 1-5, .154/.250/.205
- Justin Janas, 1B: 2-2, 2B, 2 BB, .261/.393/.348
- Spencer Schwellenbach, SP: 1.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 5.06 ERA
- Landon Harper, RP: 4.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 2.61 ERA
It was a rough night on the mound for Spencer Schwellenbach, who allowed the only Pelicans runs in an Augusta loss. The GreenJackets did hold an early lead, rallying in the second inning for two runs off of Myrtle Beach starter Grant Kipp. Justin Janas lead off the inning with a double, setting up to score on a single from Andrew Keck two batters later. Augusta strung a couple of more hits together with Jair Casanova moving Keck to second and Tyler Collins driving in Keck on the first of his two hits on the day. Augusta continued to get runners on base, but once they were there struggled to move them around the horn and came up short of scoring an important extra run. The biggest opportunity to tie the game came in the eighth inning, and it was again Janas getting things started this time with a base knock. Dawson Dimon came through next with a ball that he snuck down the third base line and into the corner, but Janas wasn’t fast enough to score from first base and was thrown out at home. Keck was then hit by a pitch, bringing up Casanova. Casanova hit a routine double play ball to second base, but the ball snuck under the glove of the second baseman and Dimon chugged home attempting to tie the game. It was not even close, and for the second time in the inning the potential tying run was cut down at the plate. Francisco Floyd gave it his best as he cracked a line drive, but it was right to the right fielder for the final out. In the ninth inning Ambioris Tavarez had a single and stole second base but the other three batters struck out to end the game.
The Pelicans were on Spencer Schwellenbach from the get go as he didn’t strike anyone out and was really knocked around in that second inning. He wasn’t helped much by his defense either as Francisco Floyd had a chopper ricochet off of him which Ambioris Tavarez then plucked out of the air and airmailed to first base for a pair of errors. Schwellenbach lasted two more batters, but was pulled after a walk as he threw 31 pitches in that inning and the Braves are still being cautious with him during his recovery. Landon Harper had a fantastic outing behind Schwellenbach, going 4 1⁄3 scoreless innings with only one hit allowed which kept the GreenJackets in the game. The bullpen as a whole showed out with Hayden Harris and Rob Griswold each contributing two strikeouts and a scoreless inning.