The farm system for the Atlanta Braves didn’t do much to make up for the big league club’s performance on Saturday, as they combined to go 1-4 with a handful of pretty ugly offensive performances. The one exception was Rome, where they put a 10 spot on Hickory in a win that was the only game not on MiLB tv.
(19-24) Gwinnett Stripers 1, (25-19) Memphis Redbirds 3
- Luke Waddell, SS: 0-4, .218/.349/.277
- Eli White, CF: 2-5, .265/.340/.530
- Dylan Dodd, SP: 4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 6.67 ERA
- Tanner Gordon, RP: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 10.03 ERA
Gwinnett and Memphis grinding through a pitcher’s duel that had to be settled in extra innings. Hits were limited assets for the Stripers, but in the second inning they came up with a decent scoring chance. Yolmer Sanchez led off the inning with a base hit and Daniel Robertson also singles with one out, which put the go ahead run on third base early. Luke Waddell put the ball in play, but it went right to the second baseman and Josh Fuentes grounded out to end the inning. Hendrik Clementina led off in the third inning with a double and this would be an even bigger scoring chance for Gwinnett as they loaded the bases with one out. Once again, they couldn’t get the big hit to break the game open and over the final six innings they recorded just two more baserunners. The Stripers got the free runner home in the tenth inning on a sacrifice fly, but got no more and left it up to their pitching staff to try to close the game.
Dylan Dodd worked four scoreless innings for Gwinnett in this game, but it wasn’t the easiest game for him. Through two innings he hadn’t really faced a serious threat, with the only hard hit ball coming on a Jordan Walker base hit, but he also hadn’t struck out anyone. Dodd allowed a leadoff hit, but ended up escaping with the help of a barreled out from Matt Koperniak going to the deepest part of the part and landing in Eli White’s glove. Dodd allowed a walk and another hit to Walker before finally recording his first two strikeouts which would strand both runners in scoring position. The Braves handed the ball to Tanner Gordon for the rest of the evening and he didn’t face all that much stress in regulation baseball. Gordon was able to force pretty weak contact and never allowed more than one baserunner. In the tenth inning Gordon quickly allowed the tying run in on a pretty unfortunate hit that just bounded through an infield that was brought in to try to cut the runner down from third. The game ended thanks to Koperniak, who made up for his unfortunate out earlier in the game but taking a fat fastball into the bullpen for a walkoff home run.
(16-21) Mississippi Braves 4, (20-18) Montgomery Biscuits 5
- Jesse Franklin V, RF: 1-4, .188/.188/.406
- Drew Lugbauer, DH: 1-4, HR, .204/.333/.520
- Alan Rangel, SP: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 4.24 ERA
Mississippi threw the first punch of this game, with Drew Lugbauer hitting his seventh home run of the season to lead off the second inning. The Braves weren’t done in the inning either as Cade Bunnell and Hudson Potts each had hits which led to the game’s second run on a sacrifice fly from Andrew Moritz. Potts drove in another run on a hit in the fourth inning, and Alan Rangel had no issues taking advantage of three runs of support.
Rangel started the game as concerningly as he could, hitting the leadoff hitter for the Biscuits and then walking the next two on four pitches to load the bases. Faced with an early crisis Rangel stepped up and struck out the next two hitters before getting a ground out to escape any damage. Rangel struggled in the second inning as well, but was a beneficiary of sequencing as the allowed a solo home run before he allowed a hit and a walk and was able to get out of another poor inning with only one run allowed. That was the turning point for Rangel’s start as he retired the final nine batters he faced in order while striking out five of those.
The Braves bats weren’t adding anything to the scoreboard so it was in the hands of the Mississippi bullpen to keep hold of Rangel’s lead. Jake McSteen got through the sixth inning with the help of a double play, but trouble brewed in the seventh as he walked the leadoff batter then gave up a hit to the next. Mississippi’s work to this point was erased in one swing as a Matt Dyer double would clear the bases and tie the game. Still with no outs in the inning McSteen had to bear down to hold on, and after a sacrifice bunt he was pulled from the game and Alec Barger would find fortune from the baseball gods. Alika Williams smacked a line drive on the first pitch of their matchup, but it was right to the glove of Cal Conley who was able to take third base himself on an unassisted double play because the runner broke for home.
Granted new life the Mississippi Braves did absolutely nothing in the top of the eighth inning and Barger allowed back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the inning to put them behind for the first time in the game. Mississippi had a chance in the ninth inning as Beau Philip led off with a triple, but although a sacrifice fly would get Philip in they never got the tying run on base and came up short in the end.
(20-17) Rome Braves 10, (12-24) Hickory Crawdads 6
- Kevin Kilpatrick Jr., CF: 1-5, 3B, .227/.362/.386
- Nacho Alvarez, SS: 2-4, RBI, .294/.458/.339
- Keshawn Ogans, 3B: 3-5, 2 HR, 2B, 4 RBI, .256/.387/.400
- Tyler Owens, SP: 4 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 3.26 ERA
Rome jumped all over Hickory in the first two innings of this game and it was enough for them to cruise to a win. Kevin Kilpatrick Jr. led off the inning with his third triple of the year, and one batter later scored on an error by the shortstop. Nacho Alvarez singled in the inning as well, and Keshawn Ogans started off his huge day with an RBI double. Bryson Horne rapped up the scoring in the inning with a sacrifice fly to give Rome a 3-0 cushion. Rome put up five runs with two outs in the second inning, the first an RBI single from Alvarez. Geraldo Quintero followed by driving in two runs on a single and Ogans hit his second home run in as many days to push Rome’s lead out to eight runs. Ogans would add another home run in the seventh inning, giving him three home runs in his past two games after he hit just one in his prior 55 professional games.
On the mound Tyler Owens kept a solid season going with four strong innings. Hickory’s only run came on a solo home run in the second inning, but Owens was otherwise in control. He needed only 49 pitches to get through four innings, striking out four batters and walking none. Owens has put together a string of good starts since moving to the rotation, totaling 15 innings with a 3.00 ERA and 16 strikeouts to one walk. JJ Niekro got off to a bad start in his relief outing, allowing two runs in the fifth inning before he escaped. Niekro did well after that and took the game into the eighth before being pulled after allowing two hits. Ronaldo Alesandro came dangerously close to giving Hickory life as he allowed five consecutive hits with two outs in the ninth inning which ended up making it a save situation for Ben Dum. Dum ended the drama with one pitch as a fly out would close out an easy win for Rome.
(18-19) Augusta GreenJackets 1, (18-19) Myrtle Beach Pelicans 3
- Ambioris Tavarez, SS: 1-3, 3B, .205/.315/.295
- Adam Shoemaker, SP: 4 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 4.71 ERA
(18-20) Augusta GreenJackets 3, (19-19) Myrtle Beach Pelicans 6
- Ambioris Tavarez, SS: 1-2, 2B, .190/.296/.292
- Samuel Strickland, SP: 2.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 3.60 ERA
Augusta clawed their way back to .500 with a win yesterday, but today those fortunes turned as they were swept in a double header. The first was a game of them being overwhelmed by Myrtle Beach’s pitching staff as Ambioris Tavarez recorded the only hit for the GreenJackets in the game. This hit for Tavarez came in the sixth inning and brought Francisco Floyd into score, giving the GreenJackets a sliver of hope with their two big power bats coming up. Both Jeremy Celedonio and David McCabe struck out, ending the one real big chance for the GreenJackets. Adam Shoemaker’s command issues were on display again as he walked three batters in four innings. The first run of the game came in the first inning after he allowed a double then after a stolen base brough the runner home with a wild pitch. Shoemaker pitched well in the second and third innings, but once again hurt himself in the fourth inning. After two one out walks the Pelicans pulled off a double steal which would then turn into two runs as Shoemaker balked on consecutive pitches. As for what the balks actually were, it’s seems to me that the umpire judged he never came fully set.
Augusta’s offense played a lot better in the second game, and Tavarez matched their game one hit total in the first inning as he led off with a double. Augusta almost came up empty in this trip, but Bryson Worrell delivered a two-out, two-strike single to score Tavarez and put the GreenJackets on top. The lead would not last long, however, as Samuel Strickland gave up hits to the first two batters of the bottom of the inning and a sacrifice fly tied the game back up. The GreenJackets were on the favorable side of a balk call in the second inning as it allowed Andrew Keck who had earlier singled to advance to third and then score on a fielder’s choice to put the GreenJackets back on top. In this inning Ambioris Tavarez had a horrible at-bat in which he struck out with no real contest, and he ended up being pulled from the game afterwards. Whether that was related to an injury or not isn’t clear, though after the second swing Tavarez took a long pause between pitches and had to use his timeout to avoid a violation.
Strickland would hold onto that lead in the second inning, then in the third he allowed a one out double. Strickland was allowed to stay in to strike out the next batter before he was removed from the game for Landon Harper. Harper wasted no time blowing Augusta’s lead as he allowed a home run on the second pitch to put the Pelicans up. Harper pitched fairly well after that and didn’t allow another runner through the end of the fifth inning. In the top of the sixth inning the GreenJackets were gifted a huge opportunity to put up a big inning. Bryson Worrell reached on an error to start the inning, and two walks and a hit batter brought him around to score and tie the game up. Just a single hit this inning would have broken the game open for Augusta, but they couldn’t put good wood on anything. Harper gave up three runs on four hits in the bottom of the sixth inning and Augusta lost by the final score of 6-3.