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Braves Minor League Recap: Ethan Workinger drives in five to lead Augusta to win

Workinger launched his third homer in two days to pace the Augusta offense

Atlanta Braves v Oakland Athletics Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

While the big league club was busy sweeping both games of a doubleheader, it was a bit of a disappointing day down on the farm. Augusta was the only one of Atlanta’s minor league affiliates to bring home a win on Wednesday as Gwinnett’s late comeback came up short, Mississippi fell in extras and Rome fell.

(29-36) Gwinnett Stripers 3, (33-31) Nashville Sounds 6

  • Joe Dunad, DH: 2-3, HR, 2 RBI, R
  • Vaughn Grissom, SS: 2-4, RBI
  • Matt Swarmer, SP: 2.1 IP, H, ER, 3 BB, K

Box Score

All in all, it was a bit of a rough day for Gwinnett. The offense plated only four hits through the first eight innings, their starter only went 2.1 innings and the bullpen allowed four runs.

Through the first two frames, things appeared to be going okay on the mound for the Stripers. Matt Swarmer got the start and spun two scoreless frames. However, he would allow Nashville to score first in the bottom of the third inning. After allowing a leadoff single and then getting a groundout, Swarmer issued three straight free passes, walking in a run to make it 1-0 Sounds.

Allan Winans took over for Swarmer with only one out in the bottom of the third. Winans prevented any further scoring in the fourth inning, but in the fifth, the wheels fell off. The right hander allowed the first two batters of the inning to reach via walk and fielder’s choice and then gave up a three-run homer to make it 4-0 Nashville.

After going scoreless in the first five innings, Gwinnett plated their first run of the game in the top of the sixth inning. Justin Dean walked to start off the inning and then took second on a passed ball. Dean would score on a Vaughn Grissom single, cutting the Nashville lead to 4-1.

Winans would continue to struggle in the bottom of the seventh, allowing two more runs to make it a 6-1 lead for the Sounds.

Gwinnett would go down in order in the seventh and eighth innings, leaving the deficit at 6-1 headed into the final frame.

In the ninth inning, Gwinnett would actually cut the lead in half. Vaughn Grissom singled to leadoff the inning and Joe Dunad launched a two-run home run in the next at-bat to make it 6-3. The Stripers would get an additional runner on in the inning as Braden Shewmake walked in the next at-bat, but that would be all Gwinnett would get as the next two batters would be retired to end the game.

(27-31) Mississippi Braves 4, (37-22) Pensacola Blue Wahoos 5

  • Luke Waddell, 2B: 3-4, HR, 2 RBI, R
  • Jesse Franklin V, LF: 1-4, HR, RBI
  • Drew Campbell, CF: 1-4, HR, RBI
  • Alan Rangel, SP: 5 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 K

Box Score

Mississippi sustained a heartbreaking loss on Wednesday. Trailing by a run headed into the ninth inning, the Braves tied things up before falling in extra innings.

The Braves scored first as Jesse Franklin V homered over the left center field fence to stake Mississippi to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. In the very next inning, the Braves extended their lead thanks to a solo shot off the bat of Drew Campbell to make it 2-0 Mississippi.

Alan Rangel got the start for Mississippi and retired the side in order in the first inning. However, carrying a two-run lead, Rangel would allow three runs in the bottom of the second inning to give Pensacola a 3-2 lead. Pensacola would tack on another run in the bottom of the third inning, extending their lead to 4-2.

Continuing with an early theme, the Braves got their third run of the game on a solo home run — their third such of the game. This time, Luke Waddell was the man to get the job done as he served a 3-1 pitch over the left field wall to cut the Blue Wahoo lead to 4-3.

Mississippi got a runner in scoring position in both the sixth and seventh innings but couldn’t bring them across the plate.

After going down in order in the eighth inning, the Braves would get another scoring opportunity in the top of the ninth. Down to their final out, Beau Philip walked and Cal Conley doubled him to third base. Then, on a 1-2 count, Waddell singled Philip home to tie the game up.

Victor Vodnik was tasked with sending the game to extras and despite allowing a runner to get into scoring position, would succeed and give the Braves another chance.

In the top of the tenth with Waddell starting the inning at second base, he would advance to third with two outs. However, Javier Valdes would strike out after working full count to end the inning. In the home half, Kyle Wilcox would come on in relief and eventually gave up a sac fly as Pensacola took the win by a final of 5-4.

(28-31) Rome Braves 2, (34-25) Hudson Valley Renegades 4

  • Brandon Parker, RF: 1-2, HR
  • Nacho Alvarez, SS: 2-4, 2B, R
  • David McCabe, 3B: 2-3, RBI
  • Daniel Martinez , SP: 5 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K

Box Score

Despite a late comeback attempt, Rome fell on Wednesday in the

Rome got on the board first, plating a run in the top half of the first inning. Nacho Alvarez doubled with two outs before advancing to third on a wild pitch. David McCabe brought Alvarez home on a single into right field, staking Rome to an early 1-0 lead.

The lead would be short lived, however, as Rome starter Daniel Martinez would allow two runs in the bottom half of the first inning, giving Hudson Valley a 2-1 lead.

Offensively, the Braves would put a runner on base in each of the next five innings but failed to bring a runner across the plate.

While Rome was struggling to tie things up, Hudson Valley plated two more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, one of which was earned by Martinez to make it 4-1 Renegades.

The next scoring opportunity for Rome would come in the top of the seventh inning. To leadoff the inning, Brandon Parker homered, cutting the Hudson Valley lead in half at a 4-2 lead.

Trailing by a pair of runs, Rome would put a runner on in the eighth and ninth innings, but failed to score either of them, leading to a 4-2 loss for the Braves.

One noteworthy performance was J.J. Niekro, who came on in relief of Martinez in the sixth inning. Out of the bullpen, Niekro tossed three scoreless innings, while issuing just one walk and striking out a pair of Renegades.

(29-30) Augusta GreenJackets 6, (30-27) Carolina Mudcats 5

  • Ethan Workinger, CF: 2-2, HR, 2B, 5 RBI, BB
  • Jeremy Celedonio, DH: 1-3, HR, RBI, BB
  • Spencer Schwellenbach, SP: 6 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 6 K

Box Score

It was a banner day on both sides of the ball for Augusta on Wednesday.

After waiting through a rain delay before the first pitch, the GreenJackets came out of the gate swinging. Ambioris Tavarez was hit by a pitch to leadoff the home half of the first inning for Augusta as Justin Janas then doubled him to third. In the next at-bat, Ethan Workinger homered on an 0-2 pitch, giving Augusta an early 3-0 lead and his third home run in two days.

Workinger would continue his already impressive day in the bottom of the second frame. Tavarez singled into left field to start things off and then stole second. Janas then walked as Tavarez used his speed again, this time taking third base. With runners at the corners, Workinger doubled into center field, bringing both Tavarez and Janas home. The extra-base hit would extend Augsuta’s lead to 5-0, of which all runs were courtesy of Workinger to that point.

While the offense was doing its thing, Spencer Schwellenbach got off to a nice start in his own right. Through the first three innings, the right hander held Carolina off the basepaths entirely.

However, Schwellenbach ran into a bit of trouble in the top of the fourth. After striking out the first batter of the inning, Schwellenbach allowed back-to-back singles to put runners at the corners. He then hit the next batter to load the bases before the Mudcats scratched across a run on an RBI forceout to make it 5-1. A double steal — one of which was of home — would allow another Carolina runner to score, cutting the GreenJacket lead to 5-2. Schwellenbach managed to get out of the inning, limiting the damage to just two runs.

Schwellenbach bounced back nicely, as in the top of the fifth inning he retired the side in order, two of which were via strikeout.

In the bottom of the inning, Jeremy Celedonio decided to get in on the RBI action and homered over the left center field fence, making it 6-2 GreenJackets.

Despite leading by as many as five runs at one point in this one, it would be up to the GreenJacket bullpen to prevent a comeback attempt from Carolina from being successful.

Schwellenbach gave way to the bullpen as Nolan Martinez would come on in relief. In the seventh and eighth innings, Martinez allowed two runs while scattering three hits and issuing three walks, allowing Carolina to cut into the Augusta lead at 6-4. Sam Strickland would come on in a save opportunity and despite allowing a run, would close the door on the narrow win by a final of 6-5.

With his second quality start of the season while matching his game high in innings pitched at six, Schwellenbach has lowered his ERA on the season to 2.95 across 11 starts.

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