It was an incredibly busy day down on the farm for Atlanta’s MiLB affiliates as there were a total of seven games played on the day. We’ve got a lot to get into, so let’s dive into Friday’s minor league action.
(29-38) Gwinnett Stripers 3, (35-31) Nashville Sounds 5
- Joe Dunad, DH: 1-4, HR, RBI
- Forrest Wall, CF: 2-4, RBI
- Braden Shewmake, SS: 2-3, 2B, BB
- Michael Soroka, SP: 6 IP, 3 H, ER, 4 BB, 3 K
Unlike their Double-A counterparts, Gwinnett couldn’t quite pull out the win in extra innings on Friday.
The Stripers scored first, plating a run in the top of the third inning. Joshua Fuentes laced a one-out double into center field before Forrest Wall tripled to bring him home, giving the Stripers a 1-0 lead. Gwinnett would tack on an additional run in the top of the fourth inning as Joe Dunad sent a 3-1 pitch over the right field wall, extending the Stripers’ lead to 2-0.
Michael Soroka got the nod for the start for the Stripers and tossed three scoreless innings before allowing Nashville to get on the board in the fourth inning. Soroka would allow the Sounds to tie the game up at 2-2 in the bottom of the second, but all-in-all, he would go six innings allowing just the two runs.
Things would remain relatively quire for both squads for a while as Gwinnett and Nashville couldn’t find a way to scratch across a run. The Stripers would actually load the bases in the top of the ninth inning, but failed to bring a runner home, leading to extra innings.
Justin Dean started the tenth inning at second base and was brought home via a a bunt single off the bat of Wall to give the Stripers a 3-2 lead.
In the home half of the tenth inning, Beau Burrows replaced Brian Moran who had tossed two scoreless innings while striking out a pair of batters. However, Burrows allowed a game-tying single and just two batters later gave up a walkoff, two-run home run leading to the Stripers downfall by a final of 5-3.
(28-31) Mississippi Braves 6, (37-23) Pensacola Blue Wahoos 5 (Completion of June 15 suspension)
- Luke Waddell, SS: 4-5, HR, 2 2B, 3 RBI
- Drew Campbell, CF: 2-3, 2 HR, 3 RBI, BB
- Scott Blewett, SP: 6 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K
Mississippi and Pensacola picked this one up in the top of the seventh after Thursday’s game was suspended due to rain. For a recap of the full nine innings, look for Garrett Spain’s recap from Thursday night.
Knotted up at 3-3 when suspended, this one would need extra innings to determine a winner.
When action resumed, the Braves were at the plate but Luke Waddell grounded out to end the inning. Pensacola would come to the dish as Hayden Deal took over on the mound for Scott Blewett. Deal would allow a go-ahead homer to the first batter he faced in the frame, making it 4-3 Pensacola. Both squads would go scoreless in the eighth inning.
Down to their final three outs, the Braves wasted no time in the top of the ninth inning as leadoff man Drew Campbell sent a 2-1 pitch over the left center field fence to tie the game at 4-4.
Alec Barger would be called on to try and send the game to extra innings and would do so successfully, striking out two batters while retiring the side in the home half of the ninth.
Andrew Moritz began the top of the tenth inning at second base and after Cal Conley flew out, Luke Waddell launched a go-ahead two-run homer, giving Mississippi a 6-4 lead.
Barger would be left in to try and seal the deal for the Braves. Despite loading the bases with two outs, Barger allowed just one run before notching a strikeout to end the game and giving the Braves their first win on the day.
(29-31) Mississippi Braves 15, (37-22) Pensacola Blue Wahoos 3
- Cade Bunnell, 1B: 3-6, HR, 2B, 5 RBI, 2 R
- Luke Waddell, SS: 2-4, HR, 4 RBI, 3 R
- Landon Stephens, CF: 2-6, HR, 2B, 3 RBI, R
- Luis De Avila, SP: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K
In their second game of the day, Mississippi dominated to go 2-0 on Friday.
The Braves wasted no time, jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning. After Cal Conley grounded out to start the game, the next five Braves would reach. Luke Waddell, Jesse Franklin V, and Tyler Tolve each singled to load the bases before Cade Bunnell strolled to the plate. After working a 2-2 count, Bunnell launched a grand slam over the center field wall, breaking the game open before Pensacola had a chance to come to the plate, giving Mississippi a 4-0 lead.
Starter Luis De Avila would allow the Blue Wahoos to gain a run back in the bottom of the inning on a sac fly to make it 4-1 Mississippi.
Both pitching staffs would regain control after the first frame, as the next run wouldn’t be scored until the bottom of the sixth inning. De Avila would get the nod to push through the sixth, and while he would manage to do so, he would surrender a two-run homer which allowed the Blue Wahoos to cut into the lead, making it 4-3 Mississippi.
From that point forward, it would be all Braves. In the top of the seventh, the Braves would add another run to their lead on a Cade Bunnell groundout which scored Jesse Franklin V to make it 5-3 Mississippi.
Leading by a pair of runs, the eighth and ninth innings is where Mississippi broke the game wide open. In the eighth, Mississippi plated five runs thanks in part to their second grand slam of the game. Hudson Potts walked to leadoff the inning as Andrew Moritz singled before a Cal Conley walked to load the bases. On the very first pitch he saw in the inning, Waddell launched a homer, giving the Braves a 9-3 lead. But the Braves wouldn’t be finished there. After the next two batters were retired, Bunnell doubled before an error allowed him to score, extending the Mississippi lead to 10-3.
The Braves would continue to pour it on in the top of the ninth inning, once again scoring five runs like the frame prior. Moritz singled as Conley and Waddell walked to load the bases once again. Franklin V brought Moritz home on a sac fly and Tolve singled to bring home an additional run to make it 12-3 Braves. Following a Bunnell strikeout, Landon Stephens decided to get in on the home run party, sending a three-run shot over the left field wall to extend the Mississippi lead to 15-3.
On the mound, Nick Howard, Kyle Wilcox, and Dommingo Gonzalez would combine to toss three scoreless innings while striking out six in the win.
(28-33) Rome Braves 3, (36-25) Hudson Valley Renegades 4
- Kevin Kilpatrick Jr., CF: 3-5, HR 2 RBI
- Keshawn Ogans, SS: 1-2, 2B, RBI
- Ian Mejia , SP: 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 K
Rome suffered a heartbreaking loss on Friday. After coming back to tie the game up in the top of the eighth inning, the Braves would ultimately cough up the lead, losing on a walkoff.
In the top of the first inning, Kevin Kilpatrick led off with a single as Nacho Alvarez and David McCabe worked one-out walks to load the bases. A Keshawn Ogans sac fly brought home the first run of the game, giving Rome a 1-0 lead.
Ian Mejia got the start on the bump for the Braves. In the first inning, the righty would allow the only blemish on his line across five innings by giving up one run for Hudson Valley to tie the game at 1-1.
Mejia would settle down and hold the Renegades scoreless over the next few innings, keeping the game tied. On the opposite side of the ball, the Rome offense would struggle to find its footing, failing to provide Mejia with much of any run support.
The next run for either squad would come in the bottom of the sixth inning as Hudson Valley scored another run off of Mejia, this one unearned, giving them a one-run lead at 2-1.
In the top of the eighth inning, Rome would take their first lead since the top of the initial frame. Stephen Paolini drew a leadoff walk as Kilpatrick Jr. sent a 1-0 pitch over the left field fence for a two-run homer to make it 3-2 Braves.
Patrick Halligan would take over out of the bullpen for Mejia in the bottom of the sixth inning. While he tossed a scoreless seventh inning, Halligan allowed a run in the bottom of the eighth inning as Hudson Valley tied the game at 3-3.
In the top of the ninth, Rome actually put a runner in scoring position after Geraldo Quintero singled and Bryson Horne followed that up with a walk. But the next three batters would be retired in order, leaving the game tied.
Halligan would be allowed to start the inning but would be replaced after hitting a batter with one out in the inning. Peyton Williams would come on in relief and allow back-to-back singles as a Renegade scored, handing the Braves the loss by a 4-3 final.
(29-32) Augusta GreenJackets 5, (32-27) Carolina Mudcats 11
- Ethan Workinger, LF: 1-4, 2 RBI, BB
- Justin Janas, 1B: 1-3, 2 RBI, 2 BB
- E.J. Exposito, 2B: 1-4, 2B, RBI
- Owen Murphy, SP: 5 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 3 K
Normally, one inning wouldn’t be enough to “do in” a team on any given night. However, one frame was the deciding factor in Augusta’s loss.
Owen Murphy got the start on the mound for the GreenJackets and had a rough first inning. The 2022 first-rounder allowed the first two batters to reach on doubles, allowing one run to score. Another run would score in the frame, but was unearned. In the home half, Augusta drew a pair of walks but couldn’t bring a runner home to cut into the lead.
Trailing by two runs in the bottom of the second, Augusta’s offense would erupt, taking the lead. Jeremy Caledonio was hit by a pitch and would be doubled home in the very next at-bat, by E.J. Exposito making it 2-1. After Exposito was caught stealing Cory Acton and Tyler Collins worked walks sandwiched around a strikeout and Ambioris Tavarez was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Justin Janas would then draw a bases-loaded walk to tie the game at 2-2. Ethan Workinger continued his then knocked a bases-loaded single to plate two additional runs, giving the GreenJackets a 4-2 lead.
Murphy’s struggles would continue in the next few innings as he would allow one run in the third and one run in the fourth, enabling Carolina to tie the game at 4-4. Murphy would allow the Mudcats to take another lead in the top of the sixth as he issued two walks and a single. The run would come off a wild pitch, meaning Carolina would take a 5-4 lead.
The GreenJackets would get that run back in the home half of the inning as Janas singled home Dawson Dimon, knotting the game at 5-5.
Landon Harper would take over for Murphy in the sixth inning and while he managed to get out of the inning without allowing a run of his own, the seventh frame would be far less kind to him. After getting a leadoff groundout, Harper allowed the next seven batters to reach with five of them reaching via extra-base hit. All told, Carolina would plate six runs in the inning, giving them an 11-5 lead, which would hold as the final as Augusta failed to bring another runner across the plate.
(4-5) FCL Braves 14, (3-6) FCL Rays 6
- Jose Dilone, 1B: 2-3, HR, 4 RBI, 3 R, 2 BB
- Jesus Aguilar, DH: 3-5, 2B, 4 RBI, 2 R
- Douglas Glod, CF: 2-5, 2 RBI
- Reibyn Corona, SP: IP, BB, 2 K
It was a good day for the FCL Braves as they tallied 14 runs on 16 hits to stomp the FCL Rays on Friday to get within one win of getting back to .500 on the season.
Two players drove in eight runs for the Braves as Jose Dilone and Jesus Aguilar — in his second game as a member of the organization — each tallied multi-hit games with four RBI. After going scoreless in the first two frames, the Braves would proceed to score 13 of their 14 runs in the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth innings.
Former top international signee Douglas Glod put together a strong performance on the day as well, as he went 2-5 with a pair of RBI in the win as well.
Reibyn Corona got the start but only went one inning, allowing a walk and striking out a pair. In relief, 20-year-old Efrain Polanco made his third appearance on the season and has yet to give up a run so far after tossing three scoreless innings while striking out three on Friday.
Dilone has been another bright spot for the FCL team thus far. While his age relative to the level has to be taken into consideration — sitting at 22 years-old — Dilone has put up an OPS of 1.386 with a pair of homers and 11 RBI to this point.
(1-8) DSL Braves 5, (2-7) DSL A’s 6
- Josnaider Orellana, DH: 2-4, 2B, 3 RBI, R, BB
- John Estevez, 2-4, 2B, RBI, 2 R, BB
- Luis Guanipa, CF: 1-1, R, 2 SB
- Jose Pineda, SP: 1.2 IP, H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 2 K
The early struggles continued for the DSL Braves on Friday as they dropped to 1-8 on the season. Getting off to an early lead, the Braves plated three runs in the top of the first inning, Luis Guanipa led things off with a single as four other batters would reach in the inning, giving the Braves an early 3-0 advantage.
However, the lead wouldn’t last long as the Braves would subsequently give up the lead after giving up two runs in the second inning and a single run in the third.
The A’s would take their first lead of the game in the bottom of the fifth inning, plating three runs off of reliever Rudit Pena, who would ultimately end up with the loss on the night.
Trailing 6-3, the Braves would get two runs back in the top of the sixth inning. Elian Garcia, John Estevez, and Carlos Monteverde each drew a walk to load the bases before Josnaider Orellana doubled to bring home a pair of runs to make it 6-5.
The Braves pitching staff would hold the A’s scoreless over the final three innings, but the offense failed to scratch across another run.