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Braves Minor League Recap: Vaughn Grissom notches four hits to pace Gwinnett

Both Gwinnett and Mississippi tallied double-digit scoring totals on Friday.

Miami Marlins v Atlanta Braves Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Atlanta’s Triple-A and Double-A affiliates were the only ones to bring home victories on Friday, outscoring their opponents by a combined total of 29-7.

(24-31) Gwinnett Stripers 16, (38-17) Norfolk Tides 0

  • Vaughn Grissom, 2B: 4-6, 2B, 3 RBI, 2 R
  • Forrest Wall, LF: 4-6, 2 RBI, 2 R
  • Braden Shewmake, SS: 2-6, HR, 2 RBI
  • Chadwick Tromp, C: 1-3, Grand Slam, 4 RBI, 3 BB
  • Allan Winans, SP: 7 IP, 4 H, 6 K

Box Score

You’d be hard pressed to find a more dominating performance across the minor league than what Gwinnett put together on both sides of the ball on Friday.

Plating 16 runs on 17 hits, the Stripers got back in the win column thanks to a combination of offensive firepower and elite pitching.

Despite putting runners in scoring position in each of the first three innings, the first of 16 runs for Gwinnett wouldn’t come until the fourth inning. Nick Solak reached on an error to leadoff the inning and would score on a one-out double from Daniel Robertson. Robertson advanced to third on a balk with Joe Dunad at the plate — who drew a walk — and then was then brought home on an Eli White single to make it 2-0. Forrest Wall would then single to bring Dunad home and advance White to third. Vaughn Grissom would clear the bases with a double, extending the Stripers lead to 5-0. Two batters later, Braden Shewmake brought Grissom home on a single into center field.

Gwinnett plated a run in each of the fifth and sixth innings. Joe Dunad launched a solo homer in the fifth and Yolmer Sanchez singled home Chadwick Tromp. The Stripers would load the bases in the seventh but couldn’t bring home a run.

Leading 8-0, Gwinnett would score eight runs in the top of the eighth inning, giving them 16 runs on the night. Sanchez, Robertson and Dunad reached to load the bases as Eli White walked in another run, making it 9-0. Wall and Grissom laced back-to-back singles, making it 11-0. The biggest blow in the inning came off the bat of Chadwick Tromp, who launched a grand slam, making it 15-0. Shewmake followed that up with a solo home run of his own to add to the Gwinnett lead to make it 16-0 which would hold as the final.

While the offense was doing its thing, the Stripers pitching was on top of its game and prevented Norfolk from crossing the plate.

Allan Winans lowered his season ERA to 2.91 thanks to seven shutout innings against Norfolk. Across those seven innings, Winans struck out six batters while scattering just four hits. Roddery Munoz came on in relief and continued the excellent work on the mound by tossing two shutout innings and allowing just one hit.

(22-26) Mississippi Braves 13, (17-32) Birmingham Barons 7

  • Cade Bunnell, 3B: 3-5, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB
  • Landon Stephens, 1B: 2-5, HR, 3 RBI
  • Jesse Franklin V, LF: 1-2, 3 RBI, 2 R, 3 BB
  • Scott Blewett, SP: 4.1 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, BB, 4 K

Box Score

Most days, 13 runs would be enough to top the scoring total throughout an organization. And were it not for Gwinnett, Mississippi would have surely laid claim to that title on Friday.

Scoring 13 runs, the Braves crossed the plate in six different innings as they scattered 12 hits to notch a win on the night.

Mississippi went down in order in the first and despite drawing a leadoff walk in the second would eventually ground into a double play to end the frame.

The first breakthrough for the Braves would come in the top of the third inning. Drew Campbell singled in the first at-bat of the inning but Andrew Moritz and Arden Pabst would be retired in the next two plate appearances. With two outs, Cal Conley was hit by a pitch and Justin Dean was walked to load the bases. A wild pitch and an error on the Birmingham catcher allowed for Moritz and Conley to score, staking Mississippi to a 2-0 lead.

Braves starter Scott Blewett kept the Barons off the scoreboard for the first two innings. Holding a 2-0 lead, Blewett allowed a pair of runs in the bottom of the third inning, giving the Barons a tie.

In the fourth inning, Cade Bunnell hit a solo homer, his fifth of the year, giving Mississippi the lead back. However, the Barons would re-tie the game in the bottom of the fourth inning at 3-3.

Continuing the back-and-forth trend in the game, Mississippi would once again take the lead in the top of the fifth. Dean and Luke Waddell drew one out walks and were then brought in courtesy of a Jesse Franklin V double, making it 5-3 Braves.

Once again, the lead wouldn’t last all too long as Birmingham plated four runs in the home half for a 7-5 Barons lead.

Trailing by two runs, would once again find their way back into a tie with Birmingham in the top of the seventh inning. Jesse Franklin V worked a leadoff walk and Bunnell and Landon Stephens notched back-to-back singles to load the bases. Drew Campbell followed that up with a single of his own to plate a run, making it 7-6. Bunnell would then score on a wild pitch, extending the Mississippi lead to 7-7.

The final lead change of the game would come in the top of the eighth inning. After Justin Dean struck out to leadoff, Waddell and Franklin walked to put a pair of runners on. Bunnell subsequently struck out for the second out of the inning. With two gone in the inning, Stephens cranked a three-run home run over the right center field fence to give the Braves a 10-7 lead.

But Mississippi wasn’t finished scoring there.

In the top of the ninth, Conley knocked a two-out double before scoring on a Dean single to make it 11-7. Dean would then score on a Waddell single, extending the Braves lead to 12-7. Franklin was then hit by a pitch and Bunnell doubled him across the plate, giving Mississippi the 13-7 final score.

On the mound, there weren’t many highlights for the Braves. However, Alec Barger — who got the win — would toss a pair of scoreless frames while striking out three batters.

(23-26) Rome Braves 2, (22-23) Bowling Green Hot Rods, 6

  • Bryson Horne, 1B: 2-4, HR, 2 RBI
  • Keshawn Ogans, 3B: 1-4, 2B, R
  • Geraldo Quintero, 2B: 1-4, 2B
  • Ian Mejia, SP: 7 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 5 K

Box Score

An early deficit would prove to be too much to overcome for Atlanta’s High-A affiliate on Friday.

Ian Mejia got the start on the mound for Rome and got off to a very tough start. In the bottom of the first inning, Mejia allowed the first four batters to reach en route to Bowling Green taking a 3-0 lead after the Braves went scoreless in the home half.

Rome was able to get a run back in the top of the second inning. After Keshawn Ogans doubled to leadoff the inning, Bryson Horne singled into center field two batters later to score Ogans, making it 3-1 Hot Rods.

That run would be short lived, however, as Bowling Green would get that run back on a solo homer off of Mejia to make it 4-1 in the bottom of the third.

Mejia would settle down after the third inning, tossing the next four innings scoreless. Benjamin Dum would come on in relief in the eighth inning and despite only spinning one inning would allow two runs, allowing Bowling Green to extend their lead to 6-1.

Rome cut into the Hot Rod lead in the top of the ninth inning thanks to a Bryson Horne solo home run. However, it would be too little, too late and the Braves would fall.

(26-23) Augusta GreenJackets 4, (19-30) Charleston RiverDogs 6

  • Ethan Workinger, CF: 3-4, HR, RBI, 2 R
  • Bryson Worrell, RF: 2-4, 2B, 3B, RBI
  • E.J. Exposito, SS: 1-3, 2 RBI, BB
  • Owen Murphy, SP: 3 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K

Box Score

Unlike their High-A counterparts in Rome, Augusta actually jumped out to an early lead, but would squander it in a loss.

Things were looking up for Augusta in the first inning as the first four batters in the game notched hits. Ethan Workinger and Justin Janas both singled to kick off the inning. They were followed by an RBI-double off the bat of Bryson Worrell to make it 1-0. E.J. Expositio followed that up with single into right field, plating both Janas and Worrell to extend their lead to 3-0.

On the bump, Owen Murphy got the nod for the start for Augusta. After tossing a scoreless first inning, things got a bit rocky for the 2022 Braves first-rounder.

Leading 3-0 in the bottom of the second, Murphy allowed a leadoff triple and the next batter brought home the first Charleston run home on a sac fly, cutting into the lead to make it 3-1. The GreenJackets brought the run back on a solo Ethan Workinger homer in the top of the third, but the 4-1 lead wouldn’t last long. In the home half of the third, Charleston tied the game at 4-4 as Murphy allowed a three-run home run. All told, the righty allowed four runs across just three innings.

After allowing the RiverDogs to battle their way back into the game, the Augusta bullpen would take over for Murphy in the bottom of the fourth inning. Charleston would subsequently take the lead as Estarlin Rodriguez gave up an RBI-double, making it 5-4 RiverDogs.

Chad Bryant took over for Rodriguez in the sixth inning and would allow Charleston to tack on an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh inning to make it 6-4.

Offensively, Augusta wasn’t able to scratch across another run after the third inning and would only tally two hits over the final six innings.

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