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Braves Minor League Recap: Augusta erases eight run deficit to win

Tyler Collins had the go-ahead hit in a thrilling GreenJackets victory

Credit: Garrett Spain - Battery Power

The Augusta GreenJackets were the star of the evening in the Atlanta Braves system, making a huge comeback late in the game to upset the best team in the Carolina League during the second half. Beyond that Dylan Dodd is back on the mound as he made a rehab appearance in Florida.

(44-54) Gwinnett Stripers 5, (44-54) Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 2

Box Score

  • Vaughn Grissom, 2B: 1-1, HBP, .321/.397/.468
  • Braden Shewmake, SS: 2-4, 2B, HR, .221/.303/.415
  • Darius Vines, SP: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 1.93 ERA

Braden Shewmake had a massive day at the plate, and his performance would lead Gwinnett to a win over Jacksonville. Shewmake had a double in the first inning which also advanced Luke Williams over to third base, and after back-to-back sacrifice flies the Stripers held a 2-0 lead. They would never trail in the game, with Shewmake’s third inning home run giving them enough cushion to hold off the Jumbo Shrimp. Vaughn Grissom drove in two runs in the game, both on sacrifice flies, and in July he has put up an impressive .347/.430/.500 slash line.

After a long recovery from a spring training shoulder injury Darius Vines is finally back in Gwinnett where he belongs, but his first outing wasn’t a huge success. The positive for Vines is that it worked out on the scoreboard with him completing 4 23 innings with only one run allowed, but he faced quite a bit of traffic as he allowed four walks and five hits. As has become common with Vines the run came on a third inning home run, but fortunately did not come in from of the many batters he faced with runners on base. Gwinnett’s bullpen had a strong day, led by recent acquisition Mike Morin. Morin pitched a perfect eighth inning, striking out the side on 14 pitches. Grant Holmes closed the game out with two strikeouts in a scoreless ninth inning.

(41-50) Mississippi Braves 1, (56-46) Pensacola Blue Wahoos 4

Box Score

  • Cody Milligan, CF: 1-3, 3B, .319/.434/.484
  • Luke Waddell, SS: 1-4, .300/.406/.451
  • Alan Rangel, SP: 5.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 5.91 ERA

It’s been a tough year for Alan Rangel, and not much changed in this game as he got no run support and fell to 1-11 in decisions. Rangel had a solid start going through five innings as he mostly shut down the Blue Wahoos. Pensacola scored just one run on an RBI single in the second inning, but were otherwise quiet as Rangel kept Mississippi in it. Then in the sixth inning Rangel allowed doubles to consecutive batters and that scored a run and led to him being pulled from the game. Domingo Gonzalez coughed up a two-run home run to the first batter he faced and that was all she wrote for this game. Trey Riley pitched a scoreless inning with a strikeout, and over the past month he has been solid outside of one poor outing a week ago.

Offensively there was just nothing to speak of for the M-Braves as they managed only three hits in the game. Cody Milligan was the only one who carried any weight as he got into scoring position twice. Milligan led off the first inning by getting hit by a pitch and stealing second base, but he was stranded there as the middle of the order failed to cash in the opportunity. The only Braves run of the game came from Milligan’s bat. Milligan burned the center fielder for a two out triple, then scored on the play as the shortstop’s relay to third sailed away from the third baseman and went into the dugout.

(43-50) Rome Braves 6, (37-51) Asheville Tourists 3

Box Score

  • Ignacio Alvarez, SS: 2-5, .298/.414/.424
  • David McCabe, 3B: 2-3, 2B, 2 BB, .303/.393/.474
  • Patrick Halligan, SP: 5 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 3.31 ERA

It was a breakout evening for Justin Janas, whose first three-hit performance at High-A led a strong offensive attack in a Rome win. Both sides failed to do much of anything through the first three innings, but Janas led off with a single in the fourth inning and the Braves quickly found themselves in a bases-loaded opportunity with no outs. They did not waste this chance, with a force out and an error scoring two runs and Kevin Kilpatrick raking a double for the third. Asheville got two runs back in the bottom of the fourth inning and Rome answered with a run in the fifth on a wild pitch. Both sides kept it close going into the ninth inning with Rome protecting a 4-3 lead headed into the final frame. David McCabe led off the inning with a double and a short rally would follow with a bunt single from Keshawn Ogans and RBI double from Janas to give Rome some much needed insurance. While the Braves were active at the plate with 12 hits in this game, they perhaps could have had more if not for their 17 strikeouts.

Patrick Halligan had a good day on the mound for Rome, but almost let it slip away towards the end before he bounced back to keep the Braves on top. Through the first three innings Halligan allowed only one hit and no runs, but with two outs in the fourth inning Halligan’s lone walk of the game would lead to a much closer affair. The next batter hit a two-run home run to bring the Tourists within a run, then the tying run reached on a double to put the Braves in some trouble. Halligan would bounce back, however, and finish off the inning before throwing a perfect fifth to finish his start. Jose Montilla allowed a run over two innings of relief and Peyton Williams struck out four batters as he closed out the final two innings scoreless.

(43-49) Augusta GreenJackets 15, (45-48) Charleston RiverDogs 8

Box Score

  • Ambioris Tavarez, SS: 0-2, 4 BB, .202/.302/.351
  • EJ Exposito, 2B: 2-5, 2B, BB, 5 RBI, .215/.327/.341
  • Cory Acton, 3B: 4-5, 2B, HR, BB, 3 RBI, .208/.330/.281
  • Owen Murphy, SP: 2.2 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 5.11 ERA

Augusta had the comeback of the year, erasing an eight run deficit before going on to win in blowout fashion. Early on in this game the GreenJackets could do nothing but draw walks, and when things fell apart for Owen Murphy in the second inning the game quickly seemed to be getting away. Murphy allowed three runs on three hits and a hit batter before being pulled for Landon Harper who would allow two more runs in the inning. The deficit grew to seven with Harper allowing two more runs in the fourth inning, and with Augusta’s offense this season it seemed safe to assume it was over from there.

Elison Joseph pitched wonderfully in relief as he struck out five batters in two scoreless innings, but the GreenJackets didn’t provide any signs of hope and the RiverDogs would tack on a run in the seventh inning against Nolan Martinez. Trailing 8-0 with two innings left to go Augusta finally got on the board with Cory Acton’s two run home run ending the shutout effort. Suddenly though the GreenJackets were racing with Jair Casanova and Jose Dilone each getting hits. Another run scored on a passed ball and with two outs the GreenJackets loaded the bases on walks to Tyler Collins and Ambioris Tavarez. This brought EJ Exposito up to bat, and he made the game interesting as he cleared the bases on a double to bring Augusta within just two runs. Now invigorated the GreenJackets came out in the ninth looking to do more damage.

Bryson Worrell led off in the ninth with a double and after a hit from Acton it was Casanova who got the game within a run on an RBI single. A one out walk to Nick Clarno loaded the bases for the nine hitter Tyler Collins, and the 20 year old came through with his biggest hit of the season, doubling home two runners to give the GreenJackets a lead. Tavarez walked for the fourth time in the game to load the bases again, and EJ Exposito made it five RBI in two innings with a base hit. Augusta would go on to score nine runs in the ninth inning, finishing with 15 unanswered as they stole a game from the RiverDogs.

(17-19) FCL Braves 7, (16-20) FCL Twins 5

Box Score

  • Sabin Ceballos, 3B: 1-2, 2 BB, 2 RBI, .500/.778/.500
  • Isaiah Drake, CF: 0-2, BB, RBI, .000/.200/.000
  • Dylan Dodd, SP: 3.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K

The FCL is exciting this week, though many of these players won’t be here long, and Sabin Ceballos has just been on fire. As should be expected from a player like Ceballos the FCL has been no contest for him as he has drawn five walks in nine plate appearances and is expected to get the call to Augusta next week among others. Dylan Dodd was untouchable in his rehab start, retiring all ten batters he faced with ease as you would expect from him.

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