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Braves Minor League Recap: Nacho Alvarez homers, drives in four as Rome sweeps doubleheader

Alvarez went 3-4 with a homer and double in game two of the day for Rome.

Credit: Garrett Spain - Battery Power

It was a so-so day down on the farm as Rome took both games of their doubleheader and Gwinnett walked their contest in just a few of the highlights from Wednesday.

(35-48) Gwinnett Stripers 8, (40-40) Omaha Storm Chasers 7

  • Jesus Aguilar, HR, 4 RBI
  • Luke Williams, 3B: 3-5, 2 RBI, R
  • Joe Dunad, DH: 2-4, RBI, R, BB
  • Justus Sheffield, SP: 4.2 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 7 K

Box Score

Gwinnett won an extra-inning thriller on Wednesday, beating Omaha 8-7 in a walkoff victory.

With Justus Sheffield getting the start, the lefthander allowed three runs in the top of the second inning, as the Storm Chasers took a 3-0 lead. Gwinnett would get that run back in the bottom of the inning, as Braden Shewmake and Luke Williams sandwiched a pair of doubles around a Jesus Aguilar strikeout, to make it 3-1 Omaha.

Sheffield would allow another run in the top of the third inning as the Storm Chasers extended their lead to 4-1.

The home half of the inning was where the Stripers took their first lead of the game. Vaughn Grissom, Joe Dunad, and Braden Shewmake all singled before Jesus Aguilar sent the first pitch he saw over the left field wall for a grand slam, making it 5-4 Gwinnett.

Continuing with the back and forth pace, Omaha would get to Sheffield for a pair of runs in the top of the fifth, retaking the lead at 6-5. Omaha tacked on another run in the top of the sixth, this time off of reliever Seth Elledge to make it 7-5.

The Stripers would tie the game up in the bottom of the sixth inning. Williams singled and Chadwick Tromp and Hoy Park walked to load the bases. Eli White brought Williams home on a sac fly to make it 7-6. After Forrest Wall grounded out for the second out of the inning, Grissom walked to load the bases once again. In the next at-bat, Joe Dunad drew a bases-loaded walk to tie the game at 7-7.

The game would remain tied through the ninth inning, sending it to extras. Beau Burrows tossed a scoreless tenth inning and in the home half, Omaha intentionally walked Aguilar to put runners on first and second as Shewmake started the inning off in scoring position. Then, with a 2-1 count, Luke Williams singled into left field, scoring Shewmake and winning the game for Gwinnett at an 8-7 final.

(38-38) Mississippi Braves 0, (40-37) Montgomery Biscuits 6

  • Luke Waddell, 3-4, 3B
  • Scott Blewett, SP: 4.2 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 7 K

Box Score

Some nights, the cards just aren’t in your favor and that’s exactly what happened to Mississippi on Wednesday night as they were blanked 6-0 by Montgomery. Not a lot to say in this one, as the pitching staff was subpar and the offense was nonexistent so we’ll keep this short.

The bad news for the Braves’ pitching staff is starter Scott Blewett allowed all six runs across the first five innings. The good news is the bullpen came through and stopped the bleeding. Hayden Harris, Ty Tice, Alec Barger, and Trey Riley combined to toss 4.1 innings while allowing just one hit and striking out eight.

Offensively, there’s not much to say in this one, as the Braves were limited to just four hits on the night while working only two walks. The only real bright spot at the plate for MIssissippi was Luke Waddell, who tallied three of the teams four hits, one of which was a triple. Landon Stephens had the other lone hit on the night for the Braves.

(35-41) Rome Braves 8, (41-35) Greenville Drive 5 (Completion of July 4 game)

  • David McCabe, 3B: 1-3, HR, 2 RBI, BB
  • Ethan Workinger, LF: 2-5, HR, 2 RBI
  • Geraldo Quintero, 2B: 3-5, 3B, RBI, R
  • Hunter Riggins, SP: 3 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, K

Box Score

If this recap had been written yesterday, as originally intended, it might have been written entirely differently. However, as Mother Nature would have it, the game initially scheduled to be finished on July 4 would have to be completed a day later due to a rain delay which postponed the game in the top of the fourth inning.

Hunter Riggins got the start for the Braves in this one, and as his start was cut short after just three innings due to the delay, it was probably for the best. Riggins allowed four runs on five hits, leaving Rome in a 4-0 hole as the offense notched just one hit through the first three frames.

On Wednesday, the offense finally found new life. Drake Baldwin, David McCabe and Keshawn Ogans drew consecutive walks to load the bases with one out. Geraldo Quintero then singled into right field, plating Baldwin to make it 4-1.

Jose Montilla would be called on to “start” the game on Wednesday and would allow one run in the bottom of the fourth to make it 5-1. The fifth inning is where the Rome offense would really come alive. Brandon Parker kicked things off with a leadoff single but Kevin Kilpatrick Jr. and Nacho Alvarez would be retired for the first two outs in the inning, but not before Parker made it all the way to third on a wild pitch. Baldwin then singled Parker home to make it 5-2. In the next at-bat, McCabe homered over right center field fence to make it 5-4 Greenville.

Despite the blemish in the fourth inning, Montilla settled down as he would toss three scoreless innings afterwards, keeping the deficit at one run for Rome.

The top of the eighth inning is where the Braves would take their first run of the game. Geraldo Quintero tripled to kick off the inning before Ethan Workinger homered over the right center field wall, giving Rome the 6-5 lead. Bryson Horne followed that up with a double before he was retired on a fielder’s choice ground out by Parker, as he would reach on the play. Kilpatrick Jr. then reached on an error. Parker would then score on a double steal to make it 7-5 Rome as Kilpatrick Jr. took third on the play. The final run of the night would come courtesy of a single by Alvarez that scored Kilpatrick Jr., extending the Rome lead to 8-5.

Montilla would give way to Rob Griswold in the bottom of the eighth as he would toss two scoreless frames to cap off the win for Rome.

(36-41) Rome Braves 7, (41-36) Greenville Drive 3

  • Nacho Alvarez, SS: 3-4, 2B, HR, 4 RBI, 2 R
  • Bryson Horne, 1B: 1-3, 2B, 2 RBI
  • Keshawn Ogans, 1-2, RBI, R
  • Cedric De Grandpre, SP: 5.2 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K

Box Score

In game two of the day on Wednesday for Rome, things went much smoother for the Braves as they took the lead in the first inning and never let Greenville take one of their own.

Kevin Kilpatrick Jr. singled to leadoff the game and Nacho Alvarez wasted no time in getting Rome on the board as he sent a 3-1 pitch over the left center field fence for a two-run homer.

Cedric De Grandpre got the start on the mound and despite tossing a scoreless inning, he allowed two runs in the bottom of the second as the Drive tied the game at 2-2.

But it wouldn’t be long before Rome retook the lead, as they plated four runs in the top of the third. Kadon Morton singled and Alvarez later doubled him home, making it 3-2 Braves. Alvarez then scored on a single from Keshawn Ogans and Bryson Horne doubled home Drake Baldwin and Ogans, extending the Rome lead to 6-2.

In the top of the fourth, Stephen Paolini doubled to kick off the inning, as Alvarez notched his fourth RBI of the game as he singled Paolini across, making it 7-2.

DeGrandpre allowed another run in the bottom of the fourth inning as the Drive made it 7-3. Peyton Williams took over in relief of De Grandpre and tossed 1.1 scoreless innings to seal off the second win on the day for Rome.

(37-39) Augusta GreenJackets 3, (44-32) Myrtle Beach Pelicans 9

  • Ambioris Tavarez, SS: 2-5, HR, RBI
  • Tyler Collins, CF: 1-4, 2B, 2 RBI
  • Jhancarlos Lara, SP: 4 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K

Box Score

It was a bit of a struggle on all fronts for Augusta in this one. The pitching staff allowed nine runs on eight hits, while the offense failed to bring a runner across the plate until the final two innings.

Starter Jhancarlos Lara gave up a run in the first inning, as Myrtle Beach jumped out to an early 1-0 lead. Overall it was a bit of an odd frame for Lara as he allowed two hits, a run and hit two batters, but also struck out the final three batters he faced in the inning.

Lara would allow two more runs in the top of the fourth, making it 3-0 Pelicans. Darling Florentino took over in the fifth inning and actually tossed a scoreless fifth. However, things went south in the top of the sixth, as Florentino allowed three runs – two earned – to make it a 6-0 deficit for Augusta. Chad Bryant took over for Florentino in the sixth inning and would hang on the pitch the seventh, where he allowed three more runs, making it 9-0 Myrtle Beach.

Offensively, as mentioned previously, it was rough for Augusta as they were only able to tally one hit through the first seven innings.

Things slightly changed in the final two frames, as Ambioris Tavarez homered in the eighth and Tyler Collins doubled home two runs in the ninth to make it 9-3. That score would hold as final as the GreenJackets late rally would come up short.

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