In what was overall a disappointing day for Atlanta’s minor league affiliates, one positive note was one of the Braves’ lowest-leveled teams took the first game in their championship series.
(55-67) Gwinnett Braves 3, (68-54) Nashville Sounds 7
- Joe Dunad, 3B: 3-4, HR, RBI, R
- Yolmer Sanchez, 2B: 2-4, HR, 2 RBI, R
- Michael Soroka, SP: 5 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, BB, 4 K
Despite matching Nashville hit-for-ht, Gwinnett was outscored 7-3 on Friday.
The Stripers scored first, plating a run in the bottom of the second inning. It didn’t take long in the frame for Gwinnett to jump out to a lead, as Joe Dunad launched a leadoff homer over the center field wall for a home run to make it 1-0 Stripers.
Gwinnett was able to extend their lead in the bottom of the fourth. Dalton Guthrie ledoff with a single, as a Dunad single moved him to third, two batters later. After Braden Shewmakw flew out for the second out of the inning, Yolmer Sanchez singled into center field to make it 2-0 Stripers.
On the mound, Michael Soroka tossed five scoreless innings, holding Nashville hitless before running into trouble in the top of the sixth inning where he allowed four runs as the Sounds took a 4-2 lead.
Gwinnett got one of those runs back in the home half of the inning as Yolmer Sanchez homered over the right center field fence to make it a 4-3 deficit for Gwinnett.
That would be all the offense the Stripers would get in this one, as relievers Ben Heller and Beau Burrows allowed three runs over the final two innings, allowing Nashville to extend their lead to 7-3 which would hold as the final.
(51-65) Mississippi Braves 0, (63-55) Montgomery Biscuits 9
- Landon Stephens, RF: 1-3, BB
- Luis De Avila, SP: 5 IP, 8 H, 8 ER, 3 BB, 2 K
Honestly, this one was rough for Mississippi as they managed just three hits and were shutout in the loss.
The Braves got off to a rough start, with Braves starter Luis De Avila allowing one run in the home half of the first inning and five runs in the bottom of the second, as Montgomery took a 6-0 lead. That wasn’t the only damage, as the Biscuits tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the fourth and one run in the home half of the fifth, as Montgomery extended their lead to 9-0. Eight of the nine runs scored were earned by De Avila on the day.
Meanwhile at the dish, things were just as brutal for the Braves. Mississippi totaled just three hits, but actually loaded the bases in the top of the seventh but failed to bring a run across. Luke Waddell, Cade Bunnell and Landon Stephens were the only Braves to register a hit on the day.
Ultimately, Mississippi fell by a brutal score of 9-0 on the day.
(56-62) Rome Braves 1, (63-52) Greensboro Grasshoppers 4
- Kevin Kilpatrick Jr., CF: 1-4, R, SB
- Cody Acton, 1B: 1-2, BB
- Geraldo Quintero, 2B: 0-3, RBI
- Owen Murphy, SP: 6 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, BB, 4 K
Keeping similarly up with their Double-A counterparts, Rome tallied just two hits on Friday while scoring just one time in a loss.
Greensboro scored first in this one, scoring one run off of starter Owen Murphy – who was making his first start at High-A – in the top of the first inning. The 2022 Braves’ first-rounder retired the first two batters he faced on a flyout and a strikeout before allowing back-to-back singles as the Grasshoppers took a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the first, while trailing 1-0, Kevin Kilpatrick Jr. ledoff with a single and subsequently stole second base before taking third on an errant throw. Two batters later, Kilpatrick scored on a Geradlo Quintero groundout to tie the game at 1-1.
For the next four innings, that score would hold as Murphy held the Grasshoppers at bay in his first start for Rome. Murphy would make it through the sixth inning, but not before he allowed two additional runs as Greensboro took the 3-1 lead.
At the plate, it was a tough go of it for Rome, as they failed to register a hit after the sixth inning. Reliever Ronaldo Alesandro allowed an additional run in the top of the eighth to extend the Greensboro lead to 4-1, which held as the final.
(54-63) Augusta GreenJackets 4, (60-58) Charleston RiverDogs 6
- Kade Kern, LF: 3-4, 2B, 2 RBI, R
- E.J. Exposito, 3B: 2-4, 2 2B, R
- Will Verdung, 2B: 1-3, RBI, BB
- Adam Shoemaker, SP: 2 IP, H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 K
Augusta outhit Charleston but it still wasn’t enough to walk away with a win on Friday.
The GreenJackets struck first, scoring twice in the first inning. To kick things off, Jace Grady drew a one-out walk as Drew Compton singled him into scoring position. Two batters later, a Will Verdung single scored Grady to make it 1-0 Augusta. Kade Kern followed that up with a single of his own, plating Compton to make it 2-0 GreenJackets.
The lead didn’t last long for stater Adam Shoemaker and company, as Charleston was able to tag the lefthander for two runs of their own to tie the game at 2-2 in the top of the second inning.
The RiverDogs extended their lead in the top of the fourth inning, scoring three runs off of Augusta reliever Estarlin Rodriguez to make it 5-2 Charleston.
The GreenJackets got a run back in the bottom of the sixth inning. E.J. Expostio laced a two-out double into left field before Will Verdung walked to put two runners on. A Kade Kern single plated Exposito to make it 5-3 Charleston.
The RiverDogs tacked on an additional run in the top of the ninth off of Chad Bryant to extend their lead to 6-3 over Augusta. In the home half, the GreenJackets scored one run. Kern doubled to kick things off as two batters later, Nick Clarno notched a double of his own to bring Kern across to make it 6-4. That would be the last offense the GreenJackets would get in this one in the loss.
(1-0) FCL Braves 3, (0-1) FCL Yankees 2
- Douglas Glod, RF: 1-4, HR, RBI, R
- Diego Benitez, SS: 0-3, RBI, SF
- Elian Cortorreal, 1B: 1-2, RBI, BB
- Riley Gowens, SP: 4 IP, 2 H, ER, 4 K
The FCL Braves saved the minor league group for Atlanta from being swept on the day as they took game one of the FCL championship series by a 3-2 final.
While the Yankees scored first in the top of the first to take a 1-0 lead, the Braves evened things up in the bottom half. Isaiah Drake led off with a single and then stole second and third base to move 90 feet away from tying the game up. After Sabin Ceballos struck out, Diego Benitez brought Drake home on a sac fly to make it 1-1.
In the bottom of the second, the Braves took their first lead of the game, as Douglas Glod homered over the left field wall to make it 2-1 Braves.
Leading by one run, the Braves got a much-needed insurance run in the home half of the sixth inning. Robert Gonzalez ledoff with a walk and after the next two batters were retired, Noah Williams drew a walk of his own to move Gonzalez into scoring position. Following a pitching change, a single off the bat of Elian Cortorreal plated Gonazled to extend the Braves’ lead to 3-1.
Braves reliever Mitch Farris gave up one run in the top of the seventh inning, but that was all the Yankees would manage as the Braves took game one in the series by a 3-2 final.