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Braves Minor League Recap: Spencer Schwellenbach tosses six perfect innings for Rome

With the performance, Schwellenbach lowered his season ERA to 1.98

SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

It’s was a rough day for the big league club as they dropped their third straight game. Luckily, it was a much better day for Atlanta’s minor league affiliates as teams went a combined 3-1 on the day. Rome and Augusta got stellar performances on the mound from their respective starters while Mississippi walked off against Tennessee in what was a very successful day.

(61-71) Gwinnett Stripers 2, (73-60) Worcester Red Sox 3

  • Dalton Guthrie, CF: 2-4, RBI, R
  • Hoy Park, RF: 1-3, BB
  • Justus Sheffield, SP: 2.2 IP, 2 BB, 4 K

Box Score

Gwinnett squandered a two-run lead to fall on Wednesday.

Justus Sheffield got the start for the Stripers and tossed 2.2 scoreless innings, striking out four and walking two in the brief appearance.

Meanwhile, the offense was providing him with some run support. In the bottom of the first inning, Dalton Guthrie and Braden Shewmake laced back-to-back singles to begin the frame as Joe Dunad walked to load the bases. The early rally would be somewhat squashed as Jesus Aguilar grounded into a double play, with Guthrie scoring on the play to give Gwinnett a 1-0 lead. Then, in the home half of the second, Joe Hudson drew a leadoff walk before Joshua Fuentes singled him to third. Two at-bats later, Guthrie singled into center field to extend the Gwinnett lead to 2-0.

Beau Burrows took over for Sheffield in the top of the third inning and after finishing off the final out of the inning, he tossed a scoreless fourth frame. However, things went off the rails quickly in the top of the fifth, as Burrows allowed three runs for Worcester to take a 3-2 lead.

Offensively, it was rough the rest of the way for Gwinnett as the Stripers managed just one hit beyond the third inning in the 3-2 loss.

(57-70) Mississippi Braves 4, (68-59) Tennessee Smokies 3

  • Jesse Franklin V, RF: 2-3, 2B, BB
  • Luke Waddell, SS: 1-3, RBI, R, BB
  • Cody Milligan, CF: 2-5, R, SB
  • Daniel Martinez, SP: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 7 K

Box Score

Mississippi walked off Tennessee by plating a pair of runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat Tennessee 4-3.

Neither team scored through the first three innings of this one, with the Smokies breaking through first in the top of the fourth. Starter Daniel Martinez allowed one run in the fourth and two runs in the fifth inning as Tennessee jumped out to a 3-0 lead.

At the plate, things were fairly stagnant in the first half of the game for Mississippi, as they notched just three hits through the first five innings. However, in the bottom of the sixth, the Braves got on the board, scoring two runs of their own. Cody Milligan led off with a single and later stole second and advanced to third on an error. A Luke Waddell single scored Milligan to make it 3-1 Smokies. Jesse Franklin V doubled Waddell to third before a Drake Baldwin groundout brought Waddell home to cut the deficit to 3-2.

Over the next two innings, the Braves managed to put a runner in scoring position but failed to score.

Things changed in a big way for Mississippi in the bottom of the ninth inning. Bryson Horne drew and Brandon Parker drew back-to-back walks to kick off the frame before Drew Campbell was called on to pinch-run for Parker. A Javier Valdes single scored Horne to tie the game at 3-3 while moving Campbell up to third. After Hudson Potts grounded out, Milligan singled into left field to plate Campbell, giving the Braves the lead and the 4-3 victory.

(63-65) Rome Braves 2, (48-75) Asheville Tourists 1

  • KeShawn Ogans, SS: 2-4, 2B, RBI, R
  • Justin Janas, 1B: 1-4, RBI
  • Kevin Kilpatrick Jr., CF: 1-3, 2B, R
  • Spencer Schwellenbach, SP: 6 IP, 6 K

Box Score

Spencer Schwellenbach was spectacular in what was his best start thus far for Rome and arguably his professional career. The 23-year-old tossed six perfect frames while striking out six batters in the process. In the start, the right hander threw 62 pitches, 48 of which were for strikes while he lowered his season ERA to a sterling 1.98.

While Schwellenbach was doing his thing on the bump, his offense gave him some early breathing room. In the bottom of the first inning, KeShawn Ogans knocked a one-out single into left field before David McCabe followed that up with a single of his own to put Ogans into scoring position. Adam Zebrowksi then walked to load the bases. Justin Janas then grounded into a force out to plate Ogans, giving Rome the early 1-0 lead.

Shay Schanaman took over for Schwellenbach in the top of the seventh inning and despite giving up a walk to spoil the perfect game, tossed a scoreless frame.

Rome tacked on an additional run in the bottom of the seventh as Kevin Kilpatrick Jr. and Ogans tallied back-to-back doubles, extending the Braves’ lead to 2-0.

Schanaman gave up the first hit of the game to Asheville in the top of the eighth, while also giving up one run allowing the Tourists to cut the Rome lead in half.

Jared Johnson came on in the top of the ninth and slammed the door, sitting down the opposition in order.

(60-67) Augusta GreenJackets 0, (65-58) Down East Wood Ducks 1

  • Jace Grady, LF: 1-3
  • Tyler Collins, CF: 1-2
  • Cade Kuehler, SP: 4.2, IP, H, BB, 5 K

Box Score

While Schwellenbach’s performance on the mound took the spotlight for Braves’ minor league pitchers on Wednesday, Cade Kuehler stood out in his own right.

Across 4.2 innings, the 2023 second-rounder allowed one hit and one walk, striking out five in the start. In two starts for Augusta across seven innings, Kuehler has struck out eight batters without allowing a single run.

Landon Harper took over on the mound with two outs in the fifth inning and continued Kuehler’s fine work, tossing 2.1 innings, giving up two hits and a walk while striking out a pair.

At the dish, it was a rough go of it for Augusta. The first hit for the GreenJackets didn’t come until the fifth inning when they actually put a runner 90-feet away from scoring, but failed to bring him home.

Jace Grady and Tyler Collins were the only two GreenJackets to notch a hit on the day.

Cory Wall took over on the mound for Harper and allowed the only run scored in the game in the bottom of the eighth inning as Down East held on to win by a narrow 1-0 final.

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