It was a tough night down in the Braves’ farm system as their affiliates went a combined 1-3. Cal Conley his recent hot hitting with a homer, Tucker Davidson struck out 11 in a losing effort, and Mississippi...well, at least they tried. Lets get into the games.
Gwinnett Stripers 2, Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 3
- Drew Waters, CF: 1-3, 3B, RBI, .732 OPS
- Braden Shewmake, SS: 1-3, RBI, .703 OPS
- Tucker Davidson, SP: 7 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 11 K, 4.02 ERA
Tucker Davidson racked up the strikeouts for Gwinnett on Saturday evening, but the offense couldn’t get much going as the Stripers fell by the final score of 3-2. This was Tucker’s second straight seven winning outing and he was electric. A pair of solo home runs off of him proved to be the difference in the game, but it has been very encouraging that he has limited his walks to just one over his last two starts (14 innings) considering the command issues he was having earlier this season. Brad Brach pitched a scoreless eighth to keep the game close, but unfortunately Gwinnett couldn’t rally.
It wasn’t the best offensive night as the Stripers managed just two extra-base hits and five hits overall. When you compound that with drawing just one walk all night, well...you are in for a tough night most of the time. Drew Waters collected his first triple of the season as he looks to get going in the month of June after a pretty decent May. Both of Gwinnett’s runs came from sacrifice flies off the bats of Waters and Braden Shewmake.
Mississippi Braves 0, Rocket City Trash Pandas 8
- CJ Alexander, 3B: 2-4, 2 2B, .836 OPS
- Logan Brown, C: 1-3, .525 OPS
- Alan Rangel, SP: 5 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 4.82 ERA
The Mississippi offense was completely shut down and a rough start from Alan Rangel ultimately doomed the Braves as they fell by the score of 8-0. Rangel started off the game reasonably enough in giving up just one run through the game’s first three innings and the run he gave up in the fourth still ended up resulting in a nifty out at third base. However, things went sideways in the fifth inning as he gave up three solo homers including two to start the inning. Given the way the offense played, it ultimately didn’t matter all that much, but that was still a pretty big hole to have to climb out of. AJ Puckett did throw two scoreless innings of relief before Justin Yeager gave up a three run homer in the eighth inning to secure the rout for Rocket City.
As for offense from Mississippi....there wasn’t any to speak of as they had just three all night long. Two of them were doubles off the bat of CJ Alexander (who has been on quite the heater of late and is slashing .297/.333/.649 in the month of June alone), but beyond that...it was a tough night at the plate for the Braves.
Rome Braves 2, Wilmington Blue Rocks 3
- Cody Milligan, RF: 1-4, RBI, SB, .831 OPS
- Cade Bunnell, 2B: 2-3, SB, .609 OPS
- Luis De Avila, SP: 5 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 4.02 ERA
This was another close one that didn’t go the Braves’ way as Rome fell to Wilmington by the final score of 3-2. It was a weird night on the mound for Luis De Avila because while he did not walk a single batter for just the second time all season (which is good), he also did not strike out a single batter...which is obviously less good. Wilmington was able to parlay enough of those balls in play into three runs off of Luis in his five innings of work. The Rome bullpen did their job and kept the game close with four scoreless innings of relief, but unfortunately the offense couldn’t quite get over the hump and rally.
It is always going to be tough to put up a lot of runs when you don’t have a single extra-base hit and that is exactly the trouble that Rome ran into on Saturday. They were able to get some guys into scoring position thanks to nifty baserunning from Cody Milligan, Drew Campbell, and Cade Bunnell who stole bases in the game, but ultimately were only able to push across two runners all night. Only drawing one walk while striking out 14 times certainly didn’t help.
Augusta GreenJackets 9, Columbia Fireflies 0
- Cal Conley, DH: 1-4, HR, 2 RBI, .683 OPS
- Mahki Backstrom, 1B: 2-5, 2B, R, .729 OPS
- Jordano Perez, SP: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 3.68 ERA
Augusta has been on an offensive rampage this week and that did not change on Saturday as they walloped Columbia by the final score of 9-0. Jordano Perez has been a bit uneven since his time with Augusta started in May, but he filled the strike zone and dominated Columbia last night. It will be curious to see if he can consistently throw that many strikes while missing bats (emphasis on consistently) because if he can, he is a really interesting arm. After Jordano’s six scoreless innings, the Augusta bullpen finished out the shutout with three scoreless innings of their own.
All of Augusta’s scoring was done by the end of the fifth inning, but that was more than enough as the early scoring was prolific. Rusber Estrada and Cal Conley each connected for two-run homers to lead the charge as six different GreenJackets drove in runs in the game. As is customary, walks were a big part of the Augusta offense as they drew eight of them on Saturday, but nine hits is nothing to scoff at, either. Geraldo Quintero and Mahki Backstrom were the only Augusta batters to record multi-hit games, but that speaks to how well-rounded the offensive attack was, at least early on, last night.