Thursday was an interesting night on the farm as we saw strong starts from Kyle Muller, Royber Salinas, Alan Rangel, and Samuel Strickland. We also received strong debuts after being promoted for both Brandol Mezquita and Kevin Kilpatrick. Recent fourth round pick David McCabe had four total hits during a doubleheader, while Justyn-Henry Malloy reached base four times in one game.
Gwinnett Stripers 5, Memphis Redbirds 1
- Hernan Perez, 2B/SS: 2-4, 2 R, 2B, SB, .639 OPS
- Tyler White, 1B: 0-1, BB, 3 RBI
- Kyle Muller, SP: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 4 K, 3.17 ERA
In a battle between two of the higher upside pitching prospects in baseball, Kyle Muller came out ahead against Matthew Liberatore. Muller allowed a run on five hits and two walks over six strong innings, while Liberatore wasn’t able to last three innings against the Stripers. Darren O’Day, Jacob Webb, and Michael Tonkin each followed with a scoreless inning, and none of that trio allowed a hit over the final three innings of the night.
Hernan Perez helped lead the way for the offense, going 2-for-4 with a double, steal, while scoring a pair of runs. Tyler White had the interesting boxscore line as he was hitless but was still credited with three RBI as he walked with the bases loaded and picked up a pair of sacrifice flies. Greyson Jenista and Rylan Bannon each added a double in the win to account for the rest of Gwinnett’s extra base knocks.
Mississippi Braves 8, Pensacola Blue Wahoos 1
- Cade Bunnell, SS: 2-4, R, 3 RBI, 2B, HR, .1.093 OPS
- Justyn-Henry Malloy, DH: 2-3, R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, .833 OPS
- Alan Rangel, SP: 6 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 6 K, 4.94 ERA
In a game that had nearly an hour rain delay before getting started, Alan Rangel pitched well on the mound. Rangel allowed just one run and a walk over six innings while striking out six. Coleman Huntley, Jason Creasy, and Kyle Wilcox followed Rangel with a scoreless frame apiece out of the pen, helping hold Pensacola to just that one run.
The offense was led by a pair of guys who were promoted from Rome fairly recently in Cade Bunnell and Justyn-Henry Malloy. Bunnell homered and doubled in the game and drove in three runs. Malloy continued his strong play by reaching base four times and knocked in a pair of runs himself. Cody Milligan added three hits of his own, going 3-for-4 with a walk to also reach four times.
Greensboro Grasshoppers 3, Rome Braves 1
- Brandol Mezquita, RF: 2-3, 3B
- Geraldo Quintero, 3B: 0-3, R, BB, SB
- Royber Salinas, SP: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K, 4.48 ERA
Royber Salinas threw a gem, but unfortunately the bullpen let him down in this one. Salinas threw five shutout innings, giving up only two hits and no walks while striking out five. Isrrael De La Cruz, Malcolm Van Buren, and Ben Dum followed with scoreless innings apiece, and the Braves were shutting out Greensboro through eight with a 1-0 lead. Then Alec Barger came in to close it out, but allowed three runs in the ninth to end up dropping this game 3-1.
Brandol Mezquita’s High-A debut couldn’t have gone much better than it did. Mezquita, who was called up earlier Thursday, tripled in his very first at bat and finished with two hits. Unfortunately the only Rome hit outside of Mezquita was a single by Brandon Parker, as Greensboro pitching completely dominated the Braves lineup by holding them to three hits and four walks.
Charleston RiverDogs 6, Augusta GreenJackets 5
- David McCabe, 3B: 2-4, R, .930 OPS
- Justin Janas, 1B: 1-2, RBI, BB, .667 OPS
- Samuel Strickland, SP: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 2.86 ERA
Samuel Strickland started the first game of the doubleheader for Augusta and pitched great, giving up just one unearned run through five innings of work. Tyler Owens followed and got tagged for five runs (four earned), before Peyton Williams came on to get the final two outs for the GreenJackets.
At the plate, fourth round pick David McCabe went 2-for-4 and scored a run. The only Augusta extra base hit was a Francisco Floyd double. Third rounder Drake Baldwin went hitless.
Augusta GreenJackets 7, Charleston RiverDogs 2
- David McCabe, DH: 2-4, R, RBI, .938 OPS
- Francisco Floyd, 3B: 1-4, R, 3 RBI, HR, .732 OPS
- Mahki Backstrom, 1B: 0-2, 2 R, 2 BB, .740 OPS
11th round pick Ian Mejia got the start in the second game of the doubleheader and allowed a two runs in 3 2/3 innings. Elison Joseph and Rolddy Munoz closed out this game to split the double header.
Some of the offensive stars of the first game were back at it in the second game of the day. David McCabe had another two-hit game. After having the only extra base hit in the first game, Francisco Floyd hit a three-run homer that gave the Jackets a lead in the sixth inning. 17th round pick Kevin Kilpatrick made his full season debut and went 1-for-4 with a double. Mahki Backstrom was hitless in two at bats, but drew a pair of walks and scored twice, and Braulio Vasquez had a double, a walk and two stolen bases in the win.