Montilla walk-off homer ends it in the 10th
By: Kyle Tait, Mississippi Braves
Mobile, AL – Second baseman Gerson Montilla sent a tenth-inning Andrew Robinson offering over the left field wall, giving the Mobile BayBears a 5-4 win over the Mississippi Braves at Hank Aaron Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The homer came after Braves catcher Chris O’Dowd forced extras in the ninth, blasting his second home run of the year over the pitch clock in right field to tie the game 4-4.
Tyrell Jenkins took a no-decision in the start, allowing three runs on seven hits over six innings.
The BayBears (10-7) scored two in the first off Jenkins. Back-to-back singles led off the game and Socrates Brito grounded into a force out at second base. With men at the corners, Jenkins threw a pickoff attempt to first base and it rolled away, scoring Tom Belza from third. First baseman Rudy Flores then doubled off the batter’s eye in centerfield, plating Brito for a 2-0 lead.
Seth Loman led off the second inning with a solo home run for the Braves (9-7), his first of the year to pull it to 2-1.
The Braves forced in the tying run in the fourth. Kevin Ahrens led off with a single, moved to second on a Loman groundout and moved to third and scored on wild pitches, tying the game 2-2.
Aaron Blair gave up two runs over seven innings, allowing five hits, a walk, and striking out five in the start for the BayBears.
Mobile broke the 2-2 tie against Jenkins in the sixth. Alex Glenn hit a one-out triple and Montilla drove him in with an RBI single. The BayBears tacked on another in the 7th against reliever Mark Lamm. With men at second and third after a Lamm throwing error, Rudy Flores lined out to center for a sacrifice fly and a 4-2 lead.
The Braves clawed back in the late innings. Loman drive in a run in the eighth with an RBI single, plating Mallex Smith, who finished with two hits on the game. O’Dowd’s homer in the ninth came off of Jimmy Sherfy, who blew his second save of the season.
Seth Simmons (3-0) picked up the win with a scoreless tenth inning. Robinson (1-1) suffered the loss, his first. Ryan Kelly also pitched two scoreless innings for the Braves.
The Braves and BayBears play the third game of a five-game set Monday night at 6:35 PM CT, with right-hander Jake Brigham (1-1, 6.28) set to take the hill against Mobile right-hander Braden Shipley (2-0, 1.08). Listen live beginning at 6:00 PM CT on the flagship home of the Mississippi Braves, 103.9 WYAB, and online at MississippiBraves.com.
Mississippi Braves (9-7) 4 R 8 H 3 E
Mobile BayBears (10-7) 5 R 10 H 0 E
W – Simmons (3-0)
L – Robinson (1-1)
Tom Belza left the yard twice and drove in four runs to help the Mobile BayBears to a 5-3 come-from-behind win over the Mississippi Braves on Saturday night at Hank Aaron Stadium.
Matt Lipka (9 G) and Daniel Castro (16) each ripped doubles in the game, extending their hit streaks, with Castro sitting now just seven shy of Tommy La Stella’s team record of 23 set in 2013.
Hear the highlights, with Kyle Tait on the call:
The Braves and BayBears play the second game of five on Sunday afternoon at 2:05 PM CT at Hank Aaron Stadium, with Tyrell Jenkins getting the start for the Braves against right-hander Aaron Blair.
Mobile leadoff man launches pair of homers, drives in four
By: Kyle Tait, Mississippi Braves
Mobile, AL – First baseman Tom Belza homered twice and drove in four runs for the Mobile BayBears on Saturday night, erasing an early deficit for a 5-3 win over the Mississippi Braves at Hank Aaron Stadium.
The second homer was the game-clincher. With the Braves (9-6) leading 3-2 in the seventh inning, Belza hit a Victor Mateo offering over the right field wall for a three-run home run, sending the BayBears (9-7) to a 5-3 lead.
M-Braves starter Jason Hursh took a no decision after a quality start, allowing just two earned on five hits in six frames, striking out three and walking two. It was his longest outing of the season, and he left with the lead intact but Mateo (0-1) suffered the loss and blown save after Belza’s seventh inning heroics.
The Braves built up a 3-0 lead against BayBear starter Gabriel Arias (3-0) early. Matt Lipka led off the game with a double, extending his hit streak to nine games. After a Daniel Castro sacrifice bunt, Rio Ruiz drove him home with an RBI single.
In the third, the Braves tacked on two more for a 3-0 lead. Lipka reached on a leadoff error by the shortstop, and Castro made it 2-0 with an RBI double, extending his hit streak to 16 games, seven shy of the M-Braves’ team record set at 23 games by Tommy La Stella in 2013.
Three batters later, David Rohm stepped in with men on the corners and one out, rolling one to second on which the BayBears could only get the force at second. Castro scored and the M-Braves took a 3-0 lead into the middle innings.
Hursh had a no-hitter going into the fourth inning when Belza came up for the second time, hitting a 1-0 pitch just fair down the right field line for a solo home run, his first of the year. Mobile made it a one-run game in the sixth, racking up three straight singles, including an RBI infield knock by third baseman Raul Navarro to pull it to 3-2.
Arias threw seven innings in the win, allowing three runs—one earned—on five hits, one walk, and five strikeouts. Enrique Burgos (S, 6) picked up his league-leading sixth save with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
The Braves and BayBears play the second of five games on Sunday afternoon at 2:05 PM CT at Hank Aaron Stadium, with right-hander Tyrell Jenkins (1-1, 1.35) set to take the hill against Mobile right-hander Aaron Blair (1-1, 4.58). Listen live beginning at 1:30 PM CT on the flagship home of the Mississippi Braves, 103.9 WYAB, and online at MississippiBraves.com.
Mississippi Braves (9-6) 3 R 6 H 0 E
Mobile BayBears (9-7) 5 R 8 H 1 E
W – Arias (3-0)
L – Mateo (0-1)
S – Burgos (6)
On Monday night, the Mississippi Braves erased a 5-0 deficit with six outs to play, stealing away a 6-5 series-opening win over the Chattanooga Lookouts.
David Rohm’s triple in the ninth tied the game 5-5:
…and Steve Rodriguez lays down the safety squeeze two batters later to win it:
The Mississippi Braves broke a 2-2 tie with a three-run bottom of the seventh, winning their sixth straight contest, and their fourth of the series against the Chattanooga Lookouts.
Hear the highlights, with Kyle Tait on the call:
The Braves go for the five-game series sweep on Friday night at 7 PM CT at Trustmark Park.
|Braves use three-run seventh to claim victory
By: Miranda Black, Mississippi Braves
|PEARL, MS — The Mississippi Braves plated three runs in the seventh to defeat the Chattanooga Lookouts 5-2 at Trustmark Park Thursday evening. With the win, the Braves have now won six straight games and continue to lead the South Division. The series finale is slated for Friday at 7:00 PM.
Mississippi (9-4) scored five runs on eight hits. Chattanooga (6-7) plated two runs on six hits. Daniel Castro and David Rohm both collected multi-hit games. Corban Joseph drove in two runs in the game.
The Braves and Lookouts were scoreless through the first three frames. Mississippi took a 2-0 lead in the fourth. Kevin Ahrens walked and Chris O’Dowd doubled to get things started. Joseph then delivered a two-run single to shallow right, putting the M-Braves out front.
Chattanooga got one run back in the sixth. Levi Michael singled and stole second. DJ Hicks then singled to drive home Michael and cut the M-Braves lead to 2-1.
Mike Gonzales blasted a solo home run off the Farm Bureau Grill in right field to start the top of the seventh and tie the game at 2-2.
In the bottom of the seventh, Matt Lipka led off with a single to center field. He took second on a sacrifice bunt before coming in to score on a Castro base hit to right field. Rio Ruiz and Ahrens drew walks to load the bases with one out. Seth Loman followed with a sacrifice fly to right and then Rohm singled up the middle to make it a 5-2 game.
Neither starter factored in the decision. Greg Ross gave up just one earned run on five hits while fanning three batters in six innings of work for the M-Braves. Greg Peavey tossed 5.2 innings for the Lookouts, giving up two earned runs on five hits and four walks. He struck out four.
Andrew Waszak (1-0) worked one inning and picked up the win. He gave up the solo homer and struck out one batter. Cole Johnson (1-1) gave up three earned runs on three hits and two walks, suffering the loss. Andrew Robinson (S, 2) struck out the side in the ninth to notch his first save of the season.
In Friday evening’s series finale, the M-Braves send right-hander Ryan Weber (0-0, 1.04) to the hill. The Lookouts will counter with righty DJ Baxendale (2-0, 0.00). First pitch is slated for 7:00 PM. Gates open at 6:00 PM.
Chattanooga Lookouts (6-7): 2 R 6 H 0 E
W: Andrew Waszak (1-0)
A great start from Tyrell Jenkins and steady, persistent offense for the Mississippi Braves sent them to their second straight win over the Chattanooga Lookouts, and their fifth win in the last six tries.
Daniel Castro extended his hit streak to 13 games with a 2-for-4 day, and Kevin Ahrens (2-for-4, RBI) and Matt Lipka (2-for-3, RBI) joined the hit parade.
Hear the highlights from the radio broadcast, with Kyle Tait on the call:
Jenkins picks up his first Double-A victory, giving up just one hit
By: Miranda Black, Mississippi Braves
|PEARL, MS — Tyrell Jenkins tossed 5.2 innings of one-hit baseball to lead the Mississippi Braves to a 4-1 victory over the Chattanooga Lookouts Tuesday evening at Trustmark Park. It was also the first Double-A win for Jenkins. The series continues with an 11:00 AM matchup Wednesday morning.
Jenkins, who entered the season ranked by Baseball America as the No. 12 prospect in the Braves system, walked four and struck out four. He walked the first batter of the game, Byron Buxton, and then retired the next 10 consecutive batters before giving up a double to Miguel Sano.
Mississippi (7-4) scored four runs on 10 hits while Chattanooga (6-5) plated one run on just two hits. Jorge Reyes and Andrew Robinson worked 1.1 innings in relief, allowing just one hit. Ryan Kelly (S, 4) then came on in the ninth to notch his fourth save of the season.
Daniel Castro led off the bottom of the fourth with a double to left field. He then came around to score on a Rio Ruiz single to left, giving the M-Braves an early 1-0 lead.
Chris O’Dowd and Corban Joseph drew back-to-back walks in the fifth before Matt Lipka added a single to load the bases with one out. Mallex Smith then delivered a sacrifice fly to left field, driving home O’Dowd and extending the M-Braves lead to 2-0.
The M-Braves added another run in the sixth to make it a 3-0 game. Castro singled and moved to second on a ground out. He then came in to score on a Kevin Ahrens base hit to right field.
Chattanooga got on the board in the eighth. Mike Gonzales struck out but reached on a wild pitch. Carlos Paulino then doubled to put runners at the corners before a wild pitch allowed Gonzales to score and cut the Braves lead to 3-1.
O’Dowd and Joseph both singled to start the seventh for the Braves. Lipka then grounded into a force out, allowing O’Dowd to score and make it a 4-1 game.
Tyler Duffey (0-1) went seven innings for the Lookouts and took the loss. He allowed four earned runs on eight hits and two walks while fanning two batters.
In game three of this five-game series, the M-Braves send right-hander Jake Brigham (0-1, 8.64) to the hill to counter Lookouts righty Jose Berrios (1-0, 3.27). First pitch is slated for 11:00 AM for the school day special. Gates open at 9:30 AM.
Chattanooga Lookouts (6-5): 1 R 2 H 0 E
W: Tyrell Jenkins (1-1)
The Mississippi Braves erased a 5-0 deficit on Monday night with six outs to play, capped by a walkoff squeeze bunt for catcher Steve Rodriguez, sealing a 6-5 win over the Chattanooga Lookouts.
Following the comeback, broadcaster Kyle Tait caught up with M-Braves manager Aaron Holbert to talk about the squeeze and more.
On the strategy of putting on the squeeze back-to-back pitches
Corban Joseph had squared around the pitch before but was hit by the pitch. Holbert doubled-up and put the sign on again for Rodriguez the next at-bat.
On five come-from-behind wins in first 10 games:
On Mallex Smith, who sparked the rally with his two-run double in a four-run eighth:
Mississippi Braves catcher Steve Rodriguez, picked up by the Braves in the minor league portion of December’s Rule 5 draft, has had some clutch knocks in the early season.
On Saturday, Rodriguez drove in three in the M-Braves’ 7-3 win over the Jackson Generals. He followed that up with a walkoff safety squeeze on Monday night to cap a five-run comeback by the Braves over the Chattanooga Lookouts.
Rodriguez sat down with broadcaster Kyle Tait on Sunday (before the Monday walkoff) to chat about the early season approach, starters Jason Hursh and Greg Ross, and the homework required as a catcher, even in the minor leagues.
On early season approach at the plate:
On Jason Hursh’s second start last Wednesday, shortened by rain
Side note: The line may not represent it, but I talked to one scout who said Hursh looked as good as he’s ever seen him, with all four pitches working. The box is misleading, as a three-run double put the Generals on the board–a ball that Matt Lipka slipped chasing after. He said he would have made the catch if he hadn’t slipped.
On Greg Ross looking much better over the weekend than his first start
On doing your homework as a catcher: