The M-Braves had a five-run second inning, plus hit three home runs on Tuesday night
SEVIERVILLE, TN- The Mississippi Braves began the seasons’ second half on Tuesday night with a convincing 11-4 victory over the Tennessee Smokies at Smokies Stadium. The M-Braves got home runs from CJ Alexander, Greyson Jenista, and Trey Harris in their league-best 38th win of the year.
The M-Braves had 12 hits in the series-opening win, including multiple hit nights from Justin Dean, Harris, Shea Langeliers, Wendell Rijo, and Jenista.
The M-Braves (38-23) handed starter Hayden Deal (W, 2-2) a big lead in the second with a five-run inning. After a Rijo double that dropped in next to Smokies left fielder Darius Hill, the next batter, Alexander, hit a towering two-run home run into the pine trees over the boundary wall of Smokies Stadium. Five of the first six batters reached in the inning, and leadoff man Justin Dean singled home the third run to make it 3-0. Jalen Miller singled and came around to score on a wild pitch, and then Dean scored on a Harris groundout to finish the 5-0 start.
Deal kept the Smokies (24-33) off the board through 3.0 innings on one hit with four strikeouts, while the Braves added two more runs in the top of the third inning. Langeliers and Rijo opened the frame with singles, with the first-rounder in 2019 eventually scoring on another Dakota Chalmers (L, 0-1) wild pitch to make it 6-0. The Braves would go up by a touchdown after a Jefrey Ramos groundout that scored Rijo.
After giving up a run in the fourth, Deal surrendered three hits and two runs in the fifth inning. After working around a bases-loaded jam in the sixth, Deal secured his second quality start in four outings with 6.0 innings of three-run ball, six hits, no walks, and six strikeouts.
The Braves pushed the game out of reach and answered three Smokies runs with three of their own in the top of the sixth inning. Jenista started the scoring with a solo home run to right-center, his eighth on the season. Miller walked and eventually scored on another wild pitch, and then Harris got the club from Pearl into double figures with an RBI single.
Troy Bacon relieved Deal in the seventh inning and surrendered a run on two hits, but still boasts an impressive 2.16 ERA in a team-best 19 appearances.
Harris capped the night with his fourth home run of the season in the top of the eighth inning to increase the lead back to seven at 11-4. The seven-run margin of victory tied for the largest in a Braves game this season, pushing the run differential to +47 through 61 games.
Brandon White pitched the final 1.2 innings, striking out two, to secure the win in the series opener.
Game two of the six-game series at Tennessee is on Wednesday night at Smokies Stadium. RHP Odalvi Javier (4-2, 3.10) starts for the M-Braves against RHP Javier Assad (2-3, 3.91) for the Smokies. The first pitch is scheduled for 6:00 pm CT with coverage on 103.9 WYAB, mississippibraves.com, and MiLB.tv.
The M-Braves will return to Trustmark Park for a six-game series against the Biloxi Shuckers at Trustmark Park, July 20-25. For tickets, and information on upcoming promotions, visit mississippibraves.com, or call 888-BRAVES4.