Braden Shewmake went 3-for-4 with an RBI in the loss on Thursday night
BIRMINGHAM, AL – Former Mississippi Braves outfielder Tyler Neslony exacted revenge on his former team Thursday night with a third-inning grand slam and leading the Birmingham Barons to a 7-2 victory at Regions Field. For the first time since June 24, the M-Braves find themselves in second place in the division, now one game back of Montgomery.
Neslony, who played in 245 M-Braves (45-36) games from 2017 to 2021, smashed a 3-2 pitch from Alan Rangel (L, 0-1) into the left-center bullpen for his fourth Barons home run in 16 games. The Braves traded Neslony to the White Sox on July 12.
Barons (44-36) starter Emilio Vargas (W, 5-1) struck out a career-high 12 of the 16 batters he faced.
The Barons struck first in the bottom of the first inning as Romy Gonzalez led off with a double to left field, then stole third base. He came across to score a couple of batters later on an infield single by Xavier Fernandez to take the lead 1-0.
Neslony broke the game open for the Barons in the bottom of the third inning. Yolbert Sanchez started the rally with an infield single, and Jameson Fisher followed with a walk. Two batters later Craig Dedelow walked, and Neslony hit a grand slam to extend the lead to 5-0.
Braden Shewmake was the first M-Braves player to reach base safely with his opposite-field single to left field with two outs in the top of the fourth inning. With that single, Shewmake has hit in 21 of his last 24 games batting .370 over that span.
Alec Hansen relieved Vargas after five phenomenal innings. Vargas retired the first 11 batters he faced, striking out nine of them. He finished with 5.0 innings, one hit, 12 strikeouts, and zero runs. Hendrik Clementina greeted Hansen with a sharp single to left field. Two batters later, Justin Dean walked, and Jalen Miller followed with a single. Shewmake put the Braves on the board with a single to right field to cut the lead to 5-1.
Matt Withrow started the sixth inning in relief of Alan Rangel (L, 0-1). Rangel ended his Double-A debut with 5.0 innings, six hits, two walks, four strikeouts, and five earned runs. Neslony led off against Withrow with a walk, and a couple of batters later, Ian Dawkins tripled off the third-base bag, plating Neslony. Mitch Roman followed with a single to extend the lead to 7-1.
Wendell Rijo began the top of the ninth inning with an infield single and stole second base. He came around to score on a Greyson Jenista single to cut the lead to 7-2.
Shewmake collected three more hits in the game, and Miller tallied two.
Game four of the six-game series in Birmingham is on Friday at 7:05 pm. RHP Spencer Strider (1-5, 6.75) starts for the M-Braves against Birmingham’s RHP Jason Bilous (2-4, 4.87). The first pitch for game one is 7:05 pm, with coverage on 103.9 WYAB, mississippibraves.com, and MiLB.tv.
The M-Braves will return to Trustmark Park and host the Biloxi Shuckers again, August 10-15. The series will be highlighted by Clunker Car Night, Cristian Pache bobblehead giveaway, and Princess Night with Fireworks. Tickets may be purchased HERE, or by calling 888-BRAVES4.
d HERE, or by calling 888-BRAVES4.