The M-Braves stretch their league lead to 2.5 games over Montgomery
PEARL, MS – Wendell Rijo walked off the Biloxi Shuckers on Thursday night to give the Mississippi Braves a 5-4 win and extend the winning streak to six. The six-game winning streak matches the longest this season for the Braves, and they extended their Double-A South lead to 2.5 games over Montgomery.
CJ Alexander began the bottom of the ninth inning with a walk and stole second base. Alexander scored the winning run on a Rijo hit a two-run home run into the left-field bullpen that Biloxi appealed after the celebration at home plate. The appeal to first base was successful, and the umpires ruled that Rijo missed first base. Alexander’s run scores on a fly-out and RBI by Rijo.
The Shuckers (32-55) struck first in the top of the second inning on an Alexander Palma solo home run to left-centerfield. Then, after a single by Luis Castro and back-to-back walks to Korry Howell and Cam Devanney, David Hamilton cleared the bases with a triple to right-centerfield to give the Shuckers a 4-0 lead.
The M-Braves (51-36) responded with a run in the bottom of the second inning. Trey Harris was hit by a pitch and went first to third on a Jefrey Ramos single. Harris scored on a Jalen Miller RBI fielder’s choice to cut the lead to 4-1.
The M-Braves bombed their way back into the game in the bottom of the fourth inning. First, Harris reached base on an infield single, and a couple of batters later, Miller blasted a two-run home run to left-centerfield. It was Miller’s ninth of the year. Then, Hendrik Clementina went back to back as he demolished a ball for a solo home run to left-centerfield to tie the game at 4-4. The homer was Clementina’s fourth, and second in as many games.
Hayden Deal started the top of the sixth inning in relief of Spencer Strider. Strider finished with 5.0 innings, four hits, two walks, four strikeouts, and four earned runs. Strider pitched better than his line may show as both walks, three of the four hits, and all four runs came in just the second inning. He was excellent in the other four innings he pitched.
Noah Zavolas was relieved by Leo Crawford after six innings of work. Zavolas finished with 6.0 innings, seven hits, six strikeouts, and four earned runs.
Indigo Diaz came into the game with two outs in the top of the eighth inning to replace Deal. Deal was phenomenal in relief, retiring eight of nine batters over 2.2 innings.
Deal, Diaz, and Brandon White (W, 4-2) were almost perfect in relief as they combined for 4.0 innings, zero hits, zero walks, two strikeouts, and zero earned runs. The only Shucker to reach base was via an error. M-Braves pitchers combined to hold the Shuckers to just four hits, and now just six the past two days.
The M-Braves will look to extend their lead to a season-best seven games on Friday night at Trustmark Park. RHP Victor Vodnik (0-4, 6.28) will start for the Braves against RHP Carlos Luna (1-2, 2.65) for the Shuckers. The first pitch is 6:35 pm, with coverage on 103.9 WYAB, mississippibraves.com, and MiLB.tv.
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