Drew Lugbauer belted his 17th home run in M-Braves loss
BILOXI, MS – The Biloxi Suckers beat the Mississippi Braves on Friday 9-2 to even the series. However, the M-Braves lowered their magic number to clinch a postseason berth to 10 with a Birmingham loss despite Friday’s result. The Shuckers outhit the M-Braves 15 to five on the way to the victory. Drew Lugbauer added his 17th home run of the year for the M-Braves.
Luke Waddell became the first of the 2021 Atlanta Braves draft class to reach Double-A, and he got his first start on Friday night at third base. The fifth-rounder out of Georgia Tech collected his first M-Braves hit in the first inning with a single up the middle that ricocheted off the second base bag.
The Shuckers (38-64) struck first in the bottom of the first inning. Korry Howell started the rally with a line-drive double to the left-field wall with one out. Two batters later, former Ole Miss standout Thomas Dillard walked. During Chad Spanberger’s at-bat, Howell stole third and came across to score on a throwing error by Hendrik Clementina. Later in the at-bat, Spanberger plated Dillard with an RBI single to right field to give the Shuckers an early 2-0 lead.
The Shuckers tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the third inning. Howell started the rally again with his second double of the game. Mitch Longo followed with a two-run home run to the right field to extend the lead to 4-0.
Odalvi Javier started the bottom of the fourth inning to relieve Alan Rangel (L, 2-2). Rangel’s start was short as he went 3.0 innings with five hits, one walk, three strikeouts, and four earned runs.
Lugbauer put the M-Braves (59-40) on the board in the top of the fifth inning with a long home run to right field, his 17th of the year, to cut the lead to 4-1. The homer was Mississippi’s eighth in two days, and 132nd of the year.
The Shuckers responded quickly in the bottom of the fifth inning. Mitch Longo led off with a single, stole second base, and scored on Dillard’s RBI single. Spanberger then grounded into a force out that ended Javier’s night. He went 1.1 innings in relief with four hits, one strikeout, and two earned runs. Will Latcham struck out the first batter he faced but gave up an RBI double to the next batter Gabe Holt pushing the Shuckers lead to 6-1.
The Shuckers added two more runs on a bloop RBI single by Cam Devanney in the bottom of the seventh inning to push the head to 8-1.
Greyson Jenista opened the top of the eighth inning with a single and scored on Clementina’s RBI double to cut the lead to 8-2. Clementina had two doubles and finished 2-for-3 on Friday night.
The Shuckers scored again in the bottom of the eighth inning as Longo came across to score on a passed ball to extend the lead back to seven at 9-2.
The M-Braves take on Biloxi in game three of the four-game series on Saturday night at MGM Park. RHP Freddy Tarnok (2-2, 2.64) will start for Mississippi against RHP Noah Zavolas (4-7, 4.74) for Biloxi. The first pitch is 6:35 pm with coverage on 103.9 WYAB, mississippibraves.com, and MiLB.TV.
The Mississippi Braves will host their final homestand, September 7-12, against the Montgomery Biscuits at Trustmark Park. The homestand will feature the last Thirsty Thursday of 2021, Drew Waters Statue Giveaway, Kid’s Backpack Giveaway, First Responders and Military Appreciation Night on September 11, and Post-Game Fireworks. For a complete list of promotions and to purchase tickets, visit mississippibraves.com, or call 888-BRAVES4.