Lugbauer has homered in back-to-back games, and has 18 on the year
BILOXI, MS – Drew Lugbauer’s three-run home run in the ninth inning propelled the Mississippi Braves to a thrilling come from behind 6-4 victory over the Biloxi Shuckers on Saturday night. Justin Dean went 3-for-4 with two runs and two stolen bases and started the four-run rally in the ninth.
Through 100 games, the M-Braves are 60-40 and upped their lead in the Double-A South to 7.0 games with 13 to play. Now, the magic number to clinch a postseason berth is 11 to win the regular-season league title.
The Shuckers (38-65) opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning with a two-out rally. Mitch Longo and Thomas Dillard recorded back-to-back singles. Alexander Palma then delivered an RBI double to left-centerfield to give the Shuckers a 2-0 lead.
The M-Braves (60-40) scored in the top of the fourth inning on a perfectly executed double steal. Trey Harris took off for second base and Shuckers catcher Kekai Rios threw down to second. As soon as Rios went into his throwing motion, Dean took off for home plate. Dean dove into home headfirst and beat the tag on a bang-bang play to cut the lead to 2-1.
Daysbel Hernandez started the bottom of the fifth inning in relief of Freddy Tarnok. Tarnok finished with 4.0 innings, four hits, one walk, four strikeouts, and two earned runs. Tarnok pitched well and was a Justin Dean sliding catch away from giving up only two hits and zero earned runs.
Greyson Jenista began the top of the sixth inning with his 17th home run of the season and his fourth in three games to tie the game at 2.
The Shuckers immediately responded in the bottom of the sixth inning as Thomas Dillard hit his first home run of the season to retake the lead 3-2.
The Shuckers added another run on a two-out rally in the bottom of the seventh inning. David Hamilton walked and went reached second base on a throwing error during a pickoff attempt. He came across to score on Korry Howell’s RBI single to extend the lead to 4-2.
Dean started the top of the ninth with a single to center field and took second base on his league-leading 28th stolen base. He came around to score on Chad Spanberger’s catching error on Harris’ ground ball. Shea Langeliers then singled to centerfield, and Lugbauer followed with a long three-run home run to right-centerfield to take a 6-4 lead. The homer was Lugbauer’s 18th on the season, just one behind Langeliers for the team lead.
Tyler Ferguson (W, 2-0) recorded the win going 2.1 innings with two hits, one walk, two strikeouts, and one unearned run. Hayden Deal (S, 1) recorded his first save since June 18, 2018, while pitching for High-A Florida.
The win was the first for Mississippi when trailing after eight innings in the 35 games. The club is now 1-34.
The M-Braves will conclude their season series with the Shuckers on Sunday at MGM Park. RHP Spencer Strider (2-6, 5.22) will start for Mississippi against Biloxi’s RHP Lucas Erceg (2-5, 4.50). The first pitch is 5:05 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.