August 27, 2013 - Southern League (SL) - Huntsville Stars
Pearl, MS. - The Huntsville Stars, looking to salvage a disappointing season, played their final road game of the season against the Mississippi Braves on Tuesday. Huntsville fell behind quickly before coming back to tie the game in the sixth. Unfortunately for the Stars, Mississippi managed to scratch a run across late and escaped with a 4-3 win, leaving the Stars to finish the year 30-37 away from Joe Davis Stadium.
With the score tied at three in the bottom of the eighth, Robby Hefflinger grounded a ball to shortstop Hector Gomez who misplayed it, allowing Edward Salcedo to score the winning run. Mississippi pitcher Pat Egan then came on and nailed down the win, keeping the Braves playoffs hopes alive and dealing the Stars another heartbreaking loss.
After the Stars stranded runners at the corners in the top of the first, the Braves got three straight hits to begin the inning plating Mycal Jones, followed by a double play that scored Christian Bethancourt, making the score 2-0 Braves going to the second inning. Mississippi added another run in the bottom of the third when Salcedo got on base thanks to a fielder's choice, stole two bases and was then singled home by Jose Martinez and the Braves looked to be cruising.
The Stars though had life left in them. In the top of the sixth inning, Chadwin Stang singled to get on base. After two flyouts, Stang stole second. Jason Rogers and Mike Walker both walked to load the bases. That ended the night for Mississippi starting pitcher Mitch Atkins who gave way to Shae Simmons. With Brock Kjeldgaard at bat, Simmons threw a pitch to the backstop, allowing Stang to score. Kjeldgaard then singled to left, bringing in Rogers and Walker. This tied the score at three going into the bottom of the sixth.
Huntsville starter Brooks Hall left after the third inning, having giving up three runs on six hits while throwing 64 pitches. Kevin Shackelford (L 1-1) took the loss after giving up one run on one hit and a walk in an inning of work. The Stars bullpen was heavily taxed again, with four pitchers combining to pitch the final five innings, though they only gave up a single unearned run and three hits after Hall left.
Mississippi pitcher Gary Moran (W 4-2) got the win after pitching two innings, giving up one hit and a walk. The Braves were led at the plate by Salcedo who went two for four with two runs scored.
The Stars were led at the plate by Nick Shaw who went two for four and Rogers who went one for two with a run scored and two walks.
With the loss, the Stars record stands at 56-77 on the year, 27-38 in the second half of the season. The Braves record moves to 74-60 on the year, 36-28 in the second half.
The Huntsville Stars and Mississippi Braves will observe a league wide off-day on Wednesday. The Stars will then begin their final home series of the year on Thursday. The Stars will take on the Jackson Generals in the final series of the year for both teams as the North Division playoff teams have already been decided. Like every Thursday game, the Stars will observe Thirst-Aid Thursday. All 16 ounce Bud, Bud Light, and Amberbock drafts are $2 through the 7th inning.