Barons Walk-Off M-Braves on Ninth Inning Homer
BIRMINGHAM, AL - Birmingham pinch-hitter Trey Michalczewski blasted a three-run home run on the first pitch he saw from Jordan Harrison, giving the Barons (16-24) a walk-off 6-4 win over the Mississippi Braves (18-21) on Thursday night at Regions FIeld.
Thursday's first meeting of the season between the White Sox and Braves affiliate was delayed 1 hour, 17 minutes because of rain, but once the game started, it didn't take long for each offense to get cranked up.
The Barons collected three hits in the bottom of the first and the third from Yermin Mercedes brought home Luis Basabe giving the Barons a 1-0 lead.
The Braves tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the second inning when former Baron Andy Wilkins launched a solo homer to right. Wilkins played in 187 games for Birmingham in 2012 and 2013.
Mississippi took the lead 2-1 in the third inning on the second of three singles by top prospect Cristian Pache. The knock brought home Drew Waters, who reached on a dropped third strike and advanced to third on a throwing error by Barons catcher Nate Nolan.
White Sox top prospect Luis Robert, who signed for $26 million in 2017, smashed a 446-foot two-run homer to left in the bottom of the third inning, placing the Barons back on top, 3-2.
Jeremy Walker made his first start of 2019 after pitching behind Patrick Weigel in his first seven appearances. Walker didn't disappoint as the 23-year-old struck out eight and walked none over 6.0 innings of three-run baseball. Walker has walked just two batters and struck out 36 over his first 40.2 innings this season.
Pache created more magic in the seventh inning and tied the game with some aggressive base running. Connor Lien reached on an infield single and Pache moved to second base. An errant throw behind the 20-year-old sailed into the outfield, letting Pache score to tie the game. The Braves top prospect was 3-for-5 on Thursday with a run and RBI, plus a stolen base.
The M-Braves went back ahead in the eighth inning when Luis Valenzuela split the right-center gap with a triple bringing home, Alejandro Salazar. Valenzuela was 2-for-3 with a walk.
Jason Hursh worked 2.0 scoreless innings behind Walker, striking out three and lowering his season-ERA to 1.45.
Harrison (L, 0-1) took over for Hursh in the ninth and walked Mississippian Ti'Quan Forbes to begin the frame. Laz Rivera followed with a single setting up the walk-off homer by Michalczewski.
Thursday's loss marked the third time this season that the M-Braves have been walked off by a home run. The M-Braves dropped to 1-5 on the road trip.
The M-Braves and Barons play game two of the five-game series on Friday night at Regions Field. LHP Joey Wentz (1-2, 5.70) will start for the M-Braves against LHP Tanner Banks (0-3, 3.07). First pitch is set for 7:05 pm with coverage beginning at 6:50 pm on 103.9 WYAB, TuneIn Radio, MiLB First Pitch app. and MiLB.TV (subscription required).
The Mississippi Braves will return to Trustmark Park for a Memorial Day Weekend Celebration, May 22-26, at Trustmark Park. Saturday, May 25 the first 1,000 fans will receive an M-Braves Patriotic Cap, in partnership with Mississippi Veterans Affairs. Post-Game Fireworks will follow the game on Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26. Each game will begin at 6:05 pm. For tickets or more information, visit mississippibraves.com or call 888-BRAVES4.
The Mississippi Braves are the Double-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. Since the inaugural 2005 season, 139 M-Braves have gone on to Major League Baseball. The M-Braves have made postseason play four times and went on to win the Southern League Championship in 2008. Stop by Trustmark Park or call 888-BRAVES4 Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. For the latest news and updates, visit mississippibraves.com or connect with @mbraves on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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