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 Mississippi Braves

Game Info: Thursday, May 23 at Chattanooga Lookouts: 6:15 PM CT: AT&T Field

May 23, 2024 - Southern League (SL)
Mississippi Braves News Release

Mississippi Braves (18-23) at Chattanooga Lookouts (12-29)

Thursday, May 23, 2024 - 6:15 PM CT - AT&T Field - Chattanooga, TN

Game 41 of 138 - Home Game 23 of 69 - 102.1 The Box - Bally Live -

Starting Pitchers: RHP JJ Niekro (1-4, 3.72) vs. RHP Rhett Lowder (0-2, 9.31)

Watch Live: Bally Live / MiLB.TV / MLB At Bat

Listen Live: 102.1 The Box

Today's Roster Move

RHP Ian Mejia transferred from Mississippi to Triple-A Gwinnett

TODAY'S GAME: The Mississippi Braves and Chattanooga Lookouts continue a six-game series tonight at AT&T Field. This is the first of two series between the two teams in 2024. This is the third of 12 meetings between the two clubs. The two will play next at Trustmark Park, August 20-25.

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: Spencer Schwellenbach, the Atlanta Braves No. 3 prospect, delivered 7.0 shutout innings on two hits, walking none and striking out eight in a 4-2 victory over the Lookouts. Schwellenbach needed 76 pitches to retire 24 batters and push his scoreless innings streak to 13.0 innings over his first two Double-A starts. Cal Conley was 2-for-4 with a double and RBI, and Tyler Tolve finished 2-for-4 with a double, run, and RBI. Nacho Alvarez Jr. led the way on offense, going 3-for-5 with a double and run. Domingo Gonzalez logged his third save with a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth inning.

LAST TRIP TO THE LOOKOUT CITY: This series marks the final meeting between the Chattanooga Lookouts and Mississippi Braves in Chattanooga. The clubs have met 212 times since 2005, with the Lookouts leading the all-time series, 108-104. In 2023, the M-Braves went 8-6 against the Lookouts, sweeping Chattanooga in a five-game series at Trustmark Park, May 9-14, out-scoring the Lookouts 27-8.

MAY BE A SEASON TURNING AROUND: After going 7-15 in April, the M-Braves are 11-8 so far in May, being led by one of the top pitching staffs in minor league baseball. The staff ranks fourth in the minors with a 2.80 ERA.

HIS FIRST TWO DOUBLE-A STARTS WENT SCHWELL: Atlanta Braves No. 3 overall prospect Spencer Schwellenbach was promoted to Mississippi on May 14 from High-A Rome. Over his first two starts, the 2nd-round pick in 2021 out of Nebraska is 2-0 and hasn't allowed a run over 13.0 innings, striking out 17 and walking just two. He made his Mississippi debut in game two of the May 15 doubleheader against Biloxi, striking out a career-high nine punchouts over 6.0 shutout innings on three hits, issuing just one walk. In his second start on May 22 at Chattanooga, striking out eight and walking none, ceding two hits over 7.0 shutout innings. In eight starts between Mississippi and Rome, Schwellebach is 4-1 with a 1.80 ERA (9 ER/45.0 IP), 10 walks, and 51 strikeouts.

WINNING WALDREP: RHP Hurston Waldrep, the Atlanta Braves' 1st-round pick in 2023 (24th overall), has won three straight starts and earned his first professional win on May 2. He is 3-0 with a 0.71 ERA in May, with 24 strikeouts to five walks. Waldrep tossed a Southern League-high second complete game in a doubleheader in game one on May 15 vs. Biloxi with a career-high 8.0 innings, scattering six hits, one run with no walks, and eight strikeouts ... In his last two starts, Waldrep has given up one run over 14.1 innings with one walk to 16 strikeouts. Over his past six outings, he has a 0.96 ERA in 37.1 innings pitched, 10 walks, and 34 strikeouts. Waldrep now ranks among the league leaders in complete games (1st, 2), ERA (2.84, 10th), strikeouts (41, 10th), and innings pitched (3rd, 44.1).

MEJIA TOSSES FIFTH NO-HITTER IN M-BRAVES HISTORY: RHP Ian Mejia's seven-inning no-hitter in game two of the Friday, May 17 doubleheader vs. Biloxi was the fifth no-hitter in M-Braves history, and first individual one since Tommy Hanson's nine-inning no-hitter on June 25, 2008, vs. Birmingham at Trustmark Park. The M-Braves beat the Barons 6-0, and Hanson walked three and struck out 14 in the game. There have been three combined nine-inning no-hitters in team history (Julio Teheran & Tyrelle Harris, 8/2/10 vs. Mobile, Ian Anderson & Jeremy Walker, 6/28/19 vs. Jackson (TN), and Bryce Elder & Daysbel Hernandez, 7/10/21 vs. Pensacola.

MC HAMMER WOULD BE PLEASED: Mississippi hurlers rank 2nd in the Southern League, 4th in Double-A, and 7th in minor league baseball with a 3.21 ERA as a staff. The staff is 6th in Double-A with 386 strikeouts. M-Braves starters rank 2nd in the Southern League and 4th in Double-A with a 3.08 ERA. In May, the M-Braves ranked 2nd with 185 strikeouts and 2nd in Double-A with a 2.80 ERA. In 18 home games, the Mississippi pitching staff has a 2.47 ERA.

THE MEJIA MAGIC MOVES TO TRIPLE-A: When Ian Mejia took the mound, the Mississippi Braves were 7-1 in his eight starts. The Braves promoted Mejia to Triple-A Gwinnett on Thursday. At the time of his promotion, Mississippi's opening-day starter was second in the league and ranked T-5th in Double-A with 54 strikeouts. Mejia ranked among the league and Double-A leaders in ERA (1.69, 2nd SL, 4th AA)in innings pitched (42.2 IP, 4th SL, 10th AA), wins (4, T-4th SL), BAA (.160, 1st SL, 3rd, AA), and WHIP (0.94, 5th, SL, 9th AA) ... Mejia did not allow a run over his last 22.2 innings pitched. Mejia was 3-0 in May and allowed no runs over 19.2 IP, five walks, and 27 strikeouts.

HAYDEN HARRIS ON A ROLL: LHP Hayden Harris has a 0.66 ERA over 11 relief outings and 13.2 IP, five walks, and 22 strikeouts. The Augusta, GA native is 1-0 with four holds and 1-for-1 in save opportunities. Over the last two seasons Harris's 37.3% strikeout rate ranks fourth in minor league baseball (min 70 IP).

NEED FOR SPEED: The M-Braves are 2nd in Double-A in stolen bases with 76 (76-for-89) through 41 games. The club has five players who have reached double-digit steals. Geraldo Quintero leads the way and ranks T-4th in the league with 15. Cody Milligan and Justin Dean are one back, and T-6th with 14, Nacho Alvarez Jr. has 13, and Cal Conley with 11 ... The M-Braves logged a stolen base in each of the first 14 games of the season. Mississippi had 157 stolen bases last season and is on pace for 256 (1.86 per game) in 2024. The most by an M-Braves team was 159 in 2007.

"NACHO" AVERAGE SHORT STOP: Atlanta's top-ranked position player prospect, Nacho Alvarez Jr., went on a 13-game on-base streak from April 13 to May 1, the longest by a Mississippi player this season. The 21-year-old leads the club and ranks 4th in the Southern League with a .386 OBP ... He ranks 3rd in the league with 23 walks.

THE DEAN OF THE CLASS: Justin Dean's nine-game hitting streak from April 21 to May 2 was the longest by an M-Braves player this season. Dean has 84 stolen bases over his 264 games for the M-Braves since 2021.

GIVE ME FIVE: The M-Braves are 16-11 in games when starters go 5+ innings and 2-12 when going less than 5. In the 27 games with 5+ innings, they have combined for a 1.78 ERA (32 ER/161.2 IP). In the 14 games of less than 5, the starter's ERA is 7.01 (41 ER/52.2 IP).

M-BRAVES REACH 1,200 WINS: The April 25, 13-3 win over Montgomery was Mississippi's 1,200th in franchise history. It took the M-Braves until the sixth game of the inaugural season in 2005 to win the first game in club history, which was an April 12, 2005, 7-4 win over the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx in game two of a doubleheader at Pringles Park. Jeff Francoeur was 0-for-3, with a walk and RBI, in the game, using a five-run sixth fueled by RBIs by Scott Thorman, Francoeur, and Derrick Gibson. Brian O'Connor got the win for Mississippi.

COACHING STAFF WITH A NEW FLO: After spending one season as manager of the Braves High-A affiliate Rome Braves (Emperors), Angel Flores will take the reins for the first time at the Double-A level, succeeding Kanekoa Texeira. Texeira was promoted to manager of the Triple-A Gwinnett Stripers after Matt Tuiasosopo was named to the Braves' Major League coaching staff for 2024. Flores returns to Mississippi, where he served as bench coach in 2022. Flores took over as interim manager from April 26 to May 15, 2022, while Bruce Crabbe took a leave of absence from the club. During the 18-game stretch, the M-Braves went 10-8. During his first season as a full-time manager last year, Flores led the R-Braves to a 34-32 record in the second half and an overall 64-68 mark. Rome closed the year with a 21-15 record in August and September. Overall, he holds a 74-76 record as a manager.

MISSISSIPPI MADE: M-Braves outfielder Brandon Parker, a native of Saucier, MS, on the Gulf Coast and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College product, became the first player to prep in Mississippi and play for the M-Braves since Austin Riley in 2017. Riley prepped at Desoto Central in North Mississippi ... Parker was a two-time All-American at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Parker attended West Harrison High School.

FINAL SEASON IN MISSISSIPPI: On January 9, it was announced that after 20 years, 2024 will be the M-Braves' final season in Pearl, MS. As of the start of the 2025 season, the Double-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves will be relocating to Columbus, GA.

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