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 Mississippi Braves

Smokies' Walk-off Spoils David Fletcher's Quality Start

June 22, 2024 - Southern League (SL)
Mississippi Braves News Release


Mississippi Braves in action
Mississippi Braves in action
(Mississippi Braves)

KODAK, TN - Major League infielder turned knuckleball pitcher David Fletcher turned in another quality start on Saturday night, but the Tennessee Smokies walked off with a 5-4 victory over the Mississippi Braves at Smokies Stadium. Tyler Tolve added a two-run home run, and Bryson Worrell homered for the second-straight game in the loss.

Fletcher had to battle more on Saturday night in Tennessee than any of his previous three starts, but despite four 20+ pitch innings, the 30-year-old made it through the sixth inning for the second time since joining the M-Braves (30-37) as a two-way player. Fletcher, who started at shortstop on Thursday, gave up a run in the first and an unearned run in the third inning, but that was all.

The Smokies (40-27) loaded the bases after two singles and a walk in the first, and James Triantos scored on a Haydyn McGeary fielder choice. In the third, Yohendrick Pinango singled, followed by a McGeary double with one out. Luis Verdugo hit a liner back to Fletcher, but an errant throw to third allowed Pinango to score.

In the fourth inning, Mississippi got the offense rolling against Tennesee starter Matthew Thompson. Geraldo Quintero drew a one-out walk, and Tolve smashed a 387-foot homer over the right-field wall for a two-run homer to tie the game. In the sixth inning, Quintero walked to start another inning, stole second, and scored on Worrell's second home run in two days to make it 4-2.

Fletcher exited with a 4-2 Mississippi lead and 6.0 innings, two runs (one earned), six hits, three walks, and two strikeouts over a career-high 105 pitches.

The Smokies immediately got to M-Braves' reliever Rolddy Munoz, Franklin getting on base with a single and Triantos drawing a walk. Tennessee made it 4-3 on a double steal that saw Tolve throw wildly to third, scoring a run. McGeary battled Munoz to a 3-2 count and singled through the right side to tie the game.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Tennesse wasted no time ending the game. Triantos led off with a triple off Trey Riley (L, 1-4) and scored on the next pitch, a wild pitch, giving the Smokies a 5-4 win.

With Tennessee and Birmingham each winning on Saturday night, the Smokies trail the Barons by a half-game heading into Sunday's first-half finale.

Along with the two home runs, Yolbert Sanchez was 2-for-4, and Javier Valdes was 1-for-3.

The M-Braves and Smokies wrap up the six-game series on Sunday afternoon at Smokies Stadium. The first pitch is scheduled for 1:00 pm CT with a rematch of the pitching matchup in the series opener, LHP Mitch Farris (0-1, 12.00) for Mississippi against RHP Connor Noland (4-2, 2.83) for Tennessee. Coverage will begin at 12:45 pm CT on 102.1 The Box, Bally Live, and MiLB.tv.

The M-Braves return to Trustmark Park to begin the second half, June 25-30, against the Montgomery Biscuits. The series features a Blues & Brews Replica Jersey Giveaway on Friday, June 28, Disability Awareness Night, Special Jersey Auction on Saturday, June 29, and Post-Game Fireworks presented by the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services.





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