Nolan Kingham extends scoreless streak in M-Braves win, while Braden Shewmake provides offense

Thursday, June 24, 2021

-Clint Manry

Other than a solid win by the M-Braves, last night was a pretty rough one for the Braves farm. In fact, Mississippi’s victory was the lone win as the organization barely avoided a system-wide sweep. 

Here’s a recap of Wednesday’s Braves minor league action…

Johan Camargo

(21-22) Gwinnett Stripers

Game 1: L, 9-3 (F/7) vs. Norfolk

Game 2: L, 5-2 (F/7) vs. Norfolk

Bullpen combined (both games) – 8.2 IP, 3 H, ER, BB, 11 K

Because these two games featured such similar results for Gwinnett, we’ll just cover them together as one. Game 1 versus the Tides yesterday evening was a disaster. Righty Julio Rodriguez — making his first start for the Stripers since returning from Double-A Mississippi — got ambushed in the opening frame. He first walked the lead-off hitter, then allowed nine-straight batted-balls, resulting in eight earned runs (including a HR) before he was finally given the hook. Here’s that two-run homer that matched a team-high for Norfolk, in terms of most runs in a single inning…

But after all of that… and Rodriguez is replaced, Gwinnett’s bullpen basically shuts down Norfolk’s offense the rest of the game. The trio of Dylan Lee, Victor Arano and Mitch Horacek combine for six strikeouts in 5.1 innings, including just one earned run allowed from a pair of hits. I guess it just wasn’t Rodriguez’s day.

In that first game, the Stripers only managed five hits as the Tides’ starter Spenser Watkins was tough, allowing just three hits over six innings, with four strikeouts. However, the incredibly hot-hitting Johan Camargo put Gwinnett on the board in the 4th when he ambushed the first pitch thrown of the AB.

Game 2 was more of the same for the Stripers, who had intended on going with a bullpen game, but probably wished its opener would’ve been a bit more effective (this team has barely any starting pitching right now!) Anyways, Connor Johnstone started, and just like Rodriguez in Game 1, he was pummeled, at one point allowing back-to-back homers in the 1st. By the time the 2nd inning began, Gwinnett was down 4-0.

The Stripers lineup did a little more in the second game, tallying seven hits as a team, as both Jason Kipnis and Ryan Goins provided a pair of doubles, the latter of which knocked in a run in the 6th to put the Stripers on the board. But again, Norfolk’s pitching just didn’t allow much, and the Tides cruised to another victory.

Overall, it was a rough day for Gwinnett. In the two games combined, the Stripers were outscored 14-5. Prospect Drew Waters finished the doubleheader hitless in five at-bats, though he did walk twice and score a run. Cristian Pache, who went 0 for 3 in Game 1, did not play in Game 2; and Orlando Arcia, finished 1 for 6.

One bit of cool news, though, prior to the game: it was announced that righty Touki Toussaint will be making his third rehab start at some point this week with Gwinnett. A healthy Touki down the stretch for Atlanta could be huge.

Nolan Kingham

(26-18) Mississippi Braves

W, 3-0 vs. Tennessee

SP, N. Kingham – (W), 7.1 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 6 K

SS, B. Shewmake – 2 for 4, 3B, 2B, 2 RBI

RF, T. Harris – 1 for 1, RBI


Coming into the 2021 season, who ever would’ve thought that 24-year-old Nolan Kingham — a former 12th round pick — would be one of the best pitchers in Double-A? Last night, after lasting into the 7th inning for the fourth time this year, Kingham extended his scoreless streak to 25 innings as he held the Smokies batters in check. The Las Vegas native will enter his next start with a solid 2.29 ERA in 55 innings this season, which is pretty amazing given he’s currently averaging 6.1 strikeouts per nine.

On offense last night, the M-Braves continued its quiet stretch at the plate by only managing to tally three hits all game. However, it was prospect Braden Shewmake that provided the team with its first runs as he doubled in Wendell Rijo and Shea Langeliers in the 3rd for a 2-0 lead (Shewmake also tripled in this one). Immediately after Shewmake’s pair of RBI, outfielder Trey Harris tacked on a run when he popped up a sac-fly to center.

After that three-run 3rd inning for Mississippi, neither team’s offense did much else. Kingham of course continued to shut down Tennessee’s bats, and even Smokies starter Cam Sanders ended up allowing just two hits in his five-inning outing.

The M-Braves used just one reliver in this one, Emmanuel Ramirez, who got the final two outs of the 8th and worked the entire 9th. And once Tennessee opted to go with its ‘pen, a two-man crew combined to allow just one hit over the last three frames.

Freddy Tarnok

(21-21) Rome Braves

L, 3-2 (F/11) vs. Aberdeen

SP, F. Tarnok – 3.2 IP, H, 2 BB, 8 K

RF, J. Franklin – 1 for 4, HR, RBI, SB

CF, M. Harris – 1 for 3, RBI, BB


Usually tough as nails out of the bullpen (shown by his 19.4 K/9 so far this season), righty Indigo Diaz came on to pitch the 11th for Rome with the score tied at two and a runner on second. Diaz did his usual thing, he struck out the first two batters he faced. However, on the first pitch of the third at-bat, Aberdeen’s J.D. Mundy made contact and a sent line drive to center to push across the winning run. The IronBirds had walked it off.

Don’t worry about Diaz. The loss was his first of the 2021 season and the kid still sports a sub-1.00 ERA this year. If it wasn’t for the extra-inning rule, though, perhaps Diaz gets out of the inning.

This was just Freddy Tarnok’s third start of the year and perhaps one of his best. Still evidently on a pitch count as he threw just 69 pitches last night, a single and a pair or walks was all Aberdeen could do versus the righty. However, reliever Mitch Stallings, after keeping the strong pitching going for another pair of frames, allowed the IronBirds to tie the game at two in the 6th. 

Rome’s two runs came from a Michael Harris sac-fly in the opening inning, and then a solo-homer by Jesse Franklin in the 2nd. Although, other than a base-hit by Harris in the 4th and a single by Kevin Josephina in the 6th, the R-Braves offense couldn’t get anything else going. Aberdeen’s four pitchers combined for a whopping 17 punch outs on Wednesday night, as Cody Milligan, Bryce Ball and Brett Langhorne all each finished with three strikeouts apiece. 

(19-24) Augusta GreenJackets

L, 5-3 vs. Charleston

SP, J. McSteen – 4.2 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 6 K

3B, V. Grissom – 1 for 5, HR, RBI

C, V. De Hoyos – 1 for 4, 2B, RBI


Augusta started a rally in the 4th when, following a single and a stolen base by Willie Carter, catcher Victor De Hoyos hit an RBI double to right. However, Charleston tied it right back up in its half of the frame as Jack McSteen walked the lead-off batter and allowed two consecutive batted-balls, one of which was a double. GreenJackets reliever Alec Barger replaced McSteen shortly after and was sharp, but then reliever no. 2, Ben Thompson, quickly allowed the RiverDogs to take the lead in the 7th from a sac-fly. 

Despite a home run by prospect Vaughn Grissom in the 8th and Braulio Vasquez’s run from a wild-pitch in the 9th, Augusta’s bullpen just couldn’t contain Charleston’s bats and the RiverDogs three-run 8th versus Thompson pretty much made the difference last night. 

This was just a sloppy game altogether as both teams combined for a whopping nine errors, to go along with a 3 for 21 performance with RISP. The loss is the GreenJackets second in a row as the pitching continues to spoil what’s been a pretty solid stretch by the offense.

As of Thursday morning, only Rome’s starter has been announced for today’s slate of games. The R-Braves will go with Jared Shuster for Game 3 of its series versus Aberdeen. Be sure to check back Friday morning for a recap of all the Braves minor league action. 

Week 8 MiLB preview: Braden Shewmake is on the rebound

Tueaday, June 22, 2021

-Clint Manry

Now at Week 8, roughly one-third of the 120-game minor league regular season is complete, and today begins the final full week of June. Hopefully this series features better weather!

Here’s a preview of this week’s slate of games for the Braves system…

Drew Waters

Gwinnett Stripers (21-20 / 4th place)

@ Norfolk Tides

June 22Tuesday7:05 PM
June 23Wednesday7:05 PM
June 24Thursday7:05 PM
June 25Friday7:05 PM
June 26Saturday7:05 PM
June 28Sunday2:05 PM
Gwinnett’s Week 8 schedule

Gwinnett won three of five last week against a strong Nashville team and is now seven games behind the leader (Durham Bulls) in Triple-A’s Southeast division. This will be the first time the Stripers face the Tides this season, who at 15-24, are in sixth-place and just a half-game ahead of last-place Memphis.

Norfolk wields a rather light-hitting offense that has been led by former Braves second-round pick and catcher/DH Brett Cumberland, who entering Tuesday sports a 127 wRC+ thanks to five homers and a .239 AVG. If you recall, the now-25-year-old was traded to Baltimore in the six-player deal that netted Atlanta big league pitchers Kevin Gausman and Darren O’Day back at the trade deadline of the 2018 campaign. Leading the Tide’s lineup in homers right now with eight long balls is first baseman Tyler Nevin — the organization’s 17th ranked prospect, according to FanGraphs.

On the pitching end, Norfolk has been a bit better as 24-year-old lefty-starter and no. 32 prospect Alexander Wells ranks 18th in the East league in total strikeouts, although his ERA is currently at 5.63. Of the Tide’s regular starters, 25-year-old lefty Zac Lowther is the only current arm that appears to have a solid track record when it comes to run prevention. Lowther paces the group with a 3.98 ERA in 20 1/3 innings in 2021.

Bryse Wilson started last week’s series opener versus Nashville, but with him starting Game 1 of Atlanta’s doubleheader against St. Louis this past Sunday, he won’t be available for today’s contest. Of the Stripers regular starters with the most rest right now, Kyle Wright looks like a possible candidate. The 25-year-old Wright is coming off a decent outing from last Thursday when he allowed just one run versus the Sounds (but walked four) to go with six hits in five innings. Especially now that we’re approaching the MLB trade deadline, he could really use a strong showing as he may wind up as a change-of-scenery candidate. So far in Gwinnett, Wright has been hit pretty hard, even more so by lefty-batters who currently boast a .527 SLG.

Who to watch: With him missing so much time lately, the guy to keep a close eye this week with the Stripers is prospect outfielder Drew Waters. The young Waters was inactive for roughly 10 days recently, and his thumb soreness couldn’t have come a worse time, considering he was on fire at the plate leading up to his absence. The kid has made some nice strides this season and appears to have a better approach at the plate. However, I want to see if he can improve even more against same-handed pitching. Compared to his .988 OPS versus lefty-pitching, Waters carries a .608 OPS against righties so far this season. But regardless, I’m just glad to see him healthy.

Braden Shewmake

Mississippi Braves (25-17 / 2nd place)

vs. Tennessee Smokies

June 22Tuesday7:35 PM
June 23Wednesday7:35 PM
June 24Thursday7:35 PM
June 25Friday7:35 PM
June 26Saturday7:05 PM
June 27Sunday3:05 PM
Mississippi’s Week 8 schedule

The M-Braves are currently riding a five-game winning streak and so far are scorching-hot in June as they’ve won 13 of 18 games this month. Mississippi trails first-place Pensacola by just one game, and with the way the offense is playing right now, it won’t be long before the M-Braves are pacing the South division.

This will be the first meeting of the season between Mississippi and its North division foe Tennessee. The Smokies are not a very good team this year, currently at 14-26 and in last-place. The offense is primarily led by 23-year-old outfielder Darius Hill, who entering today’s game, is tied for fourth in the South League with 41 hits so far in 2021. Hill, a former 20th round selection by the Cubs, is hitting .306 this season but has provided very little power. Speaking of power, though, Tennessee’s thump has mostly come from the organization’s 12th ranked prospect, infielder Christopher Morel, who has five homers and 23 RBI, but is running just a .201 AVG.

24-year-old Cam Sanders is a starting pitcher to look for coming from the Smokies. Sanders 46 strikeouts so far this season ties him for sixth-most in the league and he’s allowing just a .226 AVG from opposing batters. Righty Javier Assad is another staff leader for Tennessee, and has been one of the better ones at preventing runs. The 23-year-old sports a 4.32 ERA through 33 1/3 innings so far in 2021, with only three homers allowed.

Former second-round pick, righty A.J. Puckett will start today’s game for Mississippi, and he’ll look to continue his stingy work this season. Puckett is coming off four consecutive starts in which he has allowed no more than one run, and during that stretch he has pitched to a 1.02 ERA, thanks to an opposing AVG of just .183. Facing a weaker offense, this is a good opportunity for Puckett to again reach the 6th inning, something he has only managed to do once so far in 2021.

Who to watch: prospect shortstop Braden Shewmake has had a 2021 season to forget so far, but recently there are some signs of improvement. The former first-round pick went 6 for 21 (.286 AVG) during last week’s slate of games, including three XBH and six RBI. The season AVG still looks rough, but hopefully Shewmake can keep the hits coming in Week 8 and start turning his 2021 campaign around. 

Michael Harris

Rome Braves (20-20 / 3rd place)

@ Aberdeen IronBirds

June 22Tuesday7:05 PM
June 23Wednesday7:05 PM
June 24Thursday7:05 PM
June 25Friday7:05 PM
June 26Saturday6:05 PM
June 27Sunday2:05 PM
Rome’s Week 8 schedule

Due to rain, Rome only managed to play four of it’s six scheduled games last week against Bowling Green, winning just one. The R-Braves were one of the better teams in the organization back in May, but June has been a much different month as they enter today’s series opener versus Aberdeen on a two-game losing streak to go with losses in 10 of their last 16.

The IronBirds are also in the midst of a rough stretch at the moment, having lost seven of their last 10, but overall they are 23-17 in 2021 and in second-place in High-A’s North division. Aberdeen’s lineup is currently led by a pair of prospect outfielders in Kyle Stowers and Zach Watson, who’re both tied for first on the team with seven home runs apiece. Stowers possesses 55-grade raw power at the plate as the Orioles 12th ranked prospect, while Watson’s speed has allowed him to so far tally the fourth-most stolen bases in the league, with 12. 

Kyle Brnovich and Drew Rom are the two starting pitchers that could give Rome’s offense fits this week. Brnovich — who’s tied with the R-Braves Bryce Elder for the third-most strikeouts in the league — is a non-prospect that has absolutely dominated this season, to the tune of a 2.36 ERA and 12.5 strikeouts per nine in 34 ⅓ innings. Rom is a 21-year-old southpaw that enters the series with a 3.93 ERA to go with 9.8 K/9. 

I believe Rome could start either Jared Shuster or Alan Rangel for today’s series opener, given those two have had the most rest and the fact that there are reports Spencer Strider is headed to Mississippi. There’s also Freddy Tarnok, who appeared out of the bullpen last week but didn’t get a start… so basically I have no idea. We’ll find out later today. 

Who to watch: it’s about time for Bryce Ball to get things going at the plate as the 6-foot-6 DH is currently slashing just .202/.336/.358 through his first 34 games this season. That’s a far cry from what he managed to do during his pro debut back in 2019. Despite his struggles in 2021, Ball has come up with the big hit when it has mattered most — with two outs and RISP he’s posted an .881 OPS, compared to the .694 he’s managed overall. Hopefully this week Ball starts hitting his way out of this slump. 

SRP Park

Augusta GreenJackets (19-22 / 3rd place)

@ Charleston RiverDogs

June 22Tuesday7:05 PM
June 23Wednesday7:05 PM
June 24Thursday7:05 PM
June 25Friday7:05 PM
June 26Saturday6:05 PM
June 27Sunday5:05 PM
Augusta’s Week 8 schedule

The GreenJackets lost its series versus Columbia last week and will begin play today 7 ½ games back from the division’s leader, who just so happens to be this week’s opponent, the Charleston RiverDogs. Augusta has been up and down all season, in which they’ll win a few, only to lose several in a row immediately after. The RiverDogs come into the series 8-2 in their last 10 games with a 26-14 record (the best record in the league).

Third baseman — and the Rays no. 33 prospect — Curtis Mead, leads this Charleston offense with a 152 wRC+, good for fifth-best in the league. The 20-year-old enters today with a .333 AVG, 18 XBH and six stolen bases this season. Outfielder Diego Infante is also another RiverDogs bat that the GreenJackets will need to be aware of. Infante isn’t a ranked prospect but he’s a guy that can make contact (.278 AVG) and pose a threat on the base paths (nine stolen bases). 

Charleston is chalked-full of pitchers, most notably righties Taj Bradley and Cole Wilcox — a pair of top-25 prospects in the Rays system. Bradley is currently third in the league in strikeouts and comes in with a 2.93 ERA in 29 ⅔ innings; while Wilcox hasn’t allowed a single homer in 37 innings in 2021, sporting a 1.46 ERA. 

I would imagine today’s starter for Augusta should come down to either Joey Estes or Tanner Gordon, given Jake McSteen was recently promoted to Rome and Darius Vines just pitched this past Saturday. For the 19-year-old Estes, this could be a chance for him to right the ship after pitching his worst outing of the season last Tuesday, in which he allowed four runs (albeit from only three hits). We’ll see who the team announces later today.

Who to watch: speaking of Estes, I believe all eyes will be on him today (if he starts) as this could be his last start in Single-A. The righty has overpowered the league all season, currently ranking fourth in strikeouts and second in ERA. There’s definitely no need for the Braves to rush Estes, especially given his age, but I also believe he should be pitching at a level where he’s forced to use his entire aresenal. We’ll see how the organization handles it, but if I had to guess, this should be the last time we see Estes in a GreenJackets uniform.

Pretty soon my minor league coverage will expand a bit. Starting on June 28, the Gulf Coast Braves (rookie ball) will begun its 2021 season, a campaign that this year will run until September 18. Usually the GCL Braves are joined by the Domincan Summer League Braves (DSL Braves), but per a recent report by Baseball America, the Braves chose not to participate in the Domincan league this season.

Spencer Strider punches out a dozen in Rome’s loss; Braden Shewmake tallies first three-hit game of 2021

Saturday, June 19, 2021

-Clint Manry

Hey! The big league team has outscored its opponent by a tally of 13-1 during its first two games of the current series, resulting in back-to-back wins and a chance to win the four-game set tonight. That’s a MUCH better situation than just a few days ago. So while we’re all in a great mood, let’s dive into the Braves minor league action from Friday night…

SS, Orlando Arcia / Image from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

(21-19) Gwinnett Stripers 

W, 8-7 (F/10) vs. Nashville 

SP, J. De La Cruz – 3 ⅓ IP, 6 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 2 HR

SS, O. Arcia – 3 for 5, HR, 2 2B, 2 RBI

CF, C. Pache – 1 for 5, 2 R, SB


Friday the Stripers won in walk-off fashion for the third time this season, though this time it happened after trailing by a whopping six runs entering the 4th inning. And it was none other than shortstop Orlando Arcia who scored the winning run in the bottom of the 10th, advancing all the way from second when the Sounds Keston Hiura made an errant throw to first during a double-play attempt. The most impressive aspect of that final play, though, was probably how Jonathan Lucroy was somehow able to put the bat to the ball on a pitch that appeared to have (or nearly) bounced at the plate.

As has usually been the case this season, Arcia was heavily involved in Gwinnett’s win, and Lucroy never would’ve had the opportunity to knock in the winning run in the 10th if it wasn’t for the former’s RBI double to tie the game two batters prior. Arcia also tallied his 11th home run of 2021 back in the 4th when he demolished a hanging breaking ball over the left-center wall. I swear… his homers just seem to travel 20-30 feet further than everyone else’s.

For example (though it was hit on a line to dead-center), Travis Snider’s homer in the 6th was far less spectacular, even if it put Gwinnett within two. 

I came into last night’s game hoping this was the start that would begin Jasseel De La Cruz’s turnaround. But for the third consecutive outing the 23-year-old allowed four or more runs. De La Cruz was greeted with a lead-off home run to begin the game, and though he settled down to pitch a strong 2nd frame, Nashville jumped all over him in the 3rd with five runs from five hits, including another long ball (which happened to be a grand-slam). Friday was the first time this season De La Cruz surrendered two homers in a start, and he’ll enter his next outing with a 6.28 ERA for the year. 

Following De La Cruz’s exit with one out in the 4th, the Stripers sent its relievers out in droves and all but completely shut down the Sounds. Dylan Lee, Mitch Horacek, Ty Tice, Jesse Chavez and Yoan Lopez all combined to work the final 6 ⅔ innings in scoreless fashion, including just four hits allowed and 10 strikeouts. Half of those punch outs by the bullpen came from Chavez alone who pitched both the 8th and 9th. 

SS, Braden Shewmake / Image from OurSports Central

(23-17) Mississippi Braves 

W, 8-4 vs. Birmingham 

SP, N. Kingham – (W), 6 IP, 3 H, 6 K

SS, B. Shewmake – 3 for 4, HR, 2B, 2 RBI

RF, T. Neslony – 1 for 3, RBI, R


Make it 15 wins in their last 20 games as Mississippi’s big 2nd inning resulted in yet another victory last night. I was able to catch a few innings of this one, and I just so happened to tune in right as that fruitful 2nd got started. The M-Braves sent nine batters to the plate and came away with five runs, highlighted by an RBI double by prospect Braden Shewmake, who had a huge game.

Mississippi tacked on a run apiece in both the 3rd and 4th as well, and perhaps no run was more important than the one that came from Shewmake’s bat. The struggling shortstop belted his first long ball at Trustmark Park this season and fourth of 2021 overall to put his team up 6-0. To me, that it was an oppo-shot just shows how well he’s seeing the ball right now. 

Justin Dean, Wendell Rijo and Tyler Neslony all each provided an RBI as well last night.

But one of my biggest takeaways from the game was starter Nolan Kingham and his gem on the mound. This was the third outing in a row in which the righty went at least six innings, not to mention his fourth time doing so in his last six starts. Kingham also hasn’t allowed a run in his last 14 ⅔ frames.

Kingham has been more of a pitch-to-contact pitcher so far in 2021, but last night he displayed some of his swing-and-miss stuff as he tied a season-high in strikeouts with six. 

Prospect reliever Daysbel Hernandez got in some work Friday, though he allowed a pair of runs from four hits in the 9th. That’s twice in his last three appearances he’s allowed multiple runs, so hopefully he bounces back next time around.

OF, Michael Harris / Image from Talking Chop

(20-20) Rome Braves

L, 7-5 (F/11) vs. Bowling Green 

SP, S. Strider – 6 IP, H, ER, BB, 12 K, HR

RF, J. Franklin – 3 for 4, 2B, RBI

CF, M. Harris – 2 for 6, 2B, R


Man it’s a shame Rome couldn’t give Spencer Strider the win last night as the 22-year-old righty racked up a dozen more strikeouts for the season, giving him a ridiculous 56 punch outs through his first 30 innings between both Augusta and Rome. 

The Hot Rods didn’t record a hit against Strider until the 4th and it was a solo homer, but by then the R-Braves had built up a 3-1 lead. In fact, following Bowling Green’s half of the 4th, Rome added a fourth run when Logan Brown slapped an RBI single, and with the way Strider was pitching, you would’ve thought the three-run advantage would hold.

However, in the 8th, against the R-Braves Gabriel Noguera, Bowling Green pushed across three runs to tie it, resulting in extra-innings. I’m sure Rome’s kicking themselves for not just leaving reliever Indigo Diaz in for the 11th on Friday, because following his hitless 10th inning, Tyler Ferguson served up a double to the first batter he faced in that final frame, allowing the Hot Rods to take a 5-4 lead. A two-run homer two batters later gave Bowling Green three runs in the inning and it was all but over. However, Rome did manage a run in its half as Cody Milligan knocked in Beau Philip with an RBI single… but that was all the offense could muster. 

Regardless, outfielders Jesse Franklin V and Michael Harris both deserve a round of applause as they combined to go 5 for 10 at the plate last night. Franklin has now hit safely in nine-straight and is on track to push his AVG to (or above) .300 in the next game or two (which is crazy considering he entered June hitting just .200).

SRP Park

(18-22) Augusta GreenJackets 

L, 5-0 vs. Columbia 

SP, J. Johnson – (L), 3 IP, 5 H, ER, 2 BB, 4 K

2B, C. Shepherd – 1 for 3

LF, B. Parker – 1 for 3


The GreenJackets lost its third-straight contest on Friday, this time in shutout fashion as the offense was held to just three hits altogether. Fireflies starter Ben Hernandez (the 24th ranked prospect in the Royals system) was sharp in this one, striking out seven and walking only one in his five-inning two-hitter. Then Columbia’s bullpen piled on by punching out an additional five Augusta batters over the next four frames, including just one hit allowed.

A single by Cam Shepherd in the 3rd, a base-hit by Ricardo Rodriguez in the 5th and a line drive single by Brandon Parker in the 7th was all the GreenJackets could manage last night. 

20-year-old righty Jared Johnson got the start for Augusta on Friday, just his second of the 2021 season. A stressful opening inning that featured three singles and a run caused Johnson to rack up 54 pitches in three frames. But overall he did well with limiting big hits from Columbia. Johnson gave way to reliever Zach Seipel and Chad Bryant, and both gave up runs in their respective appearances, making it a 5-0 game by the time Benjamin Dum entered for the 8th. Dum then immediately got the GreenJackets out of the inning as he induced a double-play and a flyout to give Augusta’s offense one more chance to come back in the 9th… but as we know… it didn’t happen. 

As of late Friday night, so far tonight’s slate is set to be Hayden Deal on the mound for Mississippi and Bryce Elder for Rome.