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Boscan breathes life into Braves09/13/2008 1:19 AM ET
By Alan Friedman / Special to MLB.com
J.C. Boscan had just one hit in his first five playoff games. His second hit of the night on Friday forced a one-game showdown for the Southern League championship.
Boscan drilled a long walk-off single in the 13th inning to give the Mississippi Braves a 6-5 victory over the Carolina Mudcats and tied the best-of-5 Finals at 2-2.
Mississippi trailed, 5-4, in the 11th but stayed alive on Jordan Schafer's one-out homer.
In the 13th, the Braves loaded the bases with none out on a double by Kala Ka'aihue, an infield hit by Schafer and an intentional walk to Javier Guzman. After pinch-hitter Quentin Davis hit into a forceout, Boscan drilled a shot that bounced over the center-field fence to plate Robert Marcial.
"I think I hit a fastball," said Boscan, who was mobbed by his teammates and was credited with a single because he never reached second base. "I was trying to put something in play somewhere in the outfield. I got good contact and knew the ball was far enough for the guy on third to score.
"I'm really proud of this team and how hard we worked."
Mississippi will host Game 5 on Saturday night.
"I'm exhausted," Braves manager Phillip Wellman said. "It was unbelievable. The guys kept grinding and grinding and then got a big hit when we needed it ... actually two hits."
The first "big hit" was Schafer's shot left in the 11th. It came after Carolina's Scott Cousins homered in the top of the frame to give the Mudcats a 5-4 lead and put them three outs from a championship.
"The fact that we were home tonight gave me some comfort, although I wasn't too comfortable when that guy [Cousins] hit his home run," Wellman said. "But after Schafer stepped up, I felt like our chances were good from there. "
Ka'aihue, who is hitting .345 in the playoffs, went 3-for-6 with a three-run homer in the first. Carolina's Lee Mitchell matched him with a three-run shot in the third.
The Braves went back in front in the bottom of the third on Javier Guzman's RBI single, but the Mudcats knotted the contest again in the eighth on Cameron Maybin's run-scoring double.
Sung Ki Jung (1-0) retired the only batter he faced to get the win. Braves starter Kris Medlen allowed three runs -- two earned -- on four hits over seven innings, matching a season high with 10 strikeouts while walking two.
Jarrett Santos (0-1) recorded one out and was charged iwth one run on three hits and a walk.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.