Montgomery, AL - The Mississippi Braves won a wild, back-and-forth affair 7-6 over the Montgomery Biscuits on Tuesday night at Riverwalk Stadium, gaining ground in the Southern League South first half playoff chase.
With the Braves (33-25) trailing 6-5 in the ninth, David Rohm smacked a two-run single up the middle to score the tying and winning run, and James Hoyt stranded a leadoff double in the bottom of the ninth to nail down his second save of the year.
The win coupled with a Mobile BayBears' 4-2 loss to the Chattanooga Lookouts puts the M-Braves one game back in the South Division with 11 games remaining in the first half.
The comeback put the cap on a crazy game that saw both teams stage a comeback. The Biscuits erased a 4-1 Braves lead in the middle innings, tying the game at 4-4 in the sixth when third baseman Richie Shaffer hit a two-run blast off reliever Jorge Reyes. Later that inning, Willie Argo walked, stole second and scored on a throwing error by Seth Loman at first, making it 5-4 Montgomery.
The Biscuits (30-29) tacked on another run in the seventh to make it 6-4 when Ryan Brett tripled to lead off and scored on a Jake Hager sac fly to right.
That's when the Braves started their comeback. Still trailing by two in the eighth, Loman drove in Rohm with a two-out single to pull it to 6-5.
In the ninth against Biscuits closer Santiago Garrido, Elmer Reyes singled with one out and Cedric Hunter hit a pinch-hit double to put men at second and third, setting up Rohm's heroics. It was Garrido's second blown save of the season, with both coming against the Braves.
Brandon Cunniff (2-0) got the win for Mississippi, allowing a run on two hits over two innings. Garrido (1-2) suffered the loss, allowing two runs on three hits over an inning of work.
In his 2014 M-Braves debut, Mitch Atkins put together a fine five-inning effort, allowing just two runs on three hits with six strikeouts and two walks.
The M-Braves built up an early 4-1 lead and chased the Biscuits' (30-29) starter Roberto Gomez early. Mississippi got three straight singles in the first from Emerson Landoni, Joe Leonard and an RBI knock from Seth Loman to make it 1-0 in the first frame.
In the second, the Braves put together a two-out run when Mycal Jones doubled and Landoni drove him in with a single to left to make it 2-0.
Despite just 2 2/3 innings of work and 79 pitches in the start, Gomez limited the damage to two runs on eight hits and kept it close, stranding the bases loaded in the first two innings. He struck out three and walked two in the no-decision.
The Biscuits led off the third inning with a solo home run by Jeff Malm off Atkins, his second of the season to pull the lead to 2-1.
Mississippi came right back in the fourth to grow the lead. Leonard singled with one out, moving to second on a Loman groundout to first unassisted. Matt Kennelly ripped a single for an RBI to make it 3-1, and Kyle Kubitza scored him with a double to pull ahead 4-1.
That's when the Biscuits' mid-inning comeback started. Willie Argo led off the fifth with a walk and moved to second on a wild pitch, setting up a Hector Guevara RBI double to make it 4-2.
Mississippi try to make it two-in-a-row in Wednesday night's series finale against the Biscuits, with first pitch slated for 7:05 PM CT from Riverwalk Stadium. Right-hander Aaron Northcraft (6-2, 2.45) takes the hill for the Braves against Montgomery right-hander Mike Colla (2-6, 5.31).
Listen live to Kyle Tait on the call beginning at 6:30 PM CT on 103.9 WYAB and online at MississippiBraves.com or TuneIn Radio.
Mississippi Braves (33-25) 7 R 18 H 2 E
Montgomery Biscuits (30-29) 6 R 7 H 1 E
W - Cunniff (2-0)
L - Garrido (1-2)
S - Hoyt (2)
Time - 3:26
Attendance - 3,491