Montgomery, AL - Seth Loman blasted a three-run home run in the sixth inning to give the Mississippi Braves a permanent lead en route to an 8-5 win over the Montgomery Biscuits on Wednesday night at Riverwalk Stadium.
With the win and the Mobile BayBears' 9-4 win over the Chattanooga Lookouts Wednesday afternoon, the Braves (34-25) kept pace in the South Division race, remaining just one game back with 10 games remaining in the first half.
Trailing 3-1 entering the sixth inning, Mississippi got a leadoff single from David Rohm. A groundout to third by Elmer Reyes moved Rohm to second and Emerson Landoni walked to put two men aboard. Cedric Hunter pulled it to 3-2 with an RBI single, and Loman sent a ball over the wall in right to make it 5-3 Braves.
It was Loman's ninth home run of the year to lead the club and his second this season against Montgomery (30-30).
The Braves held off a late rally but kept scoring insurance runs to lock down the win for Aaron Northcraft (7-2). The Southern League South All-Star went six innings, allowing four runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and two walks. James Hoyt-another All-Star-nailed down his third save and his second in as many nights.
Montgomery's Michael Colla (2-7) took the loss with five earned runs on seven hits over his six frames, striking out five and walking one.
The Biscuits started the scoring in the first inning. Jake Hager and Cameron Seitzer hit back-to-back one-out singles and Richie Shaffer doubled to bring in a run.
Mississippi tied the game in the third. Reyes and Matt Kennelly each singled to lead off the inning and Rohm grounded into a double play to move Reyes to third. Gustavo Nunez smacked a single to plate the tying run, 1-1.
In the third, Montgomery's Cameron Seitzer hit his fourth homer of the season to break the tie. After Ryan Brett was hit by a pitch, Seitzer sent a 1-1 pitch over the right-centerfield wall.
After the Braves stole away the lead with the four-run sixth, the Biscuits came rallying back. In the bottom of the sixth with two out, Jeff Malm singled, Alejandro Segovia walked and Joey Rickard drove in a run with a single to pull to 5-4, but Ryan Brett grounded out to third with the go-ahead run aboard to end the inning and Northcraft's day.
Mississippi tacked on insurance in the seventh inning with one out. Kennelly and Rohm hit two straight singles and Nunez laid down a bunt base hit that reliever Matt Lollis threw away down the first base line, plating Kennelly for a 6-4 lead.
Segovia came right back with a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth, his third of the season to make it 6-5 Braves.
With two outs in the ninth, Cedric Hunter dealt the final knockout punch for the Braves with an opposite field two-run bloop double to make it 8-5.
Now the Braves return home for a five-game series with the Chattanooga Lookouts (Dodgers) beginning Thursday at 7:00 PM CT. Right-hander Jason Hursh (4-4, 3.68) takes the hill for the Braves.
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 (34-25) 8 R 13 H 0 E
Montgomery Biscuits (30-30) 5 R 12 H 2 E
W - Northcraft (7-2)
L - Colla (2-7)
S - Hoyt (3)
Time - 2:49
Attendance - 3,159