PEARL, MS -- Kyle Kubitza blasted a grand slam in the bottom of the fifth to lead the Mississippi Braves to a 6-1 victory over the Chattanooga Lookouts Thursday evening at Trustmark Park. Chasing Mobile in the South Division race with nine games to play, the M-Braves gained a half game with the BayBears and Stars rainout in Huntsville.
The series continues Friday at 7:00 PM. Mississippi (35-25) will enter Friday's contest a half game out of first place. The M-Braves scored six runs on nine hits while Chattanooga (24-37) plated one run on nine hits. Kubitza and Gustavo Nunez each had two hits.
Jason Hursh (5-4) tossed seven innings, limiting the Lookouts to just one earned run on six hits and a walk. He struck out one batter and notched the victory. John Cornely and Jorge Reyes worked the final two frames in relief to finish the game.
The M-Braves took a 1-0 lead in the third. Hursh and Mycal Jones reached on back-to-back singles to start the inning. Nunez drew a walk to load the bases with no out before Cedric Hunter grounded into a double play, allowing Hursh to score the game's first run.
Chattanooga responded in the fourth to tie the game at 1-1. Ryan Adams doubled and O'Koyea Dickson singled to put runners at the corners. Daniel Mayora then grounded into a double play to plate Adams.
Nunez led off the bottom of the fifth with a single to center. He stole second and Hunter walked. Seth Loman then delivered a RBI-single to right field, putting the M-Braves out front 2-1. Elmer Reyes walked to set up Kubitza who launched a grand slam to extend the M-Braves lead to 6-1. It was the 15th grand slam in M-Braves history.
Nick Struck (1-4) gave up six earned runs on eight hits, a homer and five walks. He recorded two strikeouts and took the loss.
In game two of this five-game series, M-Braves right-hander Ryan Weber (1-1, 4.58) counters Lookouts righty Tyson Brummett (4-5, 2.38). First pitch is slated for 7:00 PM. Gates open at 6:00 PM.
Chattanooga Lookouts (24-37): 1 R 9 H 0 E
Mississippi Braves (35-25): 6 R 9 H 1 E
W: Jason Hursh (5-4)
L: Nick Struck (1-4)