PEARL, Miss. - The Mississippi Braves used an onslaught of early runs, scoring six in the first two innings, en route to an 8-3 victory over the Birmingham Barons on the season's final day.
The Barons started quickly in the game, jumping Braves' starter Touki Toussaint for three runs in the first inning. Courtney Hawkins , Trey Michalczewski and Alfredo Gonzalez all drove in runs with three consecutive singles in the four hit first inning.
However, the Braves answered quickly, scoring two in the first and four in the second, ending Tanner Banks' day early. Austin Riley and Joey Meneses hit back-to-back RBI singles in the first, while Connor Lien hit his 10th home run of the season, a two-run second inning shot and Riley ended the four-run second with a two-run double, spotting Toussaint with a 6-3 lead.
Toussaint proceeded to hold the Barons' bats at bay and got some insurance runs, courtesy of a fifth inning Alex Jackson RBI single and a sixth inning Dylan Moore sacrifice fly, giving him and the Braves an 8-3 lead.
Toussaint would make his way through the seventh inning, surrendering six hits and three earned runs, while walking one and striking out eight.
Meanwhile, Cameron Seitzer made his 2017 pitching debut in the bottom half of the seventh, completing his conversion from a position player to a pitcher, which began in July. Seitzer worked a scoreless inning, giving up one hit and getting a strikeout.
"It's been a lot of work," Seitzer said of the transition. "Going from hitting in the cage every day, to throwing every day and working with (Pitching Coach) Jose (Bautista), everyone's been great in the bullpen and it was a blast to get out there the last game and being able to throw. I want to take this as a little sample, but I'm going to be going to instructs to keep working on my craft, making my arm stronger and we'll see where it goes."
Mauricio Cabrera tossed a scoreless eighth and Devan Watts escaped the ninth, securing the 8-3 win. Jared James led the Braves' bats with 12 hits, while Riley picked up two hits and three RBIs.
Hawkins paced the Barons' offense, tallying two hits and an RBI, while Eloy Jimenez went 1-for-3 with a walk, to finish his Barons' 2017 at .353 and his overall season at .312, with 19 home runs and 65 RBIs. Jake Johansen also threw 2.2 scoreless innings out of the bullpen, dropping his season ERA to 3.42.
For ticket information, game schedule or for additional information about Regions Field, call (205) 988-3200, or visit www.barons.com, www.facebook.com/birminghambarons or on Twitter: @bhambarons.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.