ALLENTOWN, PA- An RBI double by Ronald Acuña Jr. in the top of the 10th inning propelled the Gwinnett Braves (51-52) to a 3-2 win over the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (64-41) on Thursday night to earn a split of the four-game series at Coca-Cola Park. Acuna's hit, a long double off the
ALLENTOWN, PA- An RBI double by Ronald Acuña Jr. in the top of the 10th inning propelled the Gwinnett Braves (51-52) to a 3-2 win over the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (64-41) on Thursday night to earn a split of the four-game series at Coca-Cola Park.
Acuna's hit, a long double off the wall in right center, plated Ozzie Albies from second with the eventual winning run. Albies had led off the top of the 10th with a double to left off Lehigh Valley reliever Pat Venditte.
Gwinnett got on the board first in the low-scoring affair as Albies led off the top of the third with a double to left off IronPigs starter Brandon Leibrandt, a graduate of Marist High School and son of former Atlanta Braves pitcher Charlie Leibrandt. Albies moved to third on a ground out to short by Acuna and scored for a 1-0 lead when Jace Peterson grounded out to first.
The IronPigs took the lead with two runs in the bottom of the fourth off Gwinnett starting pitcher Lucas Sims . With one out, Rhys Hoskins reached first on an infield single, Dylan Cozens walked and Jorge Alfaro was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Andrew Pullin smacked a double down the right field line, scoring both Hoskins and Cozens for a 2-1 lead. Sims, however, would strike out the next two batters to keep the deficit at one run.
The G-Braves tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the sixth as Leibrandt walked Peterson and Lane Adams followed with a double to left, bringing Peterson all the way around from first.
Neither team had much of a scoring threat the rest of the way until the heroics of Albies and Acuna in the top of the 10th.
Sims pitched 5.0 innings with five hits, two earned runs, three walks and eight strikeouts. Caleb Dirks tossed 1.1 innings with two hits and one strikeout. A.J. Minter went 1.2 scoreless innings with one hit, one walk and one strikeout. David Peterson (W, 2-3) worked the final 2.0 innings with one hit, one walk and three strikeouts to earn his second win of the season.
For Lehigh Valley, Leibrandt pitched 5.0 innings with five hits, two earned runs, four walks and six strikeouts. Ricardo Pinto tossed 1.0 inning with two strikeouts. César Ramos went 2.0 innings with one walk and three strikeouts. Pedro Beato worked 1.0 inning with one strikeout. Venditte (L, 8-2) pitched 1.0 inning with two hits, one run, one walk and one strikeout.
Albies led the G-Braves with a 3-for-5 night with two runs and two doubles. Acuna's game winning double was his only hit in five at-bats. Rio Ruiz and catcher Kade Scivicque , playing in his first career Triple-A game, were both 1-for-4.
For the IronPigs, Pullin was 3-for-5 with two doubles and two RBIs.
The G-Braves road trip continues Friday night with game one of a three-game series against the Syracuse Chiefs at NBT Bank Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Neither club has officially named a starting pitcher. Air time is 6:35 p.m. with Tony Schiavone on 97.7 FM "The Other Side of the River."
The G-Braves return home for game one of a three-game series against the Norfolk Tides on July 31. For tickets, call 678-277-0340 or visit GwinnettBraves.com/tickets.