JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp right-hander Nick Neidert pitched six innings and hit his first professional home run to spark a five-run sixth inning and earn his Southern League-best 12th win in a 5-1 victory over the Mississippi Braves in front of 8,604 at NAPA AutoCare Family Fireworks Friday at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.
Neidert (12-7) retired the first five batters of the game before allowing a hit batter, single and walk to load the bases with two outs in the top of the second inning. He struck out Braves pitcher Kyle Muller (4-1) to end the threat. He also allowed a one-out single and walk in the third inning before inducing a double play to escape without a run scoring.
Mississippi (36-29 second half, 65-70 overall) broke the scoreless tie in the top of the fourth inning, when first baseman Tyler Marlette, catcher Jonathan Morales and third baseman Daniel Lockhart hit consecutive singles to load the bases. Shortstop Ray-Patrick Didder grounded into a fielder's choice to score Marlette, before Neidert got Muller to ground into an inning-ending double play. Neidert was perfect over his final two innings, allowing one earned run on five hits and two walks with three strikeouts. Through Friday, he leads all Southern League pitchers in wins and innings pitched (152 2/3), while his 154 strikeouts rank second and lead all Miami Marlins minor leaguers. Neidert's 3.24 ERA is third in the league.
Muller, a left-hander who had won his first four Southern League starts before Friday, held Jacksonville (26-40, 54-80) to only two hits before Neidert led off the sixth inning with a game-tying home run - the first by a Jacksonville pitcher this season - to the left-field berm. Left fielder Brian Miller singled to right field, center fielder Monte Harrison had a bunt single, and second baseman Bryson Brigman hit a go-ahead, three-run home run - his first in Double-A - to left field for a 4-1 Jacksonville lead. Muller was removed after allowing four earned runs on six hits in five innings. Jacksonville right fielder John Norwood added an RBI single off left-hander Daniel Dietz to cap the inning. A 5-1 lead was plenty for the Jumbo Shrimp bullpen, as right-hander Ryan Newell (two innings) and Tommy Eveld (one inning) were perfect in relief.
UP NEXT: The Jumbo Shrimp continue their season-ending series with Mississippi in a doubleheader beginning at 5:35 p.m. Saturday. Jacksonville is scheduled to have right-handers Dustin Beggs (1-1) and Robert Dugger (6-6) face Braves right-hander Ian Anderson (1-1) and left-hander Ricardo Sanchez (2-5) in Game 1 and Game 2, respectively. Gates open at 5 p.m., when the first 2,000 fans receive the Community First Credit Union Jacksonville Braves Hank Aaron Bobblehead. Veterans, active, retired and former military and their dependents can receive free tickets on Total Air Care Military Appreciation Night by showing ID at the box office. Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center Home Run for Life will feature a patient circling the bases during a break in the second game. Following the game are Fireworks!
ABOUT THE JUMBO SHRIMP: The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp offer affordable family fun at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. Their inaugural season garnered the Southern League's Don Mincher Organization of the Year, Promotional Trophy, and Jimmy Bragan Executive of the Year, won by General Manager Harold Craw. To experience the excitement with the terrific value of ticket and group options, call the Jumbo Shrimp at (904) 358-2846 or visit www.jaxshrimp.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.