PEARL, MS -- In game one of the final series before the Southern Leauge All-Star Break, the Mississippi Braves (32-34) played host to the Montgomery Biscuits (35-31) and fell by a score of 11-1 Wednesday at Trustmark Park.
In his Double-A debut, Tyler Pike (0-1) took the mound against a formidable foe. The Biscuits brought the best offense in the Southern League to Pearl, and the M-Braves felt the brunt of that attack from the second inning on. After a perfect first, the lefty began to struggle with location on the mound. Pike went just 3.1 innings, allowing four runs on just three hits with five walks. He also struck out four.
In the second, the Biscuits plated the first run of the game without accruing a single hit as four walks allowed Montgomery to take a 1-0 lead. The Biscuits tacked on another run in the third on a two-out double and later chased Pike from the game with one out in the fourth after a single and walk. In relief, Michael Mader was unable to keep the two runs from scoring, both of which were charged to Pike.
A lead-off triple in the sixth spelled the end for Mader, who gave up three runs in the inning on two walks and two hits. Philip Pfiefer was the only M-Brave pitcher to not allow a run, as he finished the sixth and worked a perfect seventh. Bradley Roney and Chad Sobotka pitched the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, and combined for five more walks on the night.
Offensively, Mississippi was held at bay by a magnificent start from Benton Moss, who went seven innings of one-run ball, scattering six hits and seven strikeouts with no walks. Keith Curcio was the only M-Brave with multiple hits, going 2-for-4 with two singles. Ronald Acuna, Luis Valenzuela and Levi Hyams added singles, while Jared James had a double. Sal Giardina plated the only run on a ground out to second in the seventh to score Valenzuela.
With just four games left in the first half of the season, the M-Braves need a strong finish to take second place away from Biloxi. Game two of the series is set for 7:00 PM Thursday.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.