PEARL, MS -- The story of the week in a Southern League South Division matchup at Trustmark Park has been starting pitching, as both the Mississippi Braves (7-6) and Mobile BayBears (5-8) continue to get impressive outings from their starters through the first three games of a five game series. Unfortunately for the M-Braves, the offense has not been there to back up the quality starts as they drop game three 5-1 in front of a student-filled crowd of 5,069 on the second morning matinee game in Pearl.
Starter Matt Withrow threw five scoreless innings in his third start of 2017, striking out five and walking three while only giving up two hits. Withrow, like the first two M-Braves' starters this series, did not pick up a decision after leaving with a lead after five innings. In relief, left-hander Jessie Biddle (BS 1, 0-1) struggled in one inning of work in the sixth, giving up two runs on two hits and three walks. Those two runs were all Mobile needed, as Biddle took the loss in his one inning pitched.
Wes Parsons finished the game for Mississippi, throwing two scoreless innings before unraveling in the ninth. Parsons was tapped for four straight singles to start the inning, as the BayBears scored three runs on five hits to stretch the lead to 5-1 and essentially closing the door on the M-Braves in the ninth for the second time in three games.
Offensively, the M-Braves stranded nine batters from the third inning on and could never string together multiple hits to score runs. The only run of the game came in the third on a Hutton Moyer throwing error after Stephen Gaylor battled at the plate in an at-bat that lasted over five minutes long. Carlos Franco led the way at the plate with a 3-4 night, picking up his fourth double of the season. Reed Harper and Armando Araiza each added two hits, with Araiza recording his first two hits (1B/2B) of the season in the ballgame. The M-Braves were 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
For Mobile, starter Luis Diaz (2-0) pitched a gem, getting the win and giving up just the one unearned run on four hits over five innings, with six strikeouts and two walks. Diaz's six Ks now give him a Southern League best 21 on the season (prior to all games being final Wed. April 19). In relief, Erich Karch and Justin Anderson combined for a six hit shutout over the last four innings, preserving the win for Mobile. Anderson picked up his first save of the season.
At the plate, the BayBears were led by Bo Way's 3-4 day, including a walk and two runs scored. Way was cut down at second twice in the game, as Armando Araiza showed off a cannon behind the plate in the first and fourth innings. Mobile finished with only Way and Zach Welz (2-4) with multiple hits in the game.
Game four of the series will start Thursday at 7:00 PM CT on 103.9 FM or wyab.com.
Mississippi: 1R - 10H - 1E
Mobile: 5R - 11H - 1E
WP: Diaz (2-0)
LP: Biddle (0-1)
SV: Anderson (1)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.