Mobile, AL - The Mississippi Braves' bats came alive late on Tuesday night, turning a scoreless pitcher's duel early into a 9-3 rout late over the Mobile BayBears at Hank Aaron Stadium.
The win coupled with a Jacksonville Suns 8-4 loss to Pensacola put the M-Braves (34-24; 73-54) back into a three-way tie for first place with the Suns and BayBears (33-23; 75-50).
Mississippi rattled off five runs in the seventh inning to break a scoreless tie. Kyle Kubitza started the fireworks with a triple to the centerfield warning track, coming in on a Cedric Hunter sacrifice fly to start the scoring.
David Rohm knocked a single and Erik Castro walked to keep the rally going, setting up a Gustavo Nunez RBI double for a 2-0 lead. The BayBears intentionally walked Braeden Schlehuber to load the bases and pulled starter AJ Schugel (5-3).
All three inherited runners came in to score off reliever Willy Paredes, with pinch-hitter Kyle Wren ripping a two-run double to make it 4-0. Mycal Jones hit a sacrifice fly to plate Schlehuber and extend it to a 5-0 lead.
Schugel finished the day with five runs on seven hits over 6 1/3 innings in the losing effort, striking out four and walking three.
He and Williams Perez (6-6) were locked in a two-way shutout through six innings, with Perez going just deep enough to pick up the win. He allowed just two hits on the night, striking out six without walking a batter.
Mississippi continued surging in the eighth when Hunter went deep to right, a no-doubter solo homer to make it 6-0.
Barrett Kleinknecht finished the job with a three-run homer in the ninth off reliever Alex Sogard to make it 9-0.
Mobile made it interesting in the ninth, scoring three times late off reliever JR Graham. Tom Belzasingled on a soft one-hopper single, and an error by Kubitza put Argenis Diaz aboard. Another single byBrandon Drury loaded the bases, and Evan Marzilli hit a bloop single to left for two runs. A batter laterNate Samson doubled to drive in another to pull it to 9-3.
Ryan Kelly came on and got the final two outs to seal the victory.
The M-Braves go for the series win and sole possession of first place in Wednesday night's fourth game of five, with first pitch slated for 7:05 PM CT. Right-hander Ryan Weber (5-6, 4.53) gets the start against Mobile southpaw Clayton Richard (0-1, 9.00).
Listen live to Kyle Tait on the call beginning at 6:30 PM CT on 103.9 WYAB and online at MississippiBraves.com.
Mississippi Braves (34-24; 73-54) 9 R 12 H 1 E
Mobile BayBears (33-23; 75-50) 3 R 7 H 0 E
W - Perez (6-6)
L - Schugel (5-3)
Time - 2:59
Attendance - 687
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.