PEARL, MS -- Over 3,300 fans at Trustmark Park in watched highly touted 19-year-old prospect Mike Soroka take a perfect game bid into the seventh inning in a series-clinching victory as the Mississippi Braves (18-17) defeated the Mobile BayBears (14-21) 6-1.
The fourth-ranked prospect in the Atlanta organization was nothing short of brilliant in 6.2 innings of work, striking out five and not allowing a runner until the seventh. Soroka (3-3) kept BayBears hitters off balance all night as the young right-hander cruised through the first six innings.
It was the hottest Mobile hitter of the series, David Fletcher, who spoiled the bid with a one-out single to left. Forrestt Allday then drew a full-count walk that should have put runners at first and second with no outs. However, when ball four got past the catcher, Fletcher was gunned down trying to take third. An error on Sal Giardina then allowed Houchins to reach and Soroka exited the game.
Jason Hursh recorded a strikeout to end the inning. Hursh finished the game, allowing a run in the ninth before closing out the inning for his first save of the season.
Offensively, the M-Braves took a 1-0 lead in the first inning and never looked back. Travis Demeritte hit a solo shot to left, his fourth of the season, with two outs in the first to give the home team a lead they would not relinquish. Mobile starter Jake Jewell (1-2) took the loss. The righty went six innings, allowing two runs on four hits and two strikeouts.
Mississippi added the second run of the game in the sixth off Jewell when Ronald Acuna reached on a bunt single to lead things off. After stealing second, Carlos Franco drove in Acuna with an RBI-single to right. The M-Braves threatened in the seventh but did not score again until the eighth when the first five batters reached safely to start the inning.
Demeritte lead the way at the plate with a 2-for-3 night, including the home run and two runs scored. Acuna and Franco added two hits apiece, with Franco picking up his league-best 31st RBI.
The M-Braves travel to Biloxi to face the Shuckers in a five game series starting Saturday at 6:35 PM.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.