BILOXI, MS - Greyson Jenista belted a pinch-hit solo home run in the top of the ninth inning to give the Mississippi Braves (61-69, 28-33) a 3-2 win over the Biloxi Shuckers (77-53, 36-24) in game one of a five-game road series on Friday night at MGM Park. The victory was Mississippi's 1,000th in team history.
Trey Harris put the Braves up 1-0 in the top of the first inning on an RBI double that scored Braden Shewmake with two outs. Connor Lien pushed the advantage to 2-0 in the fourth inning by scoring Shewmake on another two-out double. Shewmake, the Atlanta Braves first-round selection with the 21st overall pick in this past June's draft went 2-for-3 with a walk and two runs, netting his second Double-A multi-hit game.
Connor Johnstone made his fourth-straight start since entering the rotation on Aug. 7 and sixth on the season Friday night. The Atlanta native was brilliant through 6.0 innings of two-run baseball, scattering six hits while striking out five and walking just one. Biloxi tied the game in the bottom of the fourth inning on a two-run double from C.J. Hinojosa.
Johnstone had to settle for a no-decision despite his first quality start. Josh Graham (W, 3-3) took over on the mound in the seventh inning and worked 2.0 scoreless frames to keep the game even.
Jenista pinch-hit for Graham with one out in the top of the ninth inning. The left-handed batter sliced a Tyler Spurlin (L, 2-2) pitch down the left-field line and kept it fair for his fifth home run of the season. The solo and ultimately game-winning jack put the Braves up 3-2.
Bradley Roney (S, 2) has been hot on the mound lately, and the former Southern Miss star shut down the Shuckers in the ninth to record his second save. Roney has given up just one run over his last 12 appearances and 15.2 innings with 24 strikeouts against five walks.
Harris joined Shewmake with two hits and finished 2-for-4 with the double and RBI.
The win keeps the M-Braves mathematically alive for a playoff spot, trailing Biloxi by 8.5 games with nine to play.
Game two of the final road series of the season is on Saturday night at 6:35 pm. RHP Jasseel De La Cruz (4-7, 3.84) will start for the Braves against RHP Dylan File (8-2, 2.62) for Biloxi. First pitch is set for 6:35 pm with coverage beginning at 6:20 pm on 103.9 WYAB, TuneIn Radio, First Pitch App. and MiLB.tv (subscription required).
The M-Braves will close out the 2019 home schedule with a five-game homestand Aug. 29-Sept. 2 at Trustmark Park against the Chattanooga Lookouts. The homestand features the final Thirsty Thursday of the season, Baseball Card Set Giveaway on Friday, Aug. 30, Post-Game Fireworks and Memphis Grizzlies Night on Saturday, Aug. 31, Mugshots FamilyFest Sunday and Photo With a Brave Day on Sunday, Sept. 1 and then a Labor Day matinee on Monday, Sept. 2 at 1:05 pm to close out the season. For tickets and more information visit mississippibraves.com
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.