JACKSON, TN - The Mississippi Braves (29-32) had to be patient, but they came away with two wins over the Jackson Generals (34-29) on Monday night and clinched a road series victory in the process. The clubs finally completed Saturday night's suspended game, a 6-1 M-Braves victory, then turned around and took the nightcap, 2-1 over the Generals.
The suspended game was picked up for the second time in the bottom of the fourth inning on Monday, with two outs and the bases loaded and Mississippi on top 4-1. Claudio Custodio (W, 2-1), took over on the mound and induced a groundout from pinch-hitter Jeffery Baez to close out the frame. Custodio would retire all 13 batters faced to earn the win.
Custodio helped his own cause in the top of the fifth inning by leading off with a single and then promptly stealing second base. The former infielder in the Yankees organization would score on a single by Drew Waters to extend the lead to 5-1. Jackson reliever Justin Donatella plunked Daniel Lockhart with the bases loaded in the sixth inning to up the advantage to 6-1.
Thomas Burrows took over for Custodio in the ninth and worked a 1-2-3 inning to finish the game. Custodio and Burrows combined to retire the final 16 Jackson batters. Overall, Tucker Davidson , Jasseel De La Cruz , Custodio, and Burrows allowed just one run on two hits in the game that spanned from Saturday to Monday.
On Saturday night, Waters ripped a one-out triple to the gap in right-center to start a rally in the first inning. Waters leads the league with eight triples and 30 extra-base hits. Jackson starter Bo Takahashi walked Riley Unroe to put two on base for Ryan Casteel, who blasted a 396-foot three-run homer down the left-field line.
Cristian Pache and Waters opened the top of the third inning with back-to-back singles. Unroe's deep fly out to center moved each up 90 feet. Casteel struck again - this time on a single scoring Pache to make 4-0 M-Braves.
Davidson cruised through the first two innings, striking out three in the first and facing the minimum in the second inning. With one out in the third inning, Davidson walked Ben DeLuzio and on an errant pickoff throw at first base by William Contreras moved to third base. Facing Daulton Varsho, the rain began to fall, and with count 1-1, the umpires called for the tarp. Davidson was credited for working 2.1 innings on 51 pitches, striking out three and walking one, giving up one run.
De La Cruz took over for Davidson in the bottom of the third inning on Sunday at 2:05 pm and inherited a runner at third base with one out. Daulton Varsho had a 1-1 count on him when play resumed, and he hit a sacrifice fly to left scoring Ben Deluzio to cut the M-Braves lead to 4-1.
Bryan Valdez pitched a scoreless inning in the top of the fourth inning, but then in the bottom of the fourth inning, De La Cruz loaded the bases with two outs on three walks. While facing Valdez, Jackson's pitcher, dark clouds moved overhead, and with an 0-2 count, the tarp was brought back onto the field. The game was suspended a second time.
Waters collected his 21st multi-hit game of 2019 in the 6-1 victory, finishing 3-for-5. Casteel was 3-for-4 and recorded a season-high four RBI.
Monday's nightcap featured a pair of All-Stars on the mound and neither disappointed. Ian Anderson (W, 4-4) was making his team-leading 13th start of the season, and the 21-year-old got off to a shaky start by surrendering a run on three hits and walking a batter in the first inning. After the 26-pitch frame, the No. 3 overall prospect for the Atlanta Braves settled down to throw up zeroes the rest of the way.
Pache tied the game at 1-1, in the third inning, on his seventh home run of the season, matching Casteel for the team-lead. The 374-foot solo home run was the only long ball on Monday with the wind blowing in at 18 mph.
The Braves handed Anderson a lead in the fifth inning. Ray-Patrick Didder reached on an infield single and then stole his sixth base of the season to get into scoring position. He took advantage of a passed ball and then scored on an RBI groundout from Pache to put the M-Braves up 2-1.
Anderson worked 5.0 innings on 92 pitches for the win, giving up one run on fives hits with three walks and nine strikeouts. Anderson leads the league with 86 punch outs on the season. Jackson starter Riley Smith (L, 4-4) set a career high with 10 strikeouts over 6.0 innings of two-run baseball in the loss.
Jeremy Walker took over for Anderson in the sixth inning, and the All-Star right-hander worked a perfect inning with two strikeouts. He did give up a hit in the ninth but struck out another giving him three over 2.0 innings to collect his third save.
Waters singled in the first inning and was 1-for-3, running his season-long on-base streak to 17 games.
The series will conclude on Tuesday afternoon in Jackson, TN with another doubleheader featuring two seven-inning games. LHP Kyle Muller (4-2, 2.54) will start game one for the M-Braves against RHP Joel Payamps (0-1, 9.00). The second game has RHP Andres Santiago (0-0, 2.25) on the mound for the M-Braves against RHP Kevin McCanna (2-3, 2.80) for Jackson. First pitch of game one is set for 12:05 pm with game two to follow the completion of game one. Coverage begins at 5:00 pm on 103.9 WYAB, TuneIn Radio, MiLB First Pitch app. and MiLB.TV (subscription required).
The M-Braves return to Trustmark Park to close out the first half, June 12-16 for six games in five days against the Mobile BayBears.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.