PEARL, MS - RHP Connor Johnstone who was promoted to Double-A Mississippi from High-A Florida earlier in the day provided the Mississippi Braves (39-52) with a solid spot start after tossing 5.0 innings allowing one hit, one run, which was unearned, issuing three walks and striking out three despite the M-Braves 6-1 loss to the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (45-44) in the series opener at Trustmark Park on Thursday night.
Pensacola scored the game's first run in the top of the second inning after taking advantage of a M-Braves fielding error. Mississippi responded in the bottom of the second inning by tying the game 1-1 when Travis Demeritte scored from third base on a throwing error by Pensacola catcher, Chris Okey.
The game remained tied 1-1 until Taylor Sparks sent a three-run home run over the left field wall to give the Blue Wahoos a 4-1 lead in the top of the seventh inning. The Blue Wahoos extended their lead 6-1 in the top of the eighth inning via a two-run home run from the bat of first baseman, Gavin LaValley.
Pensacola starter, Vladimir Gutierrez (7-8, 4.33) earned the win while Mississippi reliver, Sean McLaughlin (0-2, 8.44) suffered the loss.
Mississippi and Pensacola will meet again tomorrow night (Friday, July 13) at Trustmark Park for game two of the five-game series at 7:00 p.m. (CST.) RHP Bryse Wilson (2-5, 4.81) is slated to start Friday night's contest for the M-Braves. Opposite of Wilson on the mound will be Pensacola RHP Tony Santillan (1-0, 1.50.)
Promotions for Friday night's game will include, Friday Night Fireworks (post-game fireworks after every Friday home game) presented by WLBT3 On Your Side and Ladies Night Out (the M-Braves will be hosting their first Ladies Night Out in the Yuengling Picnic Pavilion. Come for Wine, Beer, Goodie Bags, and Door Prizes throughout the night! Tickets can be purchased in advance for $15 and $20 on the day of the game.)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.