PEARL, MS -- The Tennessee Smokies jumped out to a quick lead and logged 16 hits en route to a 6-3 victory over the Mississippi Braves Sunday afternoon at Trustmark Park. With the win, the Smokies even the series at two games apiece, forcing a rubber match in Monday's 11:00 AM series finale.
Daniel Castro turned in a stellar day for the M-Braves at the plate, going 4-for-4 with a walk and a stolen base. Mississippi (2-2) scored three runs on eight hits. Tennessee (2-2) plated six runs on 16 hits.
The Smokies jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in the first. Albert Almora doubled and Bijan Rademacher singled to start the inning. Christian Villanueva then delivered a RBI-single followed by a Dan Vogelbach two-run double to make it a 3-0 game. A couple batters later with the bases loaded, Anthony Giansanti grounded out, driving home Vogelbach.
Mississippi got one back in the bottom of the frame. Mallex Smith and Castro led off with back-to-back singles. KD Kang walked to load the bases before Corban Joseph drew another walk to bring home the Braves' first run.
Elliot Soto led off the second with a base hit to right. Almora walked and Rademacher grounded out, moving both runners into scoring position. Christian Villanueva then delivered a two-run knock to center, extending the Smokies lead to 6-2.
The M-Braves loaded the bases in the ninth after a couple of walks and a single. Steve Rodriguez then drew a pinch-hit, two-out walk to bring home Lipka and cut the Smokies lead to 6-3.
Rob Zastryzny gave up two earned runs on four hits and three walks. He struck out five batters in 3.1 innings of work but was no eligible for the win. Zastryzny exited the game after being hit by a liner back up the middle.
Stephen Perakslis (1-0) came on when Zastryzny exited the game. He worked 1.2 frames, allowing just one hit and a walk to pick up the win. Andres Santaigo (S, 1) came on to record the final out and notch his first save of the season.
Jake Brigham (0-1) tossed four frames. He gave up six earned runs on nine hits and three walks while fanning one batter.
In Monday's series finale, the M-Braves send right-hander Greg Ross to the hill where he'll counter Smokies righty Frank Batista. First pitch is slated for 11:00 AM. Gates open at 9:30 AM for the first of the M-Braves three school day specials.
Tennessee Smokies (2-2): 6 R 16 H 0 E
Mississippi Braves (2-2): 3 R 8 H 1 E
W: Stephen Perakslis (1-0)
L: Jake Brigham (0-1)
S: Andres Santiago (1)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.