PEARL, MS - The Mobile BayBears (25-39) hit two home runs to account for their five runs and beat the Mississippi Braves (30-34) in Wednesday night's series opener at Trustmark Park, 5-3. The six-game series in five days marks the final visit to Trustmark Park for the Mobile BayBears.
Drew Waters increased his Southern League-leading on-base streak to 20 games on a two-run double in the fifth inning. The 20-year-old All-Star leads all of Double-A baseball with 83 hits and 32 extra-base hits this season.
It took a few innings for each offense to crank up on Wednesday night. Mississippi's Daniel Lockhart collected the first hit of the game on a single with two outs in the bottom of the third inning.
Mobile cracked their first hit against M-Braves starter Joey Wentz (L, 2-6) in the top of the fourth inning on a Jahmai Jones single. Two batters later, former Mississippi State catcher Jack Kruger hit a two-run homer to left to put Mobile up 2-0.
The Braves cut the lead in half during the bottom of the fourth inning. Tyler Neslony hit a one-out single and then scored on a single to right by Ryan Casteel and throwing error by Mobile right fielder Jo Adell. Casteel remained hot at the plate on Wednesday and finished the night 2-for-4.
The BayBears extended their lead to 5-1 in the fifth inning on a Jones three-run home run. The homer just got over Waters' glove in left field as the Braves left fielder attempted to rob the home run. Wentz worked 5.0 innings in his 13th start on Wednesday and gave up five runs on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts.
Having started the day 0-for-2, Waters extended his on-base streak in the bottom of the fifth on a two-out, two-run double off the wall in right-center. The double scored Cristian Pache , who doubled prior, and William Contreras . Waters' league-leading 21st double and 32nd extra-base hit trimmed the Mobile lead to 5-3.
Jonathan Aro relieved Wentz and faced the minimum over 4.0 shutout innings to keep the M-Braves within striking distance. Aro struck out three and allowed just one hit that was erased on one of three caught stealings by Contreras.
Mobile reliever Luis Pena (W, 1-0) was credited with the win after tossing 2.2 scoreless innings of relief, and Adrian Almeida (S, 2) pitched the final two innings for the save.
Game two of the six-game series in five days is set for Thursday night at Trustmark Park. LHP Tucker Davidson (2-4, 1.75) has the second-lowest ERA in the Southern League, and he starts for Mississippi against RHP Andrew Wantz who will be making his Double-A debut for the Angels affiliate. First pitch is set for 6:35 pm with coverage beginning at 6:20 pm on 103.9 WYAB, TuneIn Radio, MiLB First Pitch app. and MiLB.TV (subscription required).
Thursday, June 13 vs. Mobile | 6:35 pm | Gates Open at 5:30 pm
- Thirsty Thursday - Enjoy 16 oz domestic beer and 16 oz fountain drinks for just $2 each!
- M-Braves Cornhole Tournaments - Join us on Thursday's this season for M-Braves Cornhole Tournaments presented by Central MS Cornhole & Good Times! Every Thirsty Thursday at Trustmark Park (13 of them) we'll have competitive tournaments outside the Farm Bureau Grill on the right-field concourse starting at 6:00 pm. Great cash & prizes to winners! $5 entry per player.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.