A thrilling win for the Richmond Braves Thursday night as Scott Thorman hit a three-run walk-off home run to beat Rochester 11-10 at the Diamond.
A great offensive battle between the two teams started when Carlos Mendez hit a two-run home run to give Richmond a 2-0 lead. Then the Red Wings scored four in the fourth inning to take a two-run lead. They would add another run in the fifth before the Braves would bounce back for two in the sixth, highlighted by Wes Timmons' RBI single. Then Richmond would plate four runs in the seventh inning. Timmons and Jonathan Schuerholz had RBI singles, while a throwing error by Jason Bartlett allowed two other runs to score.
But Rochester scored five in the ninth inning off Peter Moylan. Fellow Australian Glenn Williams, a former Braves' farmhand, hit a solo home run, and Josh Rabe had a bases-clearing double scoring three more.
Then down 10-8 in the bottom of the ninth, Schuerholz walked and Cesar Crespo singled. And then with two outs, Thorman hit a ball to deep center field for arguably Richmond's best win of the year.
On the mound, Richmond starter Brian O'Connor allowed four runs on seven hits in four innings. Wayne Franklin made his Braves' debut and did well, allowing only a solo home run in three innings of work. Brad Baker had a scoreless inning. Moylan was charged with five runs in two-thirds of an inning. Scott Mullen was credited with the win, after getting the last out in the top of the ninth.
Richmond (7-15) will send Travis Smith to the mound Friday night against Henry Bonilla for the Red Wings.
A pitcher's dual at Hank Aaron Stadium in Mobile Thursday night as the Mississippi Braves edged the Mobile BayBears 1-0.
Braves' pitchers Sean White, Glenn Tucker, Manny Acosta, and Will Startup combined for the shutout. White pitched his best game of the year, giving up only five hits in five innings. Tucker was next and pitched an inning and a third allowing only one walk and one hit. Manny Acosta lowered his ERA to 0.93 with 1.2 scoreless innings of work. And finally, Mr. Perfection, Will Startup, continued his unbelievable month of April with a scoreless ninth for his third save of the season.
The only run of the game came on a home run by Mike Rosamond, his fourth of the season. It came off Cesar Carrillo, who pitched well (6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 3 K) despite being tagged with his first loss of the season.
Mississippi is now 9-13 on the season. They play game three of their series in Mobile Friday night. Francisely Bueno will pitched for the Braves against right-hander Jared Wells.
Myrtle Beach won the first game of a double-header Thursday night 2-1 over Salem behind another solid pitching performance from right-hander James Parr.
The New Mexico resident had not allowed a run coming into the game, and he only allowed one Thursday in six innings. Parr gave up only three hits, no walks, and five strikeouts. His ERA is now 0.60 on the season.
This was the completion of a game that was suspended Wednesday night due to rain. Charlie Morton had started on gone two scoreless innings before the delay. After Parr, Danny Smith came in to record his fifth save of the season. Smith allowed only one hit and struck out one. His ERA is 1.12 on the season.
Myrtle Beach had scored one run Wednesday in the first inning. After Salem had tied the game in the sixth inning, Mike Rozema hit a home run to give the Pelicans the lead. It was Rozema's second homer of the year.
In the nightcap, Diory Hernandez provided the big shot as the Pelicans beat Salem 6-4. Hernandez hit a three-run home run in the third inning to give Myrtle Beach a 6-2 early lead. The bomb was Hernandez's third homer of the season.
Jake Stevens, who was in desperate need of a good performance, pitched well enough to win his first game of the season, even though his line is not that impressive. Stevens allowed four runs on eight hits, one walk, and no strikeouts in five innings of work. He was helped by Zach Schreiber, who pitched the last two innings to get his second save of the season. Schreiber's ERA is now 1.42.
Brandon Jones was 2-for-3 on the season to improve his average to .341. Clint Sammons doubled in the first two runs of the game for his 9th and 10th RBIs on the season.
The series sweep over Salem makes Myrtle Beach 12-9 on the season. They welcome Lynchburg to Coastal Federal Field Friday night. Jose Ascanio pitches for the Pelicans against Hillcats' lefty Kyle Bloom.
The wins just keep on coming folks. Rome beat Columbus 9-3 Thursday night and the game included the first home run of the season by Elvis Andrus.
Andrus' shot came in the fifth inning, when the Braves already had the game under control. Eric Campbell hit his second homer of the season to get things started in the first inning, but then Rome scored five times in the fourth inning to take a 6-2 lead. Jordan Schafer had the big hit in the fourth, a two-run single.
Beau Jones pitched well enough to win, allowing two runs on six hits in five innings. Jones walked three and struck out four. His ERA is now 2.55 on the season. David Watkins then came on in relief and allowed one run in three innings. And Michael Nix gave up his first run of the season in the ninth inning, but after the game he was rewarded with his awesome April with a promotion to Myrtle Beach. Lefty Adam Stanley will join the Rome roster from Extended Spring Training Friday.
The Braves are now 16-3. They have won five in a row and now travel to Augusta to start a four-game series against the Green Jackets Friday night. Tyler Bullock and Jeff Lyman will pitch for the first-place Braves.
Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look inside the Braves‘ traditional scouting and player development philosophies. Email Bill at email@example.com.