PEARL - Braeden Schlehuber launched two-run home runs in back-to-back innings en route to a perfect day at the plate as the Mississippi Braves defeated the Jacksonville Suns 9-3 at Trustmark Park Sunday afternoon. The series continues with game four of five Monday at 7:00 PM.
With the win, Mississippi (26-17) moves back into first place in the Southern League South Division, leading the Suns (24-16) by a half game. The M-Braves plated nine runs on 17 hits while Jacksonville scored three runs on nine hits. In addition to Schlehuber, Jaime Pedroza also had a three-hit day at the plate. He scored two runs.
Edward Salcedo crushed a solo home run over the Bud Light Picnic Pavilion in left field, giving the M-Braves a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second. It was Salcedo's fourth long ball of the season. Pedroza singled before Schlehuber launched a two-run home run to make it a 3-0 game.
In the bottom of the third, Tommy La Stella led off with a line-drive single to right field. He moved to second on a wild pitch and came in to score on a Christian Marrero double to center, extending the M-Braves lead to 4-0. Salcedo followed with a single to put runners at the corners. Jose Martinez then grounded into a double play, allowing Marrero to score and make it 5-0.
After the twin-killing, Pedroza singled to right. Schlehuber followed with his second homer of the day-a two-run blast to left, giving the M-Braves a 7-0 advantage. Schlehuber's multi-homer game is the first since Joe Leonard's on August 2, 2012.
The M-Braves added another run in the fifth. Martinez and Pedroza reached on back-to-back singles. Schlehuber was then hit by a pitch to load the bases. When Phil Gosselin grounded into a force out, Martinez came in to score and make it an 8-0 game.
Jacksonville made it an 8-3 game in the sixth. Jake Marisnick singled, took second on a ground out and scored on an Audy Ciriaco single to center. Taylor Krick followed with a single to center before Chris Gutierrez delivered a two-run triple.
Mississippi added another run in the seventh to extend the M-Braves lead to 9-3. Martinez doubled and Schlehuber singled to put runners at the corners. Kyle Russell followed with a pinch-hit RBI-single to center field.
Alex Wood (3-2) worked six innings for the M-Braves to pick up the win. He limited the Suns to three earned runs on six hits and two walks while fanning five. In Luis Ayala's third rehab outing with the M-Braves, he gave up a leadoff double and hit a batter but worked his way out of the inning with a strikeout and two groundouts.
Bryan Evans (0-1) gave up seven earned runs on 10 hits, three homers and a walk in three innings pitched. He struck out three batters in the loss. Hattiesburg, MS, native and Southern Miss alumnus Collin Cargill worked two innings for Jacksonville. He gave up one earned run on three hits.
The M-Braves send right-hander Gus Schlosser (5-1, 3.21) to the hill Monday night as he looks to pick up his sixth consecutive win. He'll counter Suns right-hander Robert Morey (1-0, 3.64). First pitch is slated for 7:00 PM. Gates open at 6:00 PM.
Jacksonville Suns (24-16): 3 R 9 H 0 E
Mississippi Braves (26-17): 9 R 17 H 0 E
W: Alex Wood (3-2)
L: Bryan Evans (0-1)
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