M-Braves tighten grip on first with win over Wahoos

Published 10:00 am Tuesday, August 25, 2015

PENSACOLA – The Mississippi Braves scored early and often to take down the Pensacola Blue Wahoos 9-4 on Monday night at Bayfront Stadium.

Coupled with the Mobile BayBears’ 2-1 11-inning loss to Biloxi, the Braves (32-24, 65-59) solidified their hold on first place in the South Division, growing the lead to 1 1/2 games with 13 left to play.

Mississippi came out of the gate firing against Wahoos (31-26, 55-69) starter Sal Romano (0-3) in the first. Emerson Landoni and Mycal Jones hit back-to-back doubles for a 1-0 lead, and Rio Ruiz clubbed a triple to center to plate two more.

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The Braves added another in the second when Matt Lipka singled and scored on a Landoni knock for a 4-0 lead.

In the third, three more came across making it 7-0. A one-out flare double by Barrett Kleinknecht and a single by Ruiz started things off. Matt Kennelly and Lipka hit back-to-back RBI singles, and Landoni followed up with his third hit in as many innings to plate the third run.

Starter John Gant (3-0) was firing on all cylinders, allowing just two runs on five hits while striking out seven.

Pensacola got two runs back in the third inning when Marquez Smith ripped a two-run double with two out, the only two runs Gant allowed on the night.

Mississippi tacked on two more in the sixth. Jones, KD Kang and Kevin Ahrens hit three straight singles, with Ahrens driving in both for a 9-2 lead.

Pensacola plated a run in the seventh off reliever Bryton Trepagnier on an RBI double by Phillip Ervin. They added another in the eighth when Kyle Skipworth hit a solo home run against Ryne Harper, pulling it to the 9-4 final.

Romano allowed seven runs, all earned, on seven hits in 2 1/3 innings in the loss.

Mauricio Cabrera worked around a walk and hit batter for a scoreless, hitless ninth inning to close it out for the Braves.

The M-Braves send right-hander Andrew Thurman (1-1, 4.22) to the hill against Wahoos right-hander Tim Adleman (8-8, 2.21) in the third of five games on Tuesday night. First pitch is slated for 6:35 p.m. from Bayfront Stadium.

By M-Braves Sports Media Relations