Esteury Ruiz, Joey Wiemer and Robert Moore each homered to stake Nashville and Carolina to big leads, although only the Mudcats’ would hold up. Nick Kahle drove home three runs including the game winner for the Shuckers.
Caleb Boushley (Nashville) and Nick Bennett (Biloxi) both put in strong starts, while Fernando Olguin pitched three innings of scoreless relief (Carolina)
Sunday’s Game Balls go to the aforementioned Kahle, Boushley, Ruiz, Wiemer and Luis Castillo, with an honorable for Bennett.
- RHP Hobie Harris of AAA Nashville is currently on suspension in connection with his Thursday ejection
Nashville Pre-Game Media Notes
Final: Charlotte 7, Nashville 6
Box Score / Game Log
Via the Sounds’ website, game details, and we encourage readers to review each of the affiliate write-ups as part of their Link Report routine: Sounds Stunned in Ninth by Knights
For the second excruciating defeat in a row, Nashville showed how one ugly inning can determine the outcome, this time allowing the final six Knight batters to score in a 7-6 loss.
Starting RHP Caleb Boushley (6 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 BB, 1 K) showed that he’s back to full strength, throwing six innings of one-run, three-hit ball and exiting with a 6-1 lead.
OFs Esteury Ruiz (2-for-3, HR, HBP, 3 RBIs) and Joey Wiemer (2-for-4, HR, triple, RBI) launched 4th inning homers to give the Sounds a 4-1 lead, with Wiemer later tripling and scoring on a SS Pablo Reyes (1-for-3, double, HBP, RBI) double in a two-run 8th inning.
RHPs Jake Cousins and Lucas Erceg combined to pitch scoreless 7th and 8th innings before the collapse.
Leading 6-1 going into the bottom of the 9th inning, RHP Zach Brown struck out the opening batter before giving up three hits, a walk and a hit batsmen and giving way to RHP Matt Hardy with the score 6-4, one out and two men on base.
Three Quick Strikes:
- Boushley’s sole blemish was a leadoff home run to Mark Payton, who also ended the game with a 3-run walk-off blast off Hardy to send the frustrated Sounds back to Nashville.
- Where is the rest of that vaunted Nashville bullpen, you ask? Well, they’re not here: Strzelecki, Perdomo, Kelley and Topa were all recalled to the Brewers, Sadzeck was DFA’d (now in Rochester) and Harris is suspended.
- The loss capped a 4-2 series defeat to Charlotte and allowed second place Columbus to claw to within an uncomfortable 2.5 games.
Next week’s outlook: Nashville (81-53) returns home to face Marlins’ AAA affiliate Jacksonville (73-61). Scheduled starting RHP Marcus Walden (5.12 ERA) will aim for a repeat of his last outing (5 IP, 1 R) as the Sounds try to right the ship.
Biloxi Pre-Game Media Notes
Final: Biloxi 5, Mississippi 4 (10 innings)
Box Score / Game Log
Via the Shuckers’ website, game details: Fitting Finish - Shuckers Walk Off M-Braves In Final Home Game of 2022
Biloxi secured its fourth straight victory on a 10th inning suicide squeeze bunt by C Nick Kahle (2-for-4, double, sacrifice, 3 RBIs) to bring home 3B Yeison Coca.
Now, back to the beginning…:
Starting LHP Nick Bennett (5 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 2 BB, 2 HBP, 7 Ks) recovered nicely from a two-run 1st inning, completing five innings of two-hit ball and coming out with a 4-2 lead after throwing 97 pitches.
Those two game-opening runs off Bennett came courtesy of a hit-by-pitch and two-run homer, but the Shuckers responded with a three-run 2nd inning thanks to unsung heroes OF Terence Doston (RBI single) and Kahle (two-run double).
SS Ethan Murray (2-for-5, RBI) then doubled the lead with an RBI single in the 4th inning, his first RBI since a recent promotion to AA ball.
However, the Braves didn’t give up, scoring a run in the 6th inning off of LHP Clayton Andrews, then getting a leadoff 9th inning blast against RHP Harold Chirino to tie the game 4-4.
Thankfully, Sunday evening saw the good version of RHP Zach Vennaro, who induced a fly out and then struck out the final two Braves to keep Manfred’s ghost stranded.
In the bottom of the 10th inning, Doston (2-for-5, RBI) reached on an infield single with one out, moving Coca to third base to set the stage for Kahle’s game-winning bunt.
Three Quick Strikes:
- Biloxi out-hit the Braves 13 to 6 and went 5-for-13 with runners in scoring position (vs. 1-for-10 for the Braves), but still needed extra innings to grab the win.
- Consecutive singles by OF Corey Ray (2-for-4, walk) and Ethan Murray (bunt) to open the bottom of the 9th inning went for naught, as Ray was caught stealing for the first out.
- Kudos as to Thomas Dillard (2-for-4, walk, SB) and RHP Kent Hasler (1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 2 Ks) on valuable contributions.
Next week’s outlook: Biloxi (62-67) travels to face Marlins’ AA affiliate Pensacola (67-58). RHP TJ Shook (4.25 ERA in High-A/AA) is scheduled to start the opener.
Wisconsin Pre-Game Media Notes
Suspended Rainout: Wisconsin vs. Beloit
Via the Timber Rattlers’ website, rainout details: Rattlers Final Game of 2022 Rained Out
Apologies to Rattler and Brewer fans who had hoped to catch a final glimpse of OF Jackson Chourio and/or rehabbing major league OF Jonathan Davis, as the season ends with consecutive rain-outs.
The team can still feel good about their 4-0 sweep of Beloit to finish the 2022 season 69-60.
Carolina Pre-Game Notes
Final: Carolina 9, Myrtle Beach 3
Box Score / Game Log
Via the Mudcats’ website, game details: Carolina Closes 2022 With 9-3 Victory in Myrtle Beach
Carolina struck early and often in this enjoyable season finale, notching three runs on three 1st inning singles from SS Eric Brown Jr. (2-for-4, walk, 2 SB), 1B Jesus Chirinos and OF Luis Castillo, then extending the lead to 5-1 on a Castillo (2-for-3, 3 RBIs) two-run single.
Starting RHP Jeferson Figueroa (4 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 2 WP, 2 Ks) gave four respectable innings, handing over to suddenly-terrific RHP Fernando Olguin with a 6-3 lead.
Olguin (3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 BB, 4 Ks) earned the win, teaming with RHPs Jeison Pena and Trevor Tietz to keep Myrtle Beach scoreless over the final five innings.
Looking to extend his 8-game hitting streak, 2B Robert Moore unfortunately started the game 0-for-3 before making it all up in one at-bat: a three-run blast in the top of the 6th inning to break open the contest 9-3.
The win closed the series loss to 3-2, with the Mudcats holding their heads high after winning the final two games of the 2022 season to finish 69-62. What a job by Manager Victor Estevez with such a young, ever-changing squad.
Three Quick Strikes, Plus a Bonus:
- Eight Mudcats starters collected at least one hit, while the sole 0-for-3 (OF Hendry Mendez) walked twice.
- Something you don’t see every day: Moore made two outs before most people had even found their seat: game-opening K-wild pitch; caught stealing second base.
- After an up-and-down season, 21-year old Olguin completed nine scoreless innings over his final two games to give him some solid momentum entering 2023.
- OF Jace Avina (2-for-3, 2 walks, RBI, 2 SBs) and 3B Jadher Areinamo (2-for-5, double) each had two hits to end their impressive seasons on a bright note.
We hope that you enjoy the Minor League Link Report. Rest and recover on Monday, then follow Nashville and Biloxi starting Tuesday.
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