13 May

together again

There ought to be some energy at Biloxi’s MGM Park the next few days. The Mississippi Braves and Biloxi Shuckers renew their burgeoning rivalry tonight in the opener of a rather meaningful five-game series. The Shuckers, who have won five in a row and 12 of 15, are 19-16 and tied for first in the Southern League South at the halfway point of the first half. The M-Braves are a game back at 18-17, having won the rubber match of their home series with Mobile on Friday night. Ronald Acuna, one of Atlanta’s top prospects, put on a show in that series. The 19-year-old outfielder went 8-for-16 with two homers, five RBIs and six runs in his first four Double-A games. But he is hardly the only hot hitter in the Mississippi lineup. Travis Demeritte, another young prospect, was 9-for-20 in the series with three homers. He is at .274 with four bombs, 17 RBIs and 24 runs for the year. Carlos Franco picked up three RBIs on Friday to run his league-leading total to 31. He has seven homers and a .273 average. And Luis Valenzuela, batting .289, has been a productive leadoff batter. The M-Braves’ rotation, featuring 19-year-olds Kolby Allard (3-1, 1.38 ERA) and Mike Soroka (3-3, 2.84), might be as good as any in the league. The Shuckers, a Milwaukee affiliate, have been sparked by Mauricio Dubon, batting .294 with an SL-best 18 stolen bases. Johnny Davis has 10 bags despite hitting just .189. Biloxi’s main power source is Michael Reed, who has six homers. The team has a weapon in the bullpen in Matt Ramsey, who has 10 saves and a 1.76 ERA. Here’s an oddity: The Shuckers are just 5-10 at home, while the M-Braves are 9-6 on the road. Just makes this series all the more interesting.

Mike Christensen

Mike Christensen

A long-time sports fan and 30-year newspaper veteran muses on all things baseball in Mississippi. Contact: mwchristens@gmail.com
Mike Christensen

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