02 Aug

coming down

For the first time in 16 days, the Mississippi Braves will take the field tonight at Trustmark Park in Pearl with a team that’ll look a little different. Most notably, staff ace Jared Shuster has moved up to Triple-A Gwinnett and veteran outfielder Trey Harris has been traded. What hasn’t changed is the M-Braves’ position in the Southern League South second-half standings. They are still in first place at 17-10, 5 games north of the last-place Biloxi Shuckers, who visit for a six-game series that begins tonight. Vaughn Grissom, Atlanta’s No. 4 prospect, is still around and still hitting a ton. In 15 games for the Double-A M-Braves, shortstop Grissom is batting .387 with two homers, 10 RBIs and six stolen bases. Outfielder Justyn-Henry Malloy, who came up from A-ball at the same time as Grissom, is batting .268 with two homers and 10 RBIs. And slugger Drew Lugbauer is still around, as well, leading the club with 21 homers. That trio forms a pretty stout middle of the order. The team’s player of the week for last week was outfielder Justin Dean, who hit .304 with seven RBIs. He leads the team with 16 steals. The reigning pitcher of the week is Darius Vines, a rated prospect who is 6-4 with a 4.14 ERA after going 3-0, 1.17, in July. He is scheduled to start Thursday night. P.S. On Wednesday, the Hattiesburg Black Sox, champions of the Mississippi Baseball Congress State Tournament (a.k.a. the semi-pro tourney), will play an Indiana team in the opener of the 16-team NABF World Series at Battle Creek, Mich. The Black Sox’s roster includes Marcus Ragan (MVP of the state tournament) and Hinds Community College’s Vantrel Reed (tourney batting champ) plus four other all-tournament selections: ex-Mississippi College star Casey Echols, ex-Delta State standout Layne Todder, Hinds CC and Purdue alum Pablo Lanzarote and Northwest Rankin High’s Brady Thomas.

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