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Braves Minor League Recap: Hurston Waldrep strikes out 11 for Gwinnett

Sunday saw a clean sweep against the Braves farm system, but we got to witness some big games. The headliner is of course Hurston Waldrep’s 11-strikeout Triple-A debut, but Kevin Kilpatrick had a great game and an afternoon that featured two home runs from Brandon Parker, plus Cade Kuehler and Riley Frey had strong starts.

Norfolk Tides 3, Gwinnett Stripers 1

Box score

Statistics

  • Andrew Velasquez, 2B: 3-5 HR, 2B, R, RBI, .223/.301/.382
  • Hurston Waldrep, SP: 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 11 K, 4.50 ERA
  • Dylan Dodd, RP: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 4.26 ERA

Hurston Waldrep’s Triple-A debut was strong, to say the least. Waldrep allowed three runs on five hits and a walk with 11 strikeouts in six innings — but he felt like he pitched even better than that line. Two of those runs came on a two-run homer by top prospect Heston Kjerstad, and Waldrep had 22 swings and misses on a total of 89 pitches. It’s worth noting how good Norfolk’s lineup is, even on a day when Jackson Holliday wasn’t in the starting lineup. After Waldrep, Dylan Dodd came in for two innings and allowed no hits or runs, although he walked one while striking out two.

Outside of Andrew Velasquez, the Stripers offense struggled to get going on Sunday. Velasquez went three for five with a homerun and a double, accounting for almost half of the team’s hits. Phillip Evans went two for four and both Luke’s – Waddell and Williams – picked up a double play in the defeat, with the final goal a single from Ramon Laureano.

Montgomery Cookies 13, Mississippi Braves 5

Box score

  • Brandon Parker, LF: 2-3, 2 HR, BB, 2 R, 4 RBI, .179/.245/.345
  • Tyler Tolve, DH: 2-4, 2 2B, R, .175/.213/.286
  • Drake Baldwin, C: 1-4, BB, SB, .238/.307/.321

Mississippi started this game with a bullpen day and things got ugly on the pitching side. Jake McSteen started and gave up three runs in three and a third innings of work. Trey Riley followed and gave up a run while getting the final two outs in the fourth inning. With a scoreless inning and two thirds, Landon Harper was the only Mississippi pitcher not to give up a run that day. That’s when things started to fall apart, as Hayden Harris came in and gave up three runs before he could record one out to end the sixth inning. Rolddy Munoz followed, allowing three runs (two earned) in an inning, then Jorge Juan allowed two runs in an inning, and finally Jonathan Hughes gave up a run in his inning.

Brandon Parker had a great day, going 2 for 3 with a walk and crushing a pair of home runs while driving in four runs. Parker wasn’t the only Brave to hit multiple extra-base hits in this one, as Tyler Tolve went 2 for 4 with a pair of doubles and scored a run. Cal Conley went one for two with a pair of walks to reach base three times, and both Drake Baldwin and Justin Dean were one for four with a walk to reach base twice, with Dean stealing two bags and Baldwin stealing his first of stole the season. Good.

7 Greenville Drive, Rome-Emperors 6

Box score

  • Kevin Kilpatrick, CF: 4-5 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, SB, .288/.346/.414
  • Justin Janas, 1B: 1-4, HR, R, RBI, .250/.351/.379
  • Riley Frey, SP: 4 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 0.82 ERA

Riley Frey got the start and continued his strong start to the season, allowing a run on six hits and a walk with three strikeouts in four innings. This brings his ERA in four starts with Rome to 0.82, following a 1.54 ERA in five games with Augusta, bringing his combined ERA to 1.19 this season. Tyree Thompson and Samuel Strickland each threw a pair of scoreless innings in relief. With a 6-1 lead in the bottom of the ninth, Jared Johnson came in, but he allowed six runs (three earned) while recording just two outs, giving up three singles and three walks as he struggled with his command.

Kevin Kilpatrick had a big day, going four for five with a homer, stealing, scoring two runs and driving in three. He wasn’t the only Emperor to homer either, as Justin Janas also hit one in the loss. Nick Ward and Ethan Workinger joined Kilpatrick in reaching base multiple times, each recording a single and a walk. Among the other candidates, Sabin Ceballos was one for five with a single.

Fayetteville Woodpeckers 1, Augusta GreenJackets 0

Box score

  • Luis Sanchez, 2B: 2-5 HR, .223/.317/.280
  • Cade Kuehler, SP: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 3.09 ERA
  • Adel Dilone, RP: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K, 4.30 ERA

Cade Kuehler delivered five strong innings, but took the loss because Augusta’s offense could not support him. Kuehler allowed just one unearned run on four hits and two walks, striking out three to lower his ERA to 3.09 on the season. He was followed by Adel Dilone, who pitched three scoreless innings and allowed a single and two walks while striking out three.

Not only were Augusta shut out, but they struggled to get on base in the loss. The team managed just four hits and two walks on the day, with a Luis Sanchez double and singles from Drew Compton, Will Verdung and Cam Magee and four walks from Kade Kern and Dawson Dimon.