Jacksonville stuns the Stripers; their 11 inning 7-6 win gives them the early series lead
Pregame: Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (65-58, 3rd place/3 GB in the International League East) vs Gwinnett Stripers (60-63, 6th place/14.5 GB in the International League West)
Coming off a 13-2 win to close out their 6-game road trip, the Gwinnett Stripers (the AAA affiliate of the 2021 World Series Champion Atlanta Braves) open up their 5-game homestand against the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (the AAA affiliate of the Miami Marlins). The Stripers are 5-5 in their last 10 games and are looking to get back to the .500 mark while the Jumbo Shrimp (4-6 in their last 10 games) are focused on taking the series opener as they are within striking distance of being in 1st place in their division.
Elieser Hernandez, a member of the Marlins' 40-man roster, earns the start for Jacksonville (as he enters the game with a 3-1 record along with a 3.54 ERA). Williams Astudillo (.344 batting average with 14 home runs and 36 runs batted in), Erik Gonzalez (.307 BA with 28 RBI's), Jordan Groshans (.352 BA with 8 RBI's in 20 games with Jacksonville), Brian Miller (.282 BA with 35 RBI's and 19 stolen bases), along Avisail Garcia (.250 BA in 2 games as he is on his rehab assignment) look to get the team's offense going.
Jared Shuster (0-2 with a 3.86 ERA in 5 games/all starts) takes the "hill" for Gwinnett. The team offense led by Ryan Brannon (.387 BA with 15 RBI's in 10 games with Gwinnett), Chadwick Tromp (who is on his rehab assignment), Delino DeShields, Jr. (.233 BA with 31 SB's), and Hernan Perez (.274 BA with 27 RBI's and 13 SB's) look to get the team off to a solid start.
In lieu of our usual pregame interview, enjoy our archival pregame interview with Gwinnett starter and former Wake Forest University pitcher Jarred Shuster:
Likewise, enjoy our ceremonial first pitch as we are one of the participants (as an aside, we short hopped it, but Chopper (the mascot) fielded it cleanly. And thank you to Fox 5 meteorologist Jonathan Stacey (2-time Emmy Award Winner) for being a good sport as well:
Game recap: Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (66-58) defeat the Gwinnett Stripers (60-64) 7-6 in 11 innings
The Jumbo Shrimp get on the scoreboard first. In the top of the 2nd inning, a throwing error by the Stripers' Orlando Arcia sets the stage as consecutive sacrifice flies by Jacksonville's Brian Miller and Santiago Chavez give them a 2-0 lead (both runs are unearned). The Stripers would strike back in the bottom half of the 2nd inning as Alex Dickerson's towering 2-run home run to the far right field corner ties up the game (2-2).
Bryan De La Cruz's moon shot home run to deep left field allows the Jumbo Shrimp to retake the lead (3-2) in the top of the 3rd inning. Troy Johnston would add a solo home run in the top of the 4th to give Jacksonville a 4-2 lead.
Gwinnett's Alex Dickerson continues his sound hitting with a RBI double to right field in the bottom of the 4th to make it a 4-3 game. A 2-run bottom of the 5th inning fueled by Hernan Perez' RBI double and Taylor Motter's RBI single give the Stripers a 5-4 lead. The lead would be short lived as in the top of the 6th, Troy Johnston's RBI double would tie the game at 5.
The game would go into extra innings as in the top of the 10th, a miscue (error) by pitcher William Woods would lead to an unearned run, giving Jacksonville a 6-5 lead. However, in the bottom of the 10th, Gwinnett would take advantage of a wild pitch thrown by Eli Villalobos to tie the game at 6.
In the top of the 11th, Santiago Chavez' RBI double allows the Jumbo Shrimp to retake the lead (7-6); Jeff Brigham would shut the door on any hopes of a Gwinnett comeback to give Jacksonville the win in the opening game of the series.
The Jumbo Shrimp's Troy Johnston (3 for 4 with 1 HR and 2 RBI's) and Santiago Chavez (1 for 4 with 2 RBI's) would lead the offense. Eli Villalobos improves to 2-0 overall as he goes 2 innings (allowing 1 run [unearned] on 1 hit with 2 strikeouts) as Brigham earns the save (his first of the season).
Gwinnett's Alex Dickerson (2 for 5 with 1 HR and 3 RBI's) and Hernan Perez (2 for 5 with 1 RBI) pace the offense. Tyler Ferguson would take the loss (dropping to 0-3 overall) as he allows 1 run (unearned) on 1 hit while walking one batter (for the complete box score, click HERE).
The series continues on August 31st (7:05pm EST start) and concludes this Sunday, September 4th.
Notes: All video is recorded by Andrew Snorton (with assistance from Halima Mason). The photos are done by Andrew Snorton and EmoryRose Photography (3-time Best In Gwinnett for photography).
The first video is our archival interview with Gwinnett starter Jared Shuster. The second video records the ceremonial first pitch by Andrew Snorton and 2-time Emmy Award winner Jonathan Stacey (Fox 5 Meteorologist Jonathan Stacey) and the third video is a snapshot of mid to late game action for both teams.
The first row of the photo grid (left to right) starts with the top row showing Andrew Snorton's form on throwing the ceremonial first pitch (photo credit to EmoryRose Photography), Snorton and Stacey sharing a moment after throwing their first pitches (photo credit to Halima Mason), and closing out with a twilight view of the ballpark (Snorton).
The second row (photo credit to Andrew Snorton) includes Jacksonville Ray Patrick-Didder, shortstop Erik Gonzalez, and the Gwinnett battery of Ryan Casteel and Darren O'Day.
The third row shows Jacksonville 3rd baseman Williams Astudillo (who did his share of trash talking at the Gwinnett dugout), the Stripers' Alex Dickerson in the on-deck circle, and Jumbo Shrimp reliever George Soriano (photo credit to Andrew Snorton).
The fourth row includes Gwinnett's Hernan Perez, Jacksonville's Jesus Sanchez, and Gwinnett's Delino DeShields, Jr (photo credit to Andrew Snorton).
The bottom row concludes with the Stripers' Tyler White and Ryan Goins (photo credit to Andrew Snorton), Gwinnett's Cory Dickerson being greeted after hitting a 2-run home run, and Orlando Arcia (on his rehab assignment from the Atlanta Braves) at the plate (the last 2 photos are credited to EmoryRose Photography).