The Sounds stop the Stripers: Gwinnett's comeback falls just short as Nashville wins 5-4
Preview: Nashville Sounds (5-3) vs Gwinnett Stripers (4-4)
The season opening homestand for the Gwinnett Stripers (the AAA affiliate of the Atlanta Braves) sees them taking on the Nashville Sounds (the AAA affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers). At 4-4, Jasseell De La Cruz (0-0, 2.25 ERA) takes the mound to set the tone as the team looks to go one game over .500; the blend of veteran leadership from the likes of Ryan Goins, Phil Gooselin, Travis Demeritte, and Delino DeShields Jr, combined with the growing presence of key prospects including Braden Shewmake and William Contreras, the team looks to build on their early-season chemistry.
The Sounds' Jason Alexander (1-0, 0.00 ERA) looks to build on their early season winning ways (5-3 overall). With players with Major League service time including David Dahl and Luis Perdomo, along with younger fixtures including (but not limited to) Brice Turang and Mario Feliciano, they look to thwart the Stripers' plans.
Prior to the game, infielder Braden Shewmake takes time to speak with us. A 2019 first round draft pick of the Atlanta Braves, his focus on his daily and team progress is his main focus (as an aside, we interviewed him for his AA debut with the Mississippi Braves in August 2019).
Game recap: the Nashville Sounds (6-3) defeat the Gwinnett Stripers (4-5) by a 5-4 score
The Sounds strike in the top of the 1st inning. A RBI single by right-fielder David Dahl followed by cleanup hitter/designated hitter Jon Singleton's line drive double to left field gives Nashville an early 2-0 lead. A wild pitch by Stripers' starting pitcher Jasseel De La Cruz allows Dahl to score (making it a 3-0 game). Corey Ray would follow with a RBI single, giving the Sounds a 4-0 lead.
In the bottom of the 1st inning, a 2-run blast over the 400 foot marker in center-field (homerun) by Travis Demeritte gets Gwinnett back in the game (4-2).
The pitching keeps both offenses at bay until the top of the 5th inning. A RBI single by Weston Wilson gives the Sounds a 5-2 lead. However, Gwinnett would get a run in the bottom of the 5th thanks to John Nogowski's RBI double, cutting the deficit to 5-3.
In the bottom of the 9th inning, the Stripers would make a late run at the Sounds.
A leadoff blast by Gwinnett's Ryan Casteel would cut the lead to 5-4. Phil Gosselin would work a walk, but the game would end on a controversial called 3rd strike called on Travis Demeritte; it appears the ball is foul-tipped, but after the umpires convene, they would confirm the ruling on the field (ending the game as a 5-4 win for Nashville).
The Sounds' Jason Alexander earns the win (2-0) as he goes 5 innings while allowing 3 runs (all earned) on 8 hits (with 3 strikeouts and 1 walk). Despite allowing a run, Peter Strzelecki gets his first save of the season. David Dahl (2 for 4 with a RBI) and Weston Wilson (2 for 4 with 2 RBI's) pace the 10-hit offensive attack by Nashville.
Pat Valaika (2 for 5 with his first stolen base of the season), Travis Demeritte (1 for 5 with a 2-run homerun [his second of the year]), Ryan Casteel (1 for 4 with a solo homerun [his first of the year]), and Justin Dean (2 for 4 with 2 stolen bases in 3 attempts) set the tone for the offense (scoring 4 runs on 9 hits) for the Stripers. Gwinnett's bullpen produces a solid effort (8 innings pitched, allowing 1 run on 6 hits with 8 strikeouts and 1 walk) to keep them in the game, but the Sounds' ability to knock out starting pitcher Jasseel De La Cruz (now 0-1) as he allows 4 earned runs on 4 hits (along with a wild pitch and hitting a batter) in one inning.
The teams resume the series tomorrow (April 15th) at 7:05pm, as it's the 4th game of the home opening 6-game series with the Sounds.
Notes: All video and the first photogrid are recorded by Andrew Snorton. The second photogrid is recorded by EmoryRose Photography.
The video breakdowns are as follows:
The first video is the pre-game interview with the Stripers' shortstop, Braden Shewmake.
The second video is a collection of game-action clips of both teams.
The photo breakdowns are as follows:
First grid: the top row features (from left to right) the Stripers and Sounds during pre-game and batting/fielding practice respectively. The second row (from left to right) also shows the Sounds and Stripers during their respective batting/fielding practice and pre-game time. The third row shows the Sounds getting game ready, along with the post ceremonial first pitch thrown by Jeff May and Trevor Davis from the MotoAmerica road racing (motorcycle) series. The bottom row shows the Stripers' bench getting ready for the game, as well as the scoreboard noting it's game time.
Second grid: the top row features Gwinnett's Travis Demeritte launching his 3rd homerun of the season (making it a 4-2 game in favor of the Sounds in the bottom of the 1st inning) and Pablo Reyes scoring during Nashville's 4-run top of the 1st inning. The second row shows Gwinnett's Phil Gossselin at the plate as well as the Sounds' David Dahl scoring a run. The third row features the Stripers' Demeritte and Pat Valaika high-fiving each other after his (Demeritte's) 2-run homer, along with Mark Mathias getting hit by a pitch during Nashville's 4-run first inning (he would remain in the game). The fourth row shows he Stripers' Connor Johnstone pitching (as he and the bullpen would allow 1 run over the last 8 innings to give the team a chance to get back in the game) and Pat Valaika scoring on Travis Demeritte's homerun. The bottom row shows the Sounds' Brice Turang and the Stripers' Braden Shewmake (our pregame interview) at the plate.
The complete box score is available by clicking HERE.
The complete playlist (on our YouTube channel) is available by clicking HERE.