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Twin bill: a split for Gwinnett and a near no-hitter for Soroka

Game 1 Preview: Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (30-39) vs Gwinnett Stripers (30-40)

To play a game, it takes a special energy and focus. To play a doubleheader, it takes a little extra.

And speaking of extra, the Gwinnett Stripers (the top affiliate of the Atlanta Braves) are preparing to build on their series opening win (June 20th by a 6-2 margin) over the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (the top affiliate of the Miami Marlins) as the June 21st game is rescheduled (due to rain/inclement weather).

The Jumbo Shrimp stand 16 games out of 1st place in the International League East Division (AAA). For the first game of tonight's 2-game tilt, veteran Major League pitcher Johnny Cueto (who is on a rehab assignment via the Marlins), toes the rubber as the starting pitcher. He'll look to improve on his 23.14 ERA and contain Gwinnett's offense. Austin Allen (.224 BA with 10 HR and 31 RBI's), Peyton Burdick (.246 BA with 13 HR and 31 RBI's), Jerar Encarnarcion (.218 BA with 13 HR and 41 RBI's), and Jazz Chisholm (also on a rehab assignment from the Marlins) are expected to lead the team's offense against Gwinnett starter Dylan Dodd (2-4 with a 7.07 ERA).

The Stripers, who have won 3 of their last 10, look to build upon the series opening win and climb back into the International League West Division race (as they are 11 games out of first place). Vaughn Grissom (.314 BA with 25 RBI's), Joe Dunand (.330 BA with 10 HR and 24 RBI's), recent signee Jesus Aguilar (.333 BA in 1 game with the team), and Forrest Wall (.271 BA with 30 RBI's and 42 SB's) are expected to provide the offensive push for tonight's games.

Before tonight's games, Gwinnett's Forrest Wall joins us to share his insight on the season, including his individual growth, team chemistry, and words of wisdom for younger players:

Game 1 recap: The Jumbo Shrimp outlast the Stripers by an 11-8 margin

Offense is the name of the game as both offenses chase both starters to where neither pitcher is able to last 5 innings.

Jacksonville jumps out to a 4-0 lead after the first two innings off Gwinnett starter and losing pitcher Dylan Dodd (4 IP allowing 8 runs/7 earned on 10 hits with 1 strikeout and 2 walks), who drops to 2-5 overall. In the top of the first inning, Dane Myers' RBI single and Peyton Burdick's sacrifice fly give the Jumbo Shrimp an early 2-0 lead. Myers would had a 2-RBI single in the top of the 2nd to make it a 4-0 game.

Luke Williams would help Gwinnett get back in the game in the bottom of the 2nd with a 2-run HR off Jacksonville starter Johnny Cueto (4.2 IP allowing 6 runs/all earned on 8 hits with a strikeout and a walk) to cut the deficit to 4-2.

Jacksonville would erupt for 4 runs in the top of the 4th inning, highlighted by Jazz Chisholm's 2-RBI double ant Dane Myers' RBI single to give them an 8-2 lead. However, the Stripers would battle back thanks to Hoy Park's 3-run HR and a solo HR by Dominic Miroglio to make it an 8-6 game.

The scoring for both teams concludes in the 6th inning. Dane Myers' 3-run HR in the top half of the inning extends the lead to 11-6, but Yolmer Snachez would answer with a 2-run HR in the bottom of the inning to get Gwinnet within an 11-8 margin.

Anthony Maldonado would earn the win for the Jumbo Shrimp to improve to 5-3. Sean Reynolds would earn his first save. On offense, Dane Myers has a monster effort (4 for 4 with a homerun and 7 RBI's); Jazz Chisholm would go 2 for 2 with 2 RBI's and some stellar defense in center field. Gwinnett's 6 through 8 hitters (Luke Williams, Hoy Park, and Yolmer Sanchez) would carry the offense; their combined 6 for 9 effort includes 3 homeruns and 7 RBI's.

Game 2 recap: Soroka's near no-hitter results in an 8-1 win

For the first 3 innings, it's an early pitcher's duel between the Jumbo Shrimp's Chi Chi Gonzalez (3-4, 5.40 ERA) and the Stripers' Michael Soroka (2-2, 3.61 ERA).

In the bottom of the 4th, Gwinnett erupts for 8 runs.

Braden Shewmake gets things going with a RBI double, and Joshua Fuentes's 3-run HR gives the Stripers a 4-0 lead. After Forrest Wall (RBI single) and Vaughn Grissom (2-RBI double) tack on additional runs, Shewmake's RBI single closes out the 8-run inning.

Even with the offensive explosion, the game is truly about Michael Soroka's near no-hit bid.

For 6.2 innings, he is essentially unhittable; however, Austin Allen gets a hold of a fastball and deposits it over the right centerfield fence, ending his no-hit bid.

Soroka's 7 inning complete game masterpiece (1 run and 1 hit allowed) includes 9 strikeouts and 2 walks. He improves to 3-2 overall. Joshua Fuentes (1 for 3, 1 HR and 3 RBI's), Braden Shewmake (3 for 4, 2 RBI's), and Vaughn Grissom (2 for 4, 2 RBI's) lead the way for the offense to help earn the split.

The series continues through this Sunday, June 25th.

Notes: All video is recorded by Andrew Snorton.


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