Photo Gallery: M-Braves winding down the season during final homestand

Published 9:35 pm Thursday, August 31, 2023

The Mississippi Braves and Rocket City Trash Pandas showed up to Trustmark Park for a good time, not for a long time, Thursday night.

Rocket City scored twice in the top of the 10th inning to break up a speedy pitchers’ duel, and then held off the M-Braves in the bottom half to win 2-1.

Even with the extra inning, the game lasted just 2 hours and 11 minutes.

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Max McCroskey hit an RBI double and Jose Gomez scored on a squeeze bunt for Rocket City. Mississippi’s Cal Conley scored on a sacrifice fly after starting the 10th inning at second base under tiebreaker rules, but Rocket City’s Luke Murphy struck out two of the next three batters to end it.

M-Braves starter Luis De Avila and his Rocket City counterpart Brett Kerry both pitched eight scoreless innings. De Avila had six strikeouts, and allowed one walk and four hits. His outing was the longest by an M-Braves pitcher this season, and the first time one had thrown at least eight innings since Nolan Kingham pitched 8 2/3 innings on June 12, 2021, at Biloxi.

Kerry also had six strikeouts, did not walk a batter and gave up two hits. Kerry retired 18 of the first 19 batters he faced.

Prior to Thursday’s game, Vicksburg resident Zack Erickson got a moment in the spotlight by throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. Erickson is the head brewer at Key City Brewery in Vicksburg, which was also featured in Trustmark Park’s “Thirsty Thursday” promotion. Key City handed out free samples on the concourse.

Key City Brewery is located at 1311 Washington St. in Vicksburg,

Thursday’s game was the fourth of seven that the M-Braves and Trash Pandas will play this week. The series continues through Sunday, with games starting at 6:35 p.m on Friday and 6:05 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. There are postgame fireworks shows after the weekend games.

The M-Braves are off on Monday, and then begin their final home series of the season Tuesday at 6:35 p.m. against the Tennessee Smokies. That series concludes Sept. 10.

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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