Photo Gallery: Mississippi Braves beat Biloxi in home opener

Published 9:30 am Wednesday, April 10, 2024

PEARL — The Mississippi Braves began their final season at Trustmark Park with a win — albeit one that was a little shorter than they anticipated.

J.J. Niekro had five strikeouts in six shutout innings, and retired nine of the last 10 batters he faced as the M-Braves beat the Biloxi Shuckers 2-0 in their rain-shortened 2024 home opener on Tuesday.

Niekro and Biloxi starter T.J. Shook were locked in a pitcher’s duel until the M-Braves broke through in the bottom of the fifth inning. Justin Dean doubled and stole third, then Cal Conley doubled him home to make it 1-0.

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Geraldo Quintero walked against Biloxi reliever Kaleb Bowman, stole second base, and scored on Dean’s single in the seventh inning for the M-Braves’ other run.

Dean finished 2-for-3 with on RBI and one run scored. Conley also had two hits, and Nacho Alvarez walked three times.

The game was halted in the top of the eighth inning, and then called after a 35-minute delay, when severe thunderstorms — including one that triggered a tornado warning at the ballpark — rolled across Central Mississippi.

The same storm system brought more rain and severe storms to the area Wednesday morning, forcing the postponement of game two of the series. The teams will play a doubleheader on Thursday, starting at 5:05 p.m. Both will be seven-inning games.

Wednesday’s game was one of several school-day matinees on the M-Braves’ schedule. Any schools that purchased tickets should reach out to their ticket representative at Trustmark Park by calling 601-932-8788.

The six-game series will continue through the weekend, with games at 6:35 p.m. Friday, 6:05 p.m. Saturday, and 2:05 p.m. Sunday. The Friday and Saturday games will feature postgame fireworks shows.

This is the final season that the Mississippi Braves will play at Trustmark Park. The team is moving to Columbus, Georgia, at the end of the season.

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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