Mobile, AL (MississippiBraves.com) – Greg Ross hurled yet another fine outing, and the Mississippi Braves held on to beat the Mobile BayBears 2-1 on Wednesday night at Hank Aaron Stadium.
With the win and Pensacola’s 4-1 loss to Biloxi, the M-Braves (27-19, 60-54) took sole possession of first place with 24 games remaining in the regular season. They lead Pensacola by a game and Mobile by 1.5 games in the South Division race.
Ross (7-9) allowed just a run on four hits over 7 1/3 innings, striking out five and walking one to pick up the win. It was his eighth quality start in his last nine outings.
He was matched by Mobile (25-20, 59-55) starter Braden Shipley (8-9) until the 7th inning. Shipley walked Levi Hyams to start the inning and gave up a double to Kevin Ahrens for men at second and third.
After KD Kang and Sean Godfrey struck out, Rio Ruiz smacked a two-run single to right field to give the M-Braves the lead for good.
Shipley allowed just two runs on three hits over 6 2/3 innings, striking out nine and walking one in the loss. He took a perfect game into the fifth before Kang broke it up with a single to lead off the inning.
Mobile made things interesting down the stretch. Stewart Ijames hit a pinch-hit home run off Ross, his third of the season, to cut the lead to 2-1 in the eighth inning.
In the ninth, Garrett Weber and Rudy Flores knocked a pair of singles against reliever Kyle Kinman. Tyler Jones (S, 13) came on and threw a wild pitch to put the tying and winning runs into scoring position, but pinch-hitter Ronnie Freeman lined out to Jones to end the game and preserve the win.
The Braves will try to hold first place on Thursday night against Mobile, a 7:05 PM CT first pitch from Hank Aaron Stadium pitting right-hander Zack Bird (1-0, 0.84) against right-hander Edgar Garcia (3-0, 4.56).
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