The Mississippi Braves recently won the Double-A South Championship with a 2-1 victory over the Montgomery Biscuits. The league championship is the second in M-Braves (3-2) history and the first since claiming the Southern League Championship in 2008. Like the 2008 club, the 2021 club won by one run in game five of the series.
The M-Braves recorded the best winning percentage in club history (.604) by finishing 67-44 during the regular season. The club won the league by eight games over the Biscuits.
Alan Rangel (W, 1-0), Brandon White, Jake Higginbotham, and Nolan Kingham combined to retire 20-straight batters from the third inning to the ninth inning. The twenty-four-year-old Rangel was brilliant through 6.0 innings of one-run baseball in his first postseason start and first in eleven days, walking just one and striking out eight for the victory.
The Biscuits (2-3) got on the board first in the top of the second inning. Jim Haley singled and stole second base. Then, he attempted to tag up to third base on a flyout to left field. However, the throw from Trey Harris hit Haley during his slide and glanced towards the dugout, allowing him to score and give the Biscuits a 1-0 lead.
Shea Langeliers started the bottom of the second inning with a walk and took second base on a wild pitch. CJ Alexander followed with an RBI double down the right-field line to tie the game at 1-1.
Greyson Jenista broke the tie in the bottom of the sixth inning with a solo home run to right field to give the M-Braves a 2-1 lead. The homer was Jenista's third of the Championship Series and 22nd on the season. Overall the M-Braves hit seven long balls during the five-game series.
White (H, 1) started the top of the seventh inning to relieve Rangel in the top of the seventh inning. White had a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts. The right-hander logged 5.0 scoreless innings in the series.
Higginbotham (H, 1) turned in a 1-2-3 eighth inning with two strikeouts in his third postseason appearance.
Kingham (S, 3) gave up a two-out single in the ninth to Ruben Cardenas to break up the twenty-straight retired streak but got Cal Stevenson to pop out in foul ground to Alexander at third to seal the title.
The Mississippi Braves will look to defend their league title beginning April 8, 2022 against these same Montgomery Biscuits at Trustmark Park.