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Trash Pandas drop matinee against Mississippi, 9-3

Cooper Criswell strikes out five in rehab start

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 PEARL, Mississippi – The Trash Pandas fell behind early for the second consecutive game as the Mississippi Braves defeated Rocket City, 9-3, on Wednesday afternoon at Trustmark Park.

2021 Trash Pandas Pitcher of the Year Cooper Criswell (L, 0-1) went 5 innings in his rehab start for the Los Angeles Angels, striking out 5 M-Braves hitters but allowing 4 earned runs.

Mississippi opened up the scoring with two runs in the first, courtesy of a Vaughn Grissom (Atlanta Braves No. 4 prospect) solo shot and a Yariel Gonzalez sacrifice fly. The Trash Pandas threatened in the second inning with two runners on, but failed to bring in any runs. The Braves plated another pair in the bottom of the second on a two-run single from Drew Lugbauer.

Criswell would settle in by the third frame and closed his day by retiring eight straight batters.

Left-hander Hayden Deal got the start for Mississippi and finished with five strikeouts over four innings, while giving up just two hits in his longest outing of the season.

Rocket City finally got on the board in the sixth inning, as Jeremiah Jackson looped a two-strike single to bring in Preston Palmeiro. However, the Braves struck back immediately with a trio of runs over the next two innings to extend their lead.

Ryan Aguilar hit his ninth home run of the year in the eighth to put him one off the team lead in 2022. Cristopher Molina was the only other pitcher used for Rocket City on Wednesday, surrendering five runs on seven hits while striking out three over three innings.

The first-half North Division Champion Trash Pandas (50-33 overall, 9-5 second half) continue their series with the Mississippi Braves (39-44 overall, 10-4 second half) on Thursday night. First pitch at Trustmark Park is scheduled for 6:35 p.m., and Josh Caray will be on the call for 103.9 FM The UMP and 730 AM SportsRadio.

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