Solid pitching leads Braves to doubleheader sweep


The Pine Bluff Braves semi-pro baseball team swept the Little Rock Rangers 7-0 and 12-2 in the 2nd annual James Bradley and Burl Smith Memorial at Seabrook Family Christian Center.

In game one, Deonta Howard threw a two-hit shutout improving his record to 3-0.

The game was a pitcher’s duel for three innings as the Rangers’ Heston Besancon matched Howard pitch for pitch.

The Braves finally broke through against Besancon with three runs in the fourth inning.

A hit by the Braves’ Trey Stargell scored Collin Massanelli with the game’s first run. Trey Stargell came around to score on an error by Little Rock. A Jeffery Works groundout that scored Chase Smith rounded out the inning.

The Braves put the game out of reach with a four-run sixth inning.

Trey Stargell and James Mitchell led the Braves each going 2 for 3. Trey Stargell, Massanelli and Smith each scored twice for Pine Bluff.

In the second game, Little Rock held a 2-1 advantage heading into the bottom of the second, but Pine Bluff’s offense erupted in the inning.

The Braves sent 13 men to the plate and scored eight times in the frame.

Mitchell and Sebastian Stargell Sr. both knocked in a pair of runs in the inning.

After giving up two runs in the first inning, Pine Bluff’s Mason Reynolds cruised the rest of the way striking out eight in a complete game (5 innings) effort.

The game ended in the fifth inning when a hit to right by Reynolds scored Works to put the Braves up by 10 runs.

Works and Trey Stargell both went 2 for 3 in game two, while Corey McCoy scored twice and swiped a pair of bases.