No. 1 Draft Pick Starting Tonight for Gwinnett

Photo courtesy of Kyle Hess

The Atlanta Braves 2011 MLB Draft No. 1 overall pick Sean Gilmartin is set to make his Coolray Field debut on Saturday night for the Gwinnett Braves. The southpaw is 0-1 with a 3.95 ERA in his first professional season of his career. Gilmartin will face the local boy for Louisville, right-hander Tim Gustafson in a 7:05 p.m. first pitch in Lawrenceville, Georgia.

The G-Braves lost to the Louisville Bats, 3-2, in the opener of a four-game series on Friday night at Coolray Field. Jair Jurrjens was solid for 6.0 innings of two-run baseball, but exited the game with a no decision. Neftali Soto led the way for Louisville, going 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs.

Gwinnett held leads of 1-0 and 2-1, but Louisville battled back and took a 3-2 lead against Anthony Varvaro in the top of the eighth. Didi Gregorius reached base on an error by first baseman Ernesto Mejia and scored on a single up the middle by Henry Rodriguez. Varvaro (L, 0-2) yielded just that unearned run on two hits over an inning, but it was enough to suffer the loss.

The G-Braves scored in the first inning as Felix Pie doubled to left-center, took third on a fielding error by Bats’ center-fielder Denis Phipps, and scored on Mejia’s sacrifice fly to right.

Louisville tied the score in the top of the second against Jurrjens as Soto crushed a solo blast over the G-Braves’ bullpen for his 14th home run of the season.

Gwinnett responded to retake the lead in the third inning. Luis Durango singled and Pie walked, and both moved into scoring position on a double steal. Durango’s Triple-A leading 40th stolen base put him at third, where he’d walk home on a single by Terry Tiffee.

Again, however, the Bats tied the score against Jurrjens. Louisville starting pitcher Chad Reineke, 2-for-3 at the plate on Friday, led off the sixth with a single. Rodriguez reached on a fielding error by second baseman Rusty Ryal and Soto followed with a single to score Reineke. Soto’s second RBI of the game tied the score at 2-2.

Only one of two runs scored against Jurrjens was earned. The right-hander, starting on a rehab assignment for the Atlanta Braves, scattered four hits over 6.0 innings, walked none and struck out two. Jurrjens threw 78 pitches, 52 for strikes in an efficient outing.

Saturday, August 11th G-Braves Starting Line-up from Coolray Field:

The Gwinnett Braves (53-68) take on the Louisville Bats (48-73) in game two of the four-game series on Saturday night at Coolray Field, first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM. Left-hander Sean Gilmartin (0-1, 3.95) is scheduled to start for the G-Braves against right-hander Tim Gustafson (4-3, 4.30) of the Bats. Listen to the broadcast on WDUN 550 AM and 102.9 FM in Gainesville, Georgia with Tony Schiavone calling the play-by-play.

Louisville Bats (3rd IL West) vs Gwinnett (4th IL North) 

Saturday night is Outdoor Night at Coolray Field, featuring a Tailgate Stool Giveaway for the first 2,000 fans through the gates sponsored by Charter Business. Atlanta’s RV Summer Sale also continues, visit for more details. Tickets for all Gwinnett Braves home games are on sale now at the Coolray Field Box Office. Call (678) 277-0340 or visit for more information.

Louisville Bats Batting Order:

1) Denis Phipps, CF

2) Willie Harris, 2B

3) Henry Rodriguez, SS

4) Neftali Soto, 1B

5) Chris Valaika, 3B

6) Felix Perez, RF

7) Cody Puckett, LF

8) Corky Miller, C

9) Tim Gustafson, SP

G-Braves Batting Order:

1) Luis Durango, CF

2) Felix Pie, RF

3) Ernesto Mejia, 1B

4) Stefan Gartrell, LF

5) Ruben Gotay, 3B

6) Jose Yepez, C

7) Rusty Ryal, LF

8) Josh Wilson, SS

9) Sean Gilmartin, SP

By: Tony Piraro

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