Behind great pitching and a disciplined approach at the plate, the Biloxi Shuckers (37-25) picked up their third consecutive victory on Saturday night, topping the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (36-26) 5-2 at MGM Park. With the win, the Shuckers are now in sole possession of first place in the South Division of the Southern League, leading the Blue Wahoos by one game with eight games left in the first half.
Pensacola drew first blood in the contest. Outfielder Jaylin Davis connected for a solo home run off RHP Johan Belisario (W, 6-0) in the top of the fourth inning, Davis' ninth of the year, to put the Blue Wahoos up 1-0. Belisario pitched around the Pensacola offense the rest of the night, allowing just five total hits over five innings of work.
In the home half of the fifth, the Shuckers took the lead with some patient at bats. C.J. Hinojosa started the inning with a ringing double off the left-field wall before Max McDowell drew a walk. Luis Aviles Jr. then bunted his way on bases, chasing Blue Wahoos LHP Charlie Barnes (L, 0-1) from the game. New hurler RHP Tom Hackimer entered and issued a five-pitch walk to Trent Grisham, forcing in the tying run. Jake Gatewood then worked a seven-pitch walk to bring in the go-ahead run, putting the Shuckers in front 2-1.
RHP Nattino Diplan (H,1) worked one scoreless frame and RHP Marcos Diplan (H,2) worked into the top of the eighth. Diplan ran into trouble when he walked two batters with two outs in the inning, bringing RHP Luke Barker (S,8) out of the bullpen. The righty struck out both batters he faced, stranding the tying run at second base.
The Shuckers offense gave Barker some breathing room in the bottom of the eighth. Patrick Leonard doubled to start the inning and moved to third on a single by Weston Wilson. Dillon Thomas then hit an automatic double to right, plating Leonard to make it 3-1 Biloxi. Hinojosa was intentionally walked to load the bases, bringing up McDowell, who laced a double to left, driving in two more to put the Shuckers out in front 5-1. Barker came out and finished the game in the ninth, allowing a run after a two-out walk and a double.
Looking to add to their division lead, the Shuckers take on the Blue Wahoos on Sunday afternoon at 2:35 pm. Biloxi will send RHP Trey Supak (7-2, 2.10) to the mound opposite Pensacola RHP Jorge Alcala (5-2, 4.76). It's Salute Sunday, with $8 Reserved Level tickets and $10 Dugout Box tickets available for active or retired military personnel. Fans can get to the ballpark early for pregame autographs presented by Allegiant Air and stick around after the game for postgame catch on the field. It's also Ice Princess Night. The game can be heard locally in Biloxi on Cruisin' WGCM AM 1240/100.9 FM, TuneIn Radio or the MiLB First Pitch App and can be seen on MiLB.TV. Fans can save $10 off their subscription when they use the promo code 'Shuckers' at checkout.
Full Season Shuck Nation memberships, Weekender Shuck Nation memberships and Group Outings for the 2019 Biloxi Shuckers season are on sale now and are available for purchase by calling 228-233-3465, online at biloxishuckers.com or by visiting the MGM Park front office. Biloxi will host the 2019 Southern League All-Star Festivities, with a Home Run Derby on Monday, June 17 and the All-Star Game at 6:35 pm on Tuesday, June 18 at MGM Park. Tickets for 2019 All-Star Events are on sale now.
ABOUT THE BILOXI SHUCKERS:
The Biloxi Shuckers are the Double-A Affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. The Shuckers play at MGM Park in Biloxi, Mississippi and will host the 2019 Southern League All-Star Game on June 18. For more information please visit biloxishuckers.com and follow us on Twitter @biloxishuckers and at facebook.com/biloxishuckers.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.