In a back and forth battle, the Biloxi Shuckers (39-25) came back on three different occasions to top the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (36-28) 9-7 on Monday night at MGM Park. Trent Grisham homered twice in the contest as the Shuckers picked up their fifth straight win and moved three games in front of Pensacola for the South Division lead with six games left in the first half.
Jaylin Davis gave the Blue Wahoos the lead two pitches into the game, homering to right field to put Pensacola up 1-0. The Shuckers answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the first with an RBI single by Dillon Thomas. Brian Navarreto then doubled in a run in the second to regain the lead for Pensacola and the Blue Wahoos added another on a sacrifice fly by Navarreto in the fourth, extending their advantage to 3-1.
Grisham started the Shuckers' comeback in the bottom of the fifth when he launched a home run to straightaway center, his 12th of the season, to bring Biloxi within a run. Jake Gatewood reached on an error and Patrick Leonard followed with a single before Weston Wilson knocked in Gatewood to tie the game. RHP Tom Hackimer then issued a walk to C.J. Hinojosa to load the bases before walking Alexander Alvarez, forcing in the go-ahead run.
Pensacola rallied to retake the lead in the top of the sixth. RHP Drew Rasmussen (W, 1-1) hit the leadoff batter and issued a walk but recovered by getting a pop out behind home plate and a strikeout. Michael Davis then singled to score the tying run and Randy Cesar raced in to give Pensacola the lead on a throwing error.
Yet again, Grisham used the longball to bring the Shuckers back level, cranking a solo home run to right to start the bottom of the sixth and even the game at 5-5. Leonard singled two batters later and came in to score on a triple by Thomas, putting Biloxi in front 6-5. A sacrifice fly by Wilson drove in Thomas from third to give the Shuckers a 7-5 edge.
The Blue Wahoos needed just two batters to counterpunch in the top of the seventh as Davis doubled and Travis Blankenhorn homer to right, his 11th of the season, bringing the game level at 7-7. Facing LHP Sam Clay (L, 0-2), Hinojosa singled to start the bottom of the seventh before Alvarez reached on a bunt. Luis Aviles Jr. sacrificed the runners over and Grisham was intentionally walked, bringing up Gatewood. The third baseman singled up the middle, driving in two and giving the Shuckers the lead for good.
RHP Aaron Kurcz (H,5) allowed just one baserunner in the eighth and RHP Nate Griep (S,14) secured his league-leading 14th save in the ninth, giving up just a two-out single.
Looking for a series sweep, the Shuckers finish their series against the Blue Wahoos on Tuesday morning at 10:35 am. Biloxi will send RHP Bowden Francis (2-4, 5.93) to the mound against RHP Andro Cutura (1-2, 4.45). 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.