Hader and Houser impress in doubleheader split with Jackson
JACKSON, TN - The Biloxi Shuckers climbed back over .500 in the second half, but fell right back to even after splitting a doubleheader with the Jackson Generals at the Ballpark at Jackson on Thursday night. Starting pitching dominated both games for Biloxi as Adrian Houser and Josh Hader combined for 17 strikeouts and just one earned run allowed in 10 innings. The Shuckers dropped game one, 5-1 and the nightcap, 4-0.
The loss in game two also ended a four-game winning streak against Jackson, six-game winning streak in seven-inning contests and three-game win streak overall.
Game 1: Shuckers 5, Generals 1
Biloxi (26-25) jumped on the board early to kick off the doubleheader as Brett Phillips (RBI, R, 2 2B) started the game with the first of two doubles in game one. A single by Orlando Arcia moved Phillips to third and he scored on a sacrifice fly to left off the bat of Nathan Orf (1x2, RBI, R).
The Shuckers would retain the 1-0 edge until a two-out rally in the third by Jackson (16-35). After two fly outs to center started the inning for the Generals, Zach Shank singled to right and stole second. Tyler Smith walked, allowing Aderlin Rodriguez to single home Smith from second to tie the game at one apiece.
Biloxi did not take long to jump back out in front, putting up a four-spot in the top-half of the fourth. Orf and Nick Ramirez (1x3, R) started the route with back-to-back singles before Victor Roache (0x3) flew out to left for the first out of the inning. An error by third baseman Jordy Lara from Yadiel Rivera (0x2, R, BB) allowed Orf to score from second to give the Shuckers a 2-1 lead.
Tyrone Taylor (1x3, R) kept the line moving with a single to center, loading the bases for Taylor Green (1x3, RBI), who lined a single to right to bring home Ramirez. Parker Berberet (0x1, RBI, BB) lifted a sacrifice fly to right field that plated Rivera for a 4-1 lead, and Phillips added a RBI double to left to score Taylor and open up the Shuckers' advantage to four.
Adrian Houser (2-0) started game one for Biloxi back and struck out four consecutive batters for the final two outs in the first and first two in the second before allowing back-to- singles to Lara and Guillermo Pimentel, but nothing would come of that for Jackson.
The right-hander from Locust Grove, OK picked up his second consecutive victory by going five innings and allowing the one run on seven hits, a walk and six strikeouts. The free pass was the first Houser has issued as a member of the Biloxi Shuckers.
Jed Bradley worked the final two innings of the opener and did not allow a base runner, while picking up two strikeouts.
The victory in game one put the Shuckers above .500 for the first time since defeating the Tennessee Smokies, 6-4 in 11 innings, on July 10.
Game 2: Generals 4, Shuckers 0
Josh Hader (1-2) rolled through the first three innings of the nightcap, striking out five without allowing a hit. The southpaw's sixth strikeout started the fourth, but a passed ball on Adam Weisenburger (0x1, BB) allowed Marcus Littlewood to reach base safely. Aderlin Rodriguez then doubled to right-center, scoring Littlewood on the Generals' first hit of the game.
The 21-year-old struck out a season-high, and tied a career-high, with 10 in five innings. Deep counts cut the Maryland native's night short, as he needed 99 pitches to work through game two, while tying a season-high with four walks. In four starts with Biloxi, Hader has struck out 30 batters in 19.2 innings. Over his last two starts, he's 0-2, but allowed just one earned run over 11 innings, while striking out 17. The Shuckers have been shutout in both of the starts and 12 times over the season.
Jackson (17-35) opened up the game late with a three-run homerun by Jabari Henry off of Martin Viramontes (IP, 3 R, 3 H, 2 BB) to extend the Generals' lead to 4-0.
Biloxi (26-26) had another chance to plate an early run in the first after Orlando Arcia (1x2, 2B) doubled with one out. Nathan Orf followed with a single to right, but was thrown out at second. Arcia broke for home on the play and was thrown out at home for the final out of the inning.
At the end of the night, Biloxi sits 3.5 games behind Mobile and Pensacola, in fourth place in the South Division standings, with 17 games remaining.
The Shuckers will look to win their second straight series with a victory over the Generals on Friday night. Biloxi's RHP Tyler Wagner (9-5, 2.33) will try for a third consecutive start to reach double-digits in the win column for a third straight year. Jackson's RHP Edwin Diaz (3-10, 4.59) will look to avoid becoming the first pitcher in the Southern League to collect 11 losses. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m., with coverage beginning at 6:50 p.m. on 1240-AM WGCM, 1580-AM WPMO and the Biloxi Shuckers Radio Network. Fans can also listen to the game using the TuneIn Radio app or by going to www.biloxishuckers.com.
The Shuckers have 10 regular season games remaining on the schedule, featuring five-game series against the Mobile BayBears (ARI), Aug. 23-27 and Tennessee Smokies (CHC), Sept. 3-7. There will be post-game fireworks following the final Saturday and Sunday games of the regular season, Sept. 5-6. The 2015 regular season ends on Labor Day, Monday, September 7.
Playoff Tickets: Biloxi Shuckers Southern League South Division Series playoff tickets are on-sale now to the general public. Fans can purchase playoff tickets online through biloxishuckers.com, ticketmaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000 or visiting the MGM Park box office. The Southern League South Division first half champions will open the best-of-5 series against the South Division second half winner or division wildcard at 7:10 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 10 and will host game two the following night on Sept. 11, featuring a First Command Financial Services Salute to First Responders and post-game fireworks.
In addition to purchasing tickets at the MGM Park Box Office or CLICKING HERE, fans may also use the options listed below from Ticketmaster. In order to purchase tickets over the phone, please call Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000. The MGM Park Box Office does not process any phone sales. All phone sales must be made through Ticketmaster with the number provided. In order to purchase tickets online, please visit www.ticketmaster.com or www.BiloxiShuckers.com. Tickets may also be purchased at all Ticketmaster outlets. Please visit www.ticketmaster.com for additional locations in your area. ** There are no refunds or exchanges for individual game tickets**