BILOXI, MS - Corey Ray became the third player in franchise history to smash three home runs in a game as the Biloxi Shuckers (51-38) downed the Jackson Generals (46-43) 8-3 in the series finale on Wednesday afternoon.
After Jamie Westbrook singled in the game's first run in the top of the first, Ray wasted no time by collecting his first long ball on the first pitch of the bottom of the opening inning against starter RHP Ryan Atkinson (L, 3-10). It is the fifth leadoff home run in the first inning for Ray this season. Jackson answered right back against starter RHP Luis Ortiz in the second when Josh Prince's leadoff double was plated on a Keston Hiura throwing error.
In the bottom of the third, Ray led off again by socking his second solo shot to right. Troy Stokes Jr. reached with the second of his three walks and later scored with a Jake Gatewood sacrifice fly to give the Shuckers the lead. With three walks and a single, Stokes Jr. extended his on-base streak to 19 games. Lucas Erceg added a solo home run in the frame as well, his eighth of the year to make it a 4-2 game.
RHP Cody Ponce (W, 5-4) was sterling over 4.1 innings of relief. The righty did not allow a run and struck out seven to earn the win.
The Shuckers blew the game open in the bottom of the sixth. Luis Aviles Jr. drove in Tyler Heineman with a single. Two batters later, Ray jumped on a fastball and catapulted a two-run home run off the right field scoreboard. His three home runs on the day puts him at 16 for the season, tying a single-season franchise record. The Brewers' #6 prospect had an opportunity to hit his fourth home run in the eighth, a feat accomplished only twice in Southern League history, but he could not find a good pitch to turn on and struck out swinging.
The Shuckers hit the road for Jacksonville to battle the Jumbo Shrimp in a five-game series beginning on Thursday night. First pitch is set for 6:05 PM CT. Both teams have not named a starter for the opening contest.
The Biloxi Shuckers are the Double-A Affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. The Shuckers play at MGM Park in Biloxi, Mississippi. For more information please visit biloxishuckers.com and follow us on Twitter @biloxishuckers and at facebook.com/biloxishuckers.com. Playoff strips and single game tickets for the Biloxi Shuckers 2018 season are on sale now and can be purchased at the MGM Park box office or over the phone through Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Season tickets, flex plans and group outings are also available and can be reserved by calling 228-233-3465 or visiting www.biloxishuckers.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.