After seeing the lead slip away in the bottom of the eighth, the Biloxi Shuckers (44-33, 3-4 2nd half) rallied for three runs in the top of the ninth inning to top the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (41-36, 3-4) 7-4 on Wednesday night at Blue Wahoos Stadium. The win snaps a three-game losing skid for the Shuckers in the second half.
Holding on to a 4-2 advantage in the bottom of the eighth, RHP Cody Ponce (BS, 2) came out for his second inning of work. The righty hit Alex Kiriloff with a pitch and walked Jimmy Kerrigan, putting the tying run at first. RHP Nate Griep (W, 3-1) entered to try and secure the final five outs but allowed a double to left by Mark Contreras that scored two runs to tie the game at 4-4.
In the top of the ninth, Cooper Hummel was hit by a pitch from RHP Tom Hackimer (L, 2-2) to start the frame. Jake Gatewood then executed a hit and run, singling behind Hummel to move him to third. Hackimer was lifted from the game for RHP Hector Lujan, who induced a groundball to short from Weston Wilson. Breaking on first contact, Hummel was cut down at home for the first out of the inning. After a lineout to right by Joantgel Segovia, Max McDowell laced a single into left, scoring Gatewood from second to put the Shuckers up 5-4. Luis Aviles Jr. stepped to the plate and roped a ball to the right centerfield gap for a two-RBI double, giving Biloxi a three-run cushion. The double extended Aviles' hitting streak to a season-best 14 games. Griep would retire the side in order in the bottom of the ninth to lock down the victory.
Pensacola got out to an early lead for a second straight night, scoring their first run on an RBI single from Aaron Whitefield in the second. Alec Bettinger would allow just one more run in his outing, tossing six innings to record a quality start, his fifth quality start in his last six outings.
Biloxi pulled even in the fifth on a solo home run by Gatewood, his sixth of the season. The Shuckers went in front for the first time in the sixth when McDowell singled, moved to third on a single by Bruce Caldwell and scored on an RBI knock by Patrick Leonard. After Dillon Thomas loaded the bases with an opposite-field hit, Hummel doubled to left, driving in a pair to put the Shuckers in front 4-1.
With the series even at a game apiece, Biloxi continues their five-game tangle with the Blue Wahoos on Thursday night at 6:35 pm. RHP Dylan File (1-0, 0.82) will take the hill for the Shuckers against Pensacola LHP Charlie Barnes (0-1, 4.18). 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.
Half-Season Shuck Nation Memberships, Flex Plans 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.
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. 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.