After leading by as many as three runs, the Biloxi Shuckers (71-47, 30-18 2nd Half) used a four-run ninth to propel past the Tennessee Smokies (49-69, 16-33) for a 7-3 victory on Saturday night at Smokies Stadium. Biloxi has now won five straight games including all four games in Tennessee against the Smokies.
With the game square at 3-3 in the top of the ninth, Bruce Caldwell and Ryan Aguilar worked back-to-back walks against LHP Manuel Rondon (L, 3-4). Max McDowell sacrificed the runners into scoring position and C.J. Hinojosa came off the bench as a pinch-hitter and doubled to right, scoring both runners to give the Shuckers a 5-3 advantage. Following a flyout by Joantgel Segovia, Cooper Hummel walked and Weston Wilson reached on an infield single, loading the bases up for Dillon Thomas, who singled to left, driving in two and putting the Shuckers ahead 7-3. RHP Jon Olczak finished the game off for Biloxi, pitching a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth.
The Shuckers struck first for the third time in the series. Jake Gatewood tripled with one out in the second inning and in the ensuing at bat, Caldwell ripped a two-run blast to left, his seventh homer of the season, to put Biloxi in front 2-0. RHP Erich Uelman quieted Biloxi's bats for the next four frames, retiring 12 in a row and 14 out of 15 batters faced from the end of the second through the sixth. Gatewood snapped the streak in the seventh with a home run to center, his 12th of the year, putting the Shuckers in front 3-0 going to the bottom of the seventh.
For Biloxi, RHP Alec Bettinger allowed a lead-off single to Vimael Machin and walked Nico Hoerner to start his outing before locking into a dominant rhythm. The righty sat down 17 in a row and allowed just one hit through his first six innings of work. Tennessee finally solved the Shuckers starter in the seventh, notching a double, a single and an RBI double to chase Bettinger from the game. LHP Daniel Brown (W, 2-0; BS, 1) allowed one inherited runner to score on an RBI groundout but departed the bottom of the seventh with Biloxi still leading 3-2.
The Smokies drew even in the bottom of the eighth on a solo home run by Vimael Machin, his fourth of the season, off Brown. Despite allowing the tying run, Brown retired the next three batters in order to give Biloxi a chance for the comeback.
Seeking a series sweep of the Smokies, the Shuckers conclude their series in Tennessee on Sunday afternoon at 4:30 pm CT. Biloxi will send RHP Dylan File (8-1, 2.45) to the mound opposite Smokies RHP Erick Leal (2-3, 6.37). 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. The Biloxi Shuckers will host Game 1 and Game 2 of the South Division Championship Series on September 4 & 5 at MGM Park. Tickets for all six potential playoff games at MGM Park 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. 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.