BILOXI, Miss. - First-year Birmingham Barons manager Omar Vizquel recorded his first win at the Double-A level as the Barons (1-3) split Sunday's de-facto doubleheader against the Biloxi Shuckers (3-1) at MGM Park.
GAME 1 - The first game of the twin bill, a resumption of Saturday's fog-suspended contest, picked up in the third inning with the Barons ahead 3-0.
Behind a hot start, the Barons held on for a 4-0 victory, their first of the season.
The Barons loaded the bases in the second inning after Ti'Quan Forbes reached on an error and Mitch Roman and Alfredo Gonzalez drew a pair of walks. Joel Booker then tallied his third RBI of the series with a bases-loaded walk of his won. Luis Gonzalez (Chicago White Sox No. 10 prospect) and Micker Adolfo (CWS No. 8 prospect) followed with sacrifies flies to extend the lead.
Barons left-hander Bernardo Flores started Saturday's game and pitched a pair of scoreless frames. The southpaw allowed one hie and struck out one before turning the game over to right-hander Felix Paulino on Sunday. Paulino (W, 1-0) pitched five flawless innings with six punchouts and earned his first victory of the season.
The Barons took advantage of erratic Shuckers pitching, which included five walks and three hit-by-pitches in the first three innings.
Gonzalez came up big again in the fifth when he stroked a two-out, RBI-single through the right side to score Roman.
Right-handed reliever Matt Foster came on for the final two frames. After two singles and a wild pitch to begin the ninth, Foster fought back with consecutive strikeouts and a popout to seal the victory.
Braden Webb (L, 0-1) suffered the loss for Biloxi.
GAME 2 - Yermin Mercedes picked up the first RBI of his Barons career, but Biloxi fought back from an early deficit to take the Game 2 victory by a 3-1 final in seven innings.
Mercedes, who ranked among Class-A Advanced Winston-Salem's top three in home runs (14), RBI (64) and slugging percentage (.478) during the 2018 season, shot a line-drive single to left to put the Barons on the board in the opening frame. However, the Shuckers responded with three unanswered runs to clinch a series win.
Barons left-hander Matt Tomshaw (L, 0-1) suffered the loss in a four-inning performance. Biloxi right-hander Thomas Jankins (W, 1-0) surrendered just two hits and struck out six in a complete-game effort.
The Barons and Shuckers will conclude their five-game set at 6:35 p.m. Monday at MGM Park. Barons left-hander Sean Nolin (0-0, 0.00) will opposed Shuckers right-hander Alec Bettinger (0-0, 0.00)
Fans can tune into Sunday's matchup on WJQX-FM 100.5 at 6:20 p.m. with the Coca-Cola Pregame Show.
Following an off-day Tuesday, the Barons will get set for their home opener against the Tennessee Smokies at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday at Regions Field.
- BARONS -
The Birmingham Barons are the proud Double-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. The Barons will open the home portion of their 2019 season, which celebrates the 25th anniversary of Michael Jordan's lone year in baseball, against the Tennessee Smokies at 7:05 p.m. April 10 at Regions Field. For ticket information, game schedule, promotions calendar calendar or additional information about Regions Field, please visit barons.com or call (205) 988-3200.
Southern League Champions: 1906 • 1912 • 1914 • 1928 • 1929 • 1931 • 1958 • 1967 • 1983 • 1989 • 1993 • 2002 • 2013
33-year Double-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.