BILOXI, Miss., - Pensacola Blue Wahoos third basemen Taylor Sparks said he gets as excited when he walks as when he hits a home run.
Sparks was really excited Saturday when he hit the game-winning homer to right field in the 11th inning at MGM Park against Biloxi Shuckers reliever Taylor Scott. The Sparks homer, his second of the season, gave Pensacola a 2-1 victory Friday over the Shuckers and helped the Blue Wahoos clinch the five-game series with its third win.
Biloxi only got one hit on the night when shortstop Maurico Dubon singled on a bunt ground ball to third baseman Sparks.
Pensacola starter Deck McGuire tossed a one-hitter in his six innings of work and allowed one unearned run, while walking two and striking out seven.
Biloxi went ahead, 1-0, in the first inning when shortstop Maurico Dubon walked and then stole second and third base. Dubon scored when Pensacola catcher Devin Mesoraco was charged with an error trying to throw Dubon out at third. Dubon also stole second and third in the third inning.
But Pensacola pitchers combined after Dubon's bunt single in the third inning to the 11th inning to retire the last 26 batters that Biloxi sent to the plate.
McGuire, Brennan Bernardino, Ariel Hernandez, Domingo Tapia and Jimmy Herget shut down the Biloxi lineup. Herget struck out the side in the 11th inning to earn his fourth save in four opportunities. Pensacola's five pitchers struck out 16 Biloxi hitters.
Pensacola tied the game, 1-1, in the eighth inning when Blue Wahoos right fielder Aristides Aquino hit a sacrifice fly to left field that scored Mesoraco.
Biloxi pitcher Luis Ortiz threw a no-hitter through five innings, walking four and striking out five. The Shuckers five pitchers combined to strike out 14 Blue Wahoos hitters.
Pensacola left fielder Gabriel Guerrero was 2-5 with two singles for his fifth multi-hit game in nine games. He is batting .351 on the season. Second baseman Josh VanMeter also had two hits in four at bats, and walked. He is now hitting .321 for the Blue Wahoos.
Former Blue Wahoos player Jesse Winker, who made his MLB debut April 14th, knocked his first MLB hit Saturday with a 2-run double for the Reds. RHP Sal Romano will make his MLB Debut Sunday as he takes the hill against the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Pensacola Blue Wahoos are on the road taking on the Biloxi Shuckers and return home on April 17th to take on the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. The Pensacola Blue Wahoos are the Double-A Affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds and a member of the Southern League. Follow the Pensacola Blue Wahoos at BlueWahoos.com, facebook.com/PensacolaBlueWahoos and twitter.com/BlueWahoosBBall.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.