File cruises to put Shuckers win from Finals

Right-hander allows just one run over 8 1/3 innings in SL semis

In 14 Southern League games this season, Dylan File posted a 9-2 record with a 2.79 ERA. (Mike Krebs)

By Katie Woo / MiLB.com | September 5, 2019 9:38 PM

Dylan File gave the Double-A Shuckers more than just a cushion in Game 2 of the Southern League semifinals Thursday.

The 23-year-old right-hander allowed one run over 8 1/3 innings to lead Biloxi to a 4-1 victory over Pensacola at MGM Park for a 2-0 lead in the best-of-5 series. File stifled a potent Pensacola offense, retiring 10 out of his first 11 batters. He allowed two hits and one walk while striking out six in his longest start of the year.  

Video: File paces Shuckers' win

"This feels incredible," File said. "This is huge. We wanted to slam the door in their face. Especially going to their place tomorrow, going on the road with a 2-0 lead can't do anything but help you."

A six-pitch first inning jump-started his night. The 2017 21st-round pick retired top Twins prospects Alex Kirilloff and Royce Lewis on two pitches before inducing a groundout from fifth-ranked Trevor Larnach to end the frame. File picked up his first strikeout in the second inning by whiffing Travis Blankenhorn on three pitches. He surrendered a single to Jose Miranda one batter later, but that was the only hit the Dixie State product allowed until the ninth.

File delivered a 1-2-3 third and went on to retire 19 of his next 20 batters, the only flaw being when he hit Larnach with a pitch in the fourth. 

The Arizona native entered the ninth at 93 pitches. Mark Contreras lined out to center, but Kirilloff ripped a 1-0 pitch over the right-field fence. It was the second long ball of the series for MLB.com's No. 15 overall prospect.

A five-pitch walk to Lewis -- the game's seventh-ranked prospect -- followed and File exited the game. Clayton Andrews needed only four pitches to get the final two outs of the game, inducing back-to-back flyouts from Larnach and Ryan Jeffers for the save.


Gameday box score 


Wednesday's extra-inning thriller meant heavy bullpen use, which File used as extra motivation to stay in the game.

"Last night, we used pretty much every single one of our pitchers in the bullpen," he said. "Being able to go out and pick up the bullpen and not have to use any arms that were used yesterday was really big. It feels really good to have been able to help them out like that."

File had some extra support in the stands -- his father, Mike.

"This is the first time I've had my dad here and threw well," the 6-foot-1, 205-pound hurler said with a laugh.


Complete playoff coverage 


The elder File couldn't contain his pride. 

"Today was one of the best days of my life," he said. "You come here, you see the stage. ... Just to see the command and control he had, he was money. But seeing how the crowd responds to him, and what he means to the community, that's even better than the baseball."

The Shuckers took care of the offense with a pair of long balls. A night after hammering a walk off solo shot in the 10th inning, Dillon Thomas picked up where he left off. The 26-year-old launched a three-run blast in the third to open the scoring. One inning later, Jake Gatewood smacked a solo shot -- his second homer of the series -- to extend Biloxi's lead to 4-0.

2019 MiLB include

Griffin Jax allowed four earned runs on five hits over four innings. He walked two and struck out two. 

Biloxi can advance to the Southern League Championship Series with a win in Pensacola on Friday. The game will start at 6:35 p.m. ET.

In other Southern League action: 

Generals 9, Biscuits 1 

Drew Ellis collected four RBIs as Jackson evened the series at a game apiece. The 23-year-old third baseman ripped a two-run homer in the third inning and lined a two-RBI double in the eighth, matching his season high for RBIs in a game for the fourth time. Matt Peacock earned the win by scattering a run on four hits and a walk over seven innings. The right-hander struck out five. Montgomery scored its lone run in the fifth when Rays No. 20 prospect Lucius Fox lofted a sacrifice fly that scored Carl Chester. Gameday box score

Katie Woo is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiejwoo. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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