BILOXI, MS - The Biloxi Shuckers (37-24, 78-53) officially eliminated the Mississippi Braves (28-34, 61-70) from playoff contention on Saturday night with a 13-4 victory over the Braves at MGM Park.
Ryan Casteel had a big night at the plate on Saturday. The Chattanooga native doubled with two outs in the second inning against Biloxi starter Dylan File (W, 9-2) and scored on a Carlos Martinez single.
Casteel hadn't homered since hitting two on Aug, 7 in Jacksonville and was sitting on 19 this season. That changed in the fourth inning when he connected on a two-run shot to left, increasing the lead to 3-0. Casteel becomes just the second M-Braves player to record 20 home runs in a single season, joining Ernesto Mejia, who hit 26 in the 2011 season. Casteel is currently seventh on the M-Braves all-time home run list.
Jasseel De La Cruz worked in and out of trouble through 4.0 scoreless innings before yielding a run in the fifth. De La Cruz was coming off back-to-back scoreless starts. Weston Wilson hit a two-out RBI single to trim the lead to 3-2, and De La Cruz saw his scoreless innings streak end at 14.2 innings. Thomas Burrows (L, 0-2) came on to relieve the right-hander and let one inherited run score to tie the game at 3-3.
In total, De La Cruz allowed three runs on five hits over 4.2 innings with three walks and three strikeouts in his 15th start of the season.
The Shuckers sent eight batters to the plate in the fiffth inning and then eight more to the plate in the sixth inning to score four runs and extend their lead out to 7-3.
Casteel collected his third RBI of the night in the top of the eighth inning to pull Mississippi within three by bringing home Riley Unroe on a ground out. Unroe led the M-Braves offense going 3-for-5.
After dealing a scoreless inning in the seventh, Jason Hursh saw Biloxi send eleven batters to the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning. The Shuckers capped the six-run frame to make it 13-4 on a grand slam home run from Ryan Aguilar.
The M-Braves gave up double-digit runs for just the third time this season and the first time since giving up 13 in a 13-4 loss at Mobile on July 27.
Game three of the five-game series is on Sunday afternoon at MGM Park in Biloxi. LHP Phil Pfeifer (1-2, 2.38) is scheduled to start for the M-Braves against LHP Cameron Roegner (5-5, 4.85) for Biloxi. First pitch is set for 2:35 pm with coverage beginning at 2:20 pm on 103.9 WYAB, TuneIn Radio, First Pitch App. and MiLB.tv (subscription required).
The M-Braves will close out the 2019 home schedule with a five-game homestand Aug. 29-Sept. 2 at Trustmark Park against the Chattanooga Lookouts. The homestand features the final Thirsty Thursday of the season, Baseball Card Set Giveaway on Friday, Aug. 30, Post-Game Fireworks and Memphis Grizzlies Night on Saturday, Aug. 31, Mugshots FamilyFest Sunday and Photo With a Brave Day on Sunday, Sept. 1 and then a Labor Day matinee on Monday, Sept. 2 at 1:05 pm to close out the season. For tickets and more information visit mississippibraves.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.