The Blue Wahoos were hoping to reverse course Sunday against Biloxi with an early lead and strong start on the mound.
Just the opposite occurred, however.
The Shuckers produced a four-run, first inning, chased out Blue Wahoos starter Jorge Alcala after three innings, then rolled to an 8-0 victory for Biloxi's third consecutive win in this pivotal division series at MGM Park in Biloxi, Miss.
In clinching the series win Sunday before a crowd of 1,518, the Shuckers opened a two-game lead in the Southern League South Division first half chase. With two games remaining in Biloxi, seven total games in the first half schedule, the Blue Wahoos seek an immediate turnaround.
The Blue Wahoos were outscored 22-3 during the weekend games. Their pitching staff has yielded 31 hits in the three games.
Despite those numbers, the Blue Wahoos can still pull back even in the standings by winning the final two series games on Monday and Tuesday. The Blue Wahoos then begin a five-game homestand against the Tennessee Smokies, the Chicago Cubs affiliate, on Wednesday at Blue Wahoos Stadium.
In order to change direction, the Blue Wahoos will need to get their bats going again.
Biloxi's Trey Supak (8-2), named earlier last week to the Southern League All-Star team, was outstanding Sunday in becoming the league's first pitcher to win eight games.
He worked seven complete innings, allowing just two hits, no walks and struck out eight Blue Wahoos batters. Reliever Cody Ponce worked the final two innings, allowing four hits with three strikeouts and no walks.
The Blue Wahoos had only four baserunners in scoring position. Two of those happened in the ninth when the Blue Wahoos loaded the bases with one out on a pair of singles and a catcher's interference call. But Ponce got Joe Cronin to hit into a game-ending double play to preserve the shutout.
No Blue Wahoos player had multiple hits. Jimmy Kerrigan had the team's only extra-base hit with his first inning double.
Biloxi, meanwhile, got all the runs it needed in the bottom of the first. The Shuckers' Luis Aviles Jr., one of the top prospects in the Milwaukee Brewers system, led off with a double. He then stole third and scored on Trent Grisham's ground out.
The next two batters, Jake Gatewood and Patrick Leonard singled. Dillon Thomas followed with a two-out, three-run homer off Alcala (5-3) over the right center fence.
In the third inning, the Shuckers made it 5-0 after Alcala hit a pair of batters, gave up a single to load the bases, then walked Thomas with one out to force in a run.
The Blue Wahoos went to their bullpen to begin the fourth inning. It matched Alcala's shortest start of the season, going back to April 26 when he worked only three innings against Jacksonville.
Andrew Viscaya worked 1.2 innings as the most effective reliever. The Shuckers got their sixth run off Williams Ramirez, then two more off Zach Weiss, who returned to the Blue Wahoos as a Twins' organization player, following his prior time in Pensacola as a closer with the Reds organization.
Biloxi's win continued their first-half surge. Since May 14, the Shuckers have compiled a 20-5 record. The Blue Wahoos have struggled since mid-May, losing four of five series', including this one against Biloxi.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.