Exactly a month ago, Biloxi Shuckers pitcher Dylan File had a shutout streak in three consecutive starts.He looked even better Thursday night, thwarting the Blue Wahoos' bats for eight innings and putting their season into a do-or-die scenario.File, 23, an Arizona native who has been among the Southern League's best
Exactly a month ago, Biloxi Shuckers pitcher Dylan File had a shutout streak in three consecutive starts.
He looked even better Thursday night, thwarting the Blue Wahoos' bats for eight innings and putting their season into a do-or-die scenario.
File, 23, an Arizona native who has been among the Southern League's best pitchers in the final stretch, produced his career-longest outing, taking a one-hit shutout against the Blue Wahoos into the ninth inning, while leading the Shuckers to a 4-1 victory in Game 2 of the divisional playoff series at MGM Park in Biloxi, Miss.
Alex Kirilloff, whose grand-slam Wednesday in the ninth inning of Game 1 tied the score at the time, before the Shuckers pulled off a 10th-inning, 11-10 walkoff win, hit a solo homer in the ninth Thursday for the Blue Wahoos' only hit.
The Blue Wahoos returned home after the game and will have their lone home game at 6:35 p.m. Friday night in effort to extend the best-of-five series. A post-game, fireworks show follows Friday's game. Gates open at 5:30 and tickets can be purchased online or by contacting the Blue Wahoos box office.
The playoff game also celebrates the Blue Wahoos' fifth-consecutive post-season appearance at Blue Wahoos Stadium, matching the Mobile BayBears (2010-14) for the second-best playoff streak in league history.
A night after Pensacola and Biloxi engaged in a slugfest at the plate, complete with a combined six homers and 10 doubles, the teams nearly duked it out on the infield in a benches-clearing, situation that was defused.
After Blue Wahoos reliever Edwar Colina threw a sixth-inning pitch that sailed over the head of batter Jake Gatewood, he confronted Colina with Blue Wahoos catcher Ryan Jeffers trying to corral Gatewood. Two innings earlier, Gatewood hit a solo home run off Blue Wahoos starter Griffin Jax for the fourth run.
Both teams' dugouts emptied after Colina's pitch. The bullpens charged toward the mound. But after a brief delay, no punches were thrown and order was quickly restored.
Colina was ejected by home plate umpire Matthew Bates for the errant throw. Stephen Gonsalves replaced Colina and provided the Blue Wahoos with 2.1 innings of strong relief. Gonsalves did not allow a run, or a hit, and overcame three walks in his outing to keep the Blue Wahoos within striking distance.
In the fifth inning, one of Colina's pitches got away and plunked outfielder Dillon Thomas who then exchanged words with Colina,.
Thomas, who ended Wednesday's Game 1 with his dramatic two-out, none-on, solo homer in the 10th inning, was again a force in Game 2 on Thursday. He blasted a third-inning pitch from Jax far over the right field wall for a three-run homer and the decisive hit in the game.
Jax had three regular-season wins against the Shuckers. He allowed only four runs combined in those games and had a no-decision in his other start against Biloxi.
But he struggled Thursday, giving up five hits, two walks, two homers and was pulled after four innings. The game was scoreless until the third inning. With one out, the Shuckers Luis Aviles Jr. singled, then stole second. Cooper Hummel followed with a walk. Thomas then smacked an 0-1 pitch for his 3-run homer.
File, meanwhile, did not allow the Blue Wahoos to get their leadoff hitter on base in any inning. He retired 14 consecutive batters, beginning with the final two batters of the fourth inning.
The lone hit until Kirilloff's homer was newcomer Jose Miranda's two-out single in the second. After Kirilloff's ninth-inning blast, Royce Lewis followed with a walk.
But reliever Clayton Andrews got Trevor Larnach to fly out to deep center, then ended the game by getting Jeffers to fly out.
The win was the Shuckers' eighth playoff win against the Blue Wahoos in nine, post-season games. The Shuckers won division series' against Pensacola last year and in 2015.