JACKSONVILLE, FL - On a night when baseball's best gathered in Miami for the Home Run Derby, the Biloxi Shuckers played some long ball of their own to beat the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 8-4 on Monday night. Michael Choice had the second three-homer game in Shuckers history, and pitcher Aaron Wilkerson had a three-run shot of his own to bring the Shuckers back into a tie for first place.
Six total home runs were hit at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, starting with Austin Dean in the first to give the Jumbo Shrimp a 1-0 lead. Wilkerson (W, 7-4) would settle down after that, allowing only three more hits and striking out seven in 5.0 solid innings.
Choice evened up the score in the top of the second with an opposite-field homer to right off Mike Kickham (L, 5-6). He pulled another down the left-field line in the fourth with Jacob Nottingham on base to give the Shuckers a 3-1 lead, and Javier Betancourt notched an RBI single to add one more run.
Wilkerson dealt the biggest blow in the six-run fourth, launching a three-run home run to left field to extend Biloxi's lead to 7-1. The home run was the first of Wilkerson's career, and the third this season by a Shuckers pitcher after converted first baseman Nick Ramirez hit two in the first half.
In the fifth, Choice sent one out to right again for a solo home run, marking the second three-homer game in the three-year history of the Shuckers franchise after Brett Phillips completed the feat on May 7, 2016 at Pensacola. Choice would finish 4-for-4 with three home runs, a double and four RBI.
Travis Hissong allowed three runs, including a John Norwood two-run home run, over 1.2 innings of relief work after Wilkerson's departure. Jorge López stranded two runners on base in the seventh and eighth to quell Jacksonville's late-inning threats.
Though it wasn't a save situation, Matt Ramsey came on for the ninth to seal the 8-4 win for the Shuckers.
The Shuckers can take sole possession of first place on Tuesday as they send Taylor Williams to the mound opposite Chris Mazza. First pitch is at 6:05 pm CT with live coverage beginning at 5:45 pm on Cruisin' WGCM AM-1240/FM-100.9 and the Shuckers Radio Network. The game will also be available at biloxishuckers.com, MiLB.TV and TuneIn Radio.
The Shuckers return to MGM Park on Thursday for a five-game homestand against the Birmingham Barons. Fans are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance at any Ticketmaster outlet or biloxishuckers.com.
ABOUT THE BILOXI SHUCKERS: The Biloxi Shuckers are the Double-A Southern League Affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. The Shuckers play at MGM Park in Biloxi, Mississippi. For more information, please visit biloxishuckers.com and follow us on Twitter @biloxishuckers and at facebook.com/biloxishuckers.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.