The Biloxi Shuckers had to wait a day to extend their winning streak to eight following Saturday’s rainout but, thanks to a 3-RBI afternoon by Tyler Heineman, Biloxi was able to continue the longest win streak in franchise history. However, the streak came to an abrupt end in the nightcap as four Mississippi Braves pitchers combined to blank the Shuckers, 3-0.
In the first half of the double-header, the Biloxi Shuckers took command of this contest with five runs in the bottom half of the first. Back-to-back doubles by Corey Ray and Troy Stokes, Jr. put the Shuckers on top. Lucas Erceg followed with a base hit to put runners at the corners before Nick Franklin singled into right, driving Stokes home to make it 2-0. A sacrifice fly by Jake Gatewood extended the lead to three for the first out of the inning. Trent Grisham singled to put runners at first and second before Tyler Heineman plated his first runner of the game with a double into center field. A sacrifice fly by Jake Hager brought home Grisham with the final run of the inning, making it 5-0.
The Braves got one of those runs back in the top of the second. Tyler Nelsony led off the inning with a double. He moved to third on a ground out before scoring on a wild pitch.
In the top of the third, they cut the Biloxi led to three. Thomas Jankins retired the first two batters of the inning, but Michael Reed kept it alive with a double before scoring on a lined single to center by Austin Riley.
In the bottom half of the inning, it was time for the Biloxi Shuckers to do a little responding of their own. Grisham led off the frame with a single before Heineman blasted his first home run of the season over the wall in left-center field wall to make it 7-2.
Despite trailing by five again, the Braves did not quit. In the top of the fourth they would plate a run for the third straight inning. Once again, Jankins retired the first two batters of the inning, but Connor Lien hit a ball into center that he legged out for a double. Cleuluis Rondon followed with a ground ball up the middle for a single that scored Lien to make it 7-3.
In the seventh, Mississippi added one last run. Travis Demeritte walked and Alay Lago followed with a walk two batters later. Two batters later, Nelsony reached on an error that scored Demeritte to make it 7-4, but the Braves would get no closer.
Thomas Jankins (2-0) earned the victory for the Shuckers. Corey Ray, Lucas Erceg, Trent Grisham, and Tyler Heineman each had 2-hits. Heineman scored a run and drove home 3.
In the second game, the Shuckers were handicapped by the seven inning contest. Biloxi had mounted rallies in the eighth inning of Thursday and Friday nights’ contests, but didn’t have such an opportunity in this game.
The Mississippi Braves got four scoreless innings from Wes Parsons before Jacob Webb (1-0) took over in the fifth. Webb, Adam McCreery, and Josh Graham each pitched a scoreless inning in the 5-hit shutout.
The Braves took the lead in the top of the second. Michael Snyder led off the inning with a deep drive off the wall in center. He legged it all the way into third with a triple. Next up was Travis Demeritte, who drilled a shot over the wall in left-center for his first homer of the year to make it 2-0.
In the fifth, the Braves extended their lead to three. Reed walked to start the inning before Wuilder Rodriguez retired the next two hitters. However, Alex Jackson kept the inning alive with a base hit. The ball was misplayed by the right fielder, allowing Reed to come all the way around to score to make it 3-0.
Travis Demeritte was 2-2 with a run, homer, and 2-RBI for Mississippi. Michael Snyder was 2-3 with a run and a triple.
The Biloxi Shuckers move on to Alabama to take on the Mobile Bears Monday night. Luis Ortiz (1-0, 1.64) will go for Biloxi against Dylan Unsworth (0-1, 4.50). First pitch is 6:35.
By Robert Pannier