Things sure looked bright for the Biloxi Shuckers on Thursday night, as they jumped out to a three run lead, only to watch the Birmingham Barons score 7 unanswered runs on their way to the 7-3 victory. Birmingham hit three home runs, including two by third baseman Matt Rose and Dane Dunning earned his first victory of the season with six solid innings.
After neither team was able to score in the first two frames, Biloxi would jump out in front with three runs in the third. Clint Coulter led off the frame by beating out a ground ball for a single. He scored when Dylan Moore lined a double into left, as Coulter came all the way around from first to give the Shuckers the lead. A ground ball moved to Moore third and he scored on a passed ball. With two down, Lucas Erceg and Nick Franklin earned back to back walks before Blake Allemand blooped a single into shallow centerfield that brought home Erceg to make it 3-0.
Birmingham responded with a run in the bottom half of the inning. Zach Collins led off the inning with a base hit and moved to second on a wild pitch. Eloy Jimenez followed with a lined double down the right-field line that scored Collins to make it 3-1.
In the bottom of the fifth, Birmingham would take the lead. With two down, Jimenez reached on an error before Seby Zavala walked. That brought Matt Rose to the plate, who drilled a ball over the left field wall for his first home run of the season, giving the Birmingham Barons a 4-3 lead.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Barons would extend their lead to four thanks to the longball. Jimenez led off the inning with a base hit into left field and Zavala followed with his sixth home run of the season, a shot over the left field wall to make it 6-3. Next up was Rose, who hit his second home run of the game nearly in the same place as his first home run, extending the lead to four.
Dunning (1-0) came out after six innings, allowing 5 hits, 2 walks and 3 earned runs while striking out 4. The Birmingham bullpen took over from there, getting three perfect innings out of Jake Johansen and Brad Goldberg to finish off the game.
Matt Rose finished 3-4 with 2-runs scored, 2-homers and 4-RBI. Seby Zavala was 1-2 with 2-runs, 2-walks, a homer and 2-RBI. Eloy Jimenez also had 2-hits and scored 2-runs. Clint Coulter had 2-hits and a run scored for the Shuckers.
The second game of this five-game series is set for tomorrow. Wade Miley (0-1, 6.35) will go for the Shuckers against Spencer Adams (1-1, 5.74). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05.
By Robert Pannier