BILOXI, MS (Biloxi Shuckers) - On Education Day, elementary, middle school and high school students packed MGM Park on a sunny bright day.
They provided excitement and the Biloxi Shuckers responded in the bottom of the second.
Chris McFarland sliced the ball to Pensacola first baseman Donald Lutz, he couldn't make the stop, Rene Macias gives Biloxi a 1-0 lead.
Leading 2-Zip, bottom of the fifth.. Nick Shaw drove the ball down the right field line, Nathan Orf took off from second and headed for home...3-nothing Shuckers.
25-year-old Drew Gagnon started on the mound for the Shuckers. He pitched 4 and 1/3 innings, gave up 3 hits, 3 base on balls and 5 strikeouts.
Bottom of the 8th, Victor Roache cracked double a fly ball to deep left field that hit the wall, Macias would round the bases from first base giving Biloxi a 4-0 lead. Roache has been red-hot at the plate of late.
"We've been working in the cage every day making minor tweets trying to get myself in a good position to hit and give myself a chance to put my bat on the ball, "said Roache.
Following the Roache RBI double Rene Garcia dropped a single into right field, Roache raced home and Biloxi had what looked like a comfortable 5-0 advantage.
The Blue Wahoos would plate two runs in the top of the 9th and had the bases loaded with 2 outs. Pitching coach Chris Hook called on ace stopper Jaye Chapman. He would strike out Alex Blandino on four pitches and picked up his 6th save. Chapman (S-6, 0.00 ERA) has retired all 19 batters he has faced this season.
Chapman said, "I'm not trying to out think people, not trying to do too much. Trust the catcher, we have great catchers in Garcia and Nottingham. Just trying to get on the same page with them and just execute pitches at a high rate and hopefully let the rest take care of itself."
Shuckers manager Mike Guerrero said, "That's why he's a stopper. We have the confidence in his ability to throw strikes and make secondary pitches."
The Shuckers close out the Blue Wahoos 5-game series 6:40 p.m. Thursday at MGM Park. Left-hander Wei-Chung Wang (1-0, 2.45 ERA) makes his first starting assignment since earning his first win of the season on April 16 against the Mobile BayBears in Biloxi. Rookie Davis (2-0, 0.82 ERA) takes the mound for the Blue Wahoos. Five days ago the right-hander shut out the Jacksonville Suns over six innings.
Thursday will be Donate Life Night with the first 1,000 fans receiving Biloxi Shuckers cap, courtesy of the Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency.
On Friday it's off to Trustmark Park in Pearl starting a 5-game road series with the Mississippi Braves.