It was easy as one, two, three. The Biloxi Shuckers (20-12) scored one run in the first, two runs in the second and three runs in the third to beat the Jacksonville Suns 6-1 Wednesday night before 1,632 fans at MGM Park. The Shuckers became the first team in the Southern League to reach the 20-win mark.
Bottom of the first Brett Phillips popped a single into left field and when the Suns outfielder let the ball get past him, Phillips took off for third and was safe.
Catcher Jacob Nottingham followed with a single through the right side of the infield and Phillips scored giving Biloxi the early lead.
The Suns (14-19) tied the game in the top of the second with two outs. With a runner on first, Sharif Othman ripped Josh Hader's pitch down the left field line. Peter Mooney would take off from first and raced home and the game was tied 1-1. Mooney singled in the inning and snapped a string of 19 consecutive left-handed hitters retired by Shuckers starting pitcher Josh Hader.
The Shuckers responded quickly in the bottom of the second. Center fielder Brett Phillips stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded. He belted the ball of the glove of the Suns first baseman, Nick Shaw and Brandon Macias would gallop to home plate and Biloxi was back up on top 3-1.
The Shuckers would plate 3 more runs in the bottom of the third inning. Tyrone Taylor and Shaw reached base with one out. Brandon Macias would come through for Biloxi, sending the ball over the left field wall, a three-run shot and the second home run for Macias in as many nights.
Hader (W, 1-1, 1.04 ERA) would post his first win of the season. The 22-year-old lefty allowed one run on four hits, a walk and six strikeouts on 87 pitches in six innings. Hader leads the Southern League with 46 strikeouts.
Steve Peterson pitched two innings for the Shuckers. He gave up one hit with two strikeouts. Tyler Spurlin tossed one inning and had a strikeout as Biloxi pitching shut down the Suns offense over the final three innings to preserve the win.
Austin Brice (L, 1-2) suffered the loss for the Sunday. He allowed six runs on six hits in five innings of work.
The Shuckers will try to claim the series victory with a win 6:40 Thursday night at MGM Park. Right-handed pitcher Javi Salas (2-1, 3.34 ERA) will be on the mound for the Shuckers, while right-handed pitcher Patrick Johnson (1-1, 5.94 ERA) gets the call for the Suns.