BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Garrett Cooper was hitting over .300 through the first 61 games of the season, but was without a home run to go along with 29 RBIs.
He ended that streak Sunday, and added another one in a timely measure.
Cooper's solo homer in the eighth inning turned out to be the game-winner in a 6-5 win over the Birmingham Barons.
"I've been hitting balls hard all year long," Cooper said. "I [was] more of a line drive hitter early in the season. I've lofted a few but it's good to get those out of the way."
His first homer of the game was in the fourth inning to counter a four-run second inning for Birmingham (26-37), who extended the lead to 5-1 in the sixth on an RBI single by Eddy Alvarez.
"It was an 0-2 [count] and he left a slider in the middle of the plate," Cooper said. "I was just trying to find the barrel on the swing and I luckily got it and hit it pretty well. I knew it was gone so it felt good."
Nick Ramirez bashed his fifth homer of the season in the bottom of the sixth to cut the deficit to 5-4. It was the ending of a rally that featured two-out hits from Jacob Nottingham and Tyrone Taylor.
Brett Phillips went the opposite way for his eighth round tripper of the year in the seventh, one inning before Cooper's go-ahead blast in the eighth.
The Barons were able to put the tying and go-ahead runs on second and third base in the ninth, but Daniel Tillman struck out Keenyn Walker looking to tally his fourth save of the season.
The Shuckers (36-26) are now tied for the South Division lead with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, who lost to the Montgomery Biscuits 5-2 Sunday night. Seven games remain in the first half of the season.
"Anything can come down to the wire and that's how it always is," Cooper said. "Hopefully we come out with a couple of wins and keep moving."