JACKSONVILLE, FL (Biloxi Shuckers)
The Biloxi Shuckers rallied late and moved into a tie for first place with a 3-1 victory over the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp on Wednesday afternoon.
Clint Coulter's two-out, two-run single in the eighth inning proved to be the game winner in a pitcher's duel that improved Biloxi's record to 17-16, marking their first time above the .500 mark since April 11.
With a Shuckers victory and Mississippi's 6-4 loss to Mobile on Wednesday, Biloxi is tied with the Braves for first place in the Southern League's South Division. The 16-16 Pensacola Blue Wahoos host the Birmingham Barons this evening as they try to keep pace.
The Shuckers have won 10 of their last 13 games and see their record over .500 for the first time since April 11, when they were 3-2.
Taylor Williams started for the Shuckers, going 2.1 innings of shutout ball and striking out four. The righty, limited to 44 pitches in his continued return from Tommy John surgery, lowered his season ERA to 1.10.
Jon Perrin pitched in relief, working 3.2 innings and allowing just an unearned run after committing a throwing error in the bottom of the sixth. Perrin struck out five and allowed only two hits.
Trailing 1-0 after six innings, the Shuckers were happy to see starter Mike Kickham leave the game. After leaving five runners on base against the southpaw, Biloxi was able to push a run across in the seventh against reliever Esmerling De La Rosa (L, 0-1). Coulter led off the inning with a hit-by-pitch, and Dustin Houle followed with an RBI double to tie the game.
In the eighth, Michael Choice's two-out double off De La Rosa was followed by an intentional walk to Dustin DeMuth. Coulter then delivered his two-run single, scoring pinch-runner Michael Reed to give the Shuckers a 3-1 lead.
Forrest Snow (W, 2-2) became the pitcher of record after a scoreless seventh, but left with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the eighth. A day after earning his second win, Tayler Scott (S, 1) benefitted from a stellar defensive play by Angel Ortega to escape the jam, and came back with a scoreless ninth inning to lock down the save and Shuckers win.
The Shuckers, winners of three straight, have now won three consecutive series and improved to 12-6 away from MGM Park.