Biloxi used solid pitching to defeat Mobile 5-0 on Monday at Hank Aaron Stadium. Cody Ponce and Jon Perrin combined for a three-hit shout in the season finale. It wasn't the way the Shuckers had planned to close out the season. Manager Mike Guerrero and his Shuckers were hoping to crack the Southern League South Division playoffs with a best-of-three series against Pensacola.
The win gave the Shuckers a 71-66 record for the second-best overall record in the South Division. That's three consecutive seasons the Shuckers have finished above the .500 mark since moving to Biloxi in 2015.
The Shuckers grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning on a two-out RBI single off the bat of Dustin DeMuth. His hit drove home Troy Stokes Jr. who had doubled off BayBears pitcher Luis Pena (L, 1-3). Pena gave up only 4 hits in 6.0 inning before he was relieved.
Jacob Nottingham doubled off Kevin Grendell in the top of the seventh to give the Shuckers a 2-0 lead. Angel Ortega provided the big hit of the game, a three-run home run that sailed over the left field wall to extend the Shuckers lead 5-0.
Ponce (W, 2-1) pitched 6 scoreless innings and gave up only 3 hits with three strikeouts and walked a batter. He lowered his ERA to 1.53. He took a a no-hitter into the sixth inning against the BayBears two weeks ago in his Double-A debut.
Perrin (S, 1) threw three scoreless innings for his first professional save.
Johnny Davis led the team this season with a .263 batting average, 133 hits and a league-best 52 stolen bases. Clint Coulter belted 14 home runs to lead the Shuckers in 2017 and Angel Ortega had 50 RBI.
Aaron Wilkerson had a team-leading 11 wins and his 1.07 WHIP was the best in the league. Matt Ramsey established a franchise-record 27 saves which led the Southern League, and Nick Ramirez was tied for third in the Southern League with 48 relief appearances.
First-half South Division champion Pensacola will entertain second-half champion Jacksonville in the South Division playoffs on Wednesday at Blue Wahoos Stadium. The series winner advances to play the Chattanooga-Montgomery North Division winner for the Southern League finals.
The Shuckers 2018 MGM Park home opener is set for April 11 hosting the Mississippi Braves.
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