BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Facing a four-run deficit out of the gate, the Biloxi Shuckers (5-6) inched themselves back within a run Monday night, falling in the series opener to the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (8-3) 4-3. C.J. Hinojosa enjoyed his best night at the plate thus far, finishing 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and a solo home run.
Shuckers starting pitcher Marcos Diplan (L, 0-1) was tagged for three runs in the first inning but settled down through the span of his outing. Jordan Gore singled and scored on a wild pitch in the first and Brian Schales followed it up with a two-run homer to make it 3-0. With the bullpen warming, Diplan managed to escape the inning and proceeded to retire eight in a row to extend his night.
Pensacola added an additional run in the fourth before Biloxi’s offense kicked in behind the efforts from the bullpen.
Pensacola starter Jorge Alcala (W, 3-0) cruised through 5.2 innings, mixing speeds and striking out seven before finally being solved. Hinojosa yanked a two-bagger down the left field line and Weston Wilson drew a two-out walk to extend the sixth inning against Alcala. Patrick Leonard then stepped in and brought both men home with a two-run double, cutting the deficit to 4-2 and forcing Pensacola to turn to their bullpen.
Diplan worked his longest start of the year, 4.2 innings, before turning the game over to right-hander Johan Belisario. Belisario struck out Jimmy Kerrigan to end the fifth and remained locked in retiring all seven batters he faced. Luke Barker picked up in the eighth, striking out four and retiring six in a row as the reliever duo combined for 4.1 perfect innings while trailing.
Hinojosa’s third big swing of the night launched a no-doubt solo home to left field off Jovani Moran (H, 2) in the eighth to make it 4-3. The home run was his first in the Brewers system since being acquired from the Giants in late March.
In the ninth, the Shuckers were unable to spark a rally as Dustin Knight retired the side in order to lock up his third save of the year.