BILOXI, MS (Biloxi Shuckers) - A Tuesday night pitcher’s duel morphed into an extra inning thriller at MGM Park as the Biloxi Shuckers (6-6) walked off on the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (7-4) 3-2 behind Luis Aviles Jr’s sacrifice fly in the tenth.
Deadlocked in a scoreless tie through nine innings, the Shuckers skidded to a two-run deficit in extras before the heart of the order rebounded to deliver 2019’s first walk-off winner.
Shuckers closer Nate Griep (W, 1-1) faced the minimum in the ninth inning before attempting to navigate around a man on second to start the tenth. Griep plunked Brian Shales with a pitch and Mitchell Kranson dropped down a sacrifice bunt to put both runners in scoring position. Jimmy Kerrigan was intentionally walked and with the bases loaded, Alexander Alvarez committed catcher’s interference to allow Pensacola its first run. Caleb Hamilton followed with an RBI single before Griep escaped the inning with a double play and a 2-0 deficit.
Held to just a single hit on the night, the Shuckers flipped the switch with the game on the line. Dillon Thomas drove in C.J. Hinojosa with a leadoff triple to put Biloxi back within a run and Weston Wilson followed with a game-tying double to left-center field. Cody Stashak (L, 1-1) was lifted from the game for Tyler Jay who struck out Patrick Leonard. During Leonard’s at bat, Caleb Hamilton allowed a passed ball to kick off his glove and Wilson would advance to third. Blake Allemand was intentionally walked before Aviles Jr. lifted a sacrifice fly to deep right field, securing the Shuckers 3-2 victory.
Aviles Jr. was the only batter to solve Pensacola starter Brusdar Graterol during his outing. The high-velocity right-hander struck out eight batters over seven innings, allowing a lone hit to Aviles in the fifth inning. Trey Supak went toe-to-toe with Graterol and turned in his strongest outing of the season despite a no-decision. Supak hurled six shutout frames of one-hit ball, struck out four, and didn’t issue a walk.
Both starting pitchers opened the night with three perfect innings and combined to allow just five base runners over the first six innings of the game.
The win evens the five-game series with Pensacola and pushes the Shuckers back to the .500 mark, two games back of the Blue Wahoos in the South Division. Biloxi’s series with the Blue Wahoos continues on Wednesday night at 6:35 pm. RHP Braden Webb (0-2, 9.53) is scheduled to start for the Shuckers while LHP Devin Smeltzer (2-0, 0.00) will toe the slab for Pensacola.