PENSACOLA, FL (BILOXI SHUCKERS) - After trailing by as many as nine runs, the Biloxi Shuckers (14-14) put together a comeback in the late stages against the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (18-10) but fell short 10-8 on Friday night at Blue Wahoos Stadium. The loss snaps the Shuckers three game winning streak.
Down 10-1 in the sixth, Patrick Leonard started the comeback with a two-run homer to left, his third of the season. Biloxi then rattled off five runs in the top of the seventh. The inning started with a flyball single from Max McDowell, followed by a sharp single to left by Michael O’Neill. Trent Grisham then dropped a single down the right-field line, scoring McDowell and sending O’Neill to third. A sacrifice fly by C.J. Hinojosa halved the deficit at 10-5, and Weston Wilson walked in front of an RBI single by Cooper Hummel, shaving the gap to just four runs. LHP Jovani Moran then plunked Leonard, loading the bases. Luis Aviles Jr. greeted RHP Alex Phillips (H, 1) with a two-RBI single to left, making it 10-8 with only one out in the inning. After a strikeout of Bruce Caldwell, McDowell came to the plate for a second time in the frame and drove a ball to the left-field wall that was corralled by Ernie De La Trinidad, ending the Biloxi frame.
In top of the eighth, the Shuckers put the tying run on second after a one-out single by Grisham and a throwing error by Phillips that allowed Hinojosa to reach. Wilson stepped in and roped a ball to third, but Joe Cronin handled the hard hopper and turned it into a 5-3 double play, keeping the game at 10-8.
Biloxi was able to bring the tying run to the plate in the ninth. Leonard hit a one-out single to right but was cancelled out on a fielders’ choice. With two outs and a man on second, LHP Sam Clay (S, 2) struck out Caldwell to close it out for the Blue Wahoos.
Pensacola chased Shuckers starter RHP Braden Webb (L, 1-4) in the first inning after Webb walked in a run and allowed a grand slam to Tanner English. The Blue Wahoos added a single tally in the third and four in the fourth, with three runs coming on a homer to left by Cronin, his first of the season, giving the Blue Wahoos a 10-1 edge.
RHP Brusdar Graterol (W, 3-0) allowed his lone run of the game in the third on a solo home run to center by Grisham, his fifth of the season. The righty struck out four over his five innings of work against theShuckers.
Looking to win the series, the Shuckers will send RHP Bowden Francis (0-1, 8.20) to the mound on Saturday night for a 6:05 pm first pitch at Blue Wahoos Stadium. Pensacola has not named a starter.