BILOXI, MS (Biloxi Shuckers) - The Biloxi Shuckers (15-16) never surrendered an early lead during their Monday night return to MGM Park and halted their three-game skid with a 6-4 win over the Montgomery Biscuits (19-11). Johan Belisario continued to pitch efficiently in his new starting role and Michael O’Neill provided a crucial swing in the middle innings.
Belisario allowed just one base runner via walk over his first two innings on the hill before he was provided an early advantage. Luis Aviles Jr. drew a two-out walk in the second inning and motored around to score on an RBI triple from Cooper Hummel. Dillon Thomas extended the rally with an RBI single to give the Shuckers a 2-0 lead.
Montgomery pressed in the third by loading the bases against Belisario but were stymied in the inning after the right hander struck out Robbie Tenerowicz looking to end the inning. Belisario struck out five on the night and was lifted after allowing a lone run in the fifth, falling an out shy of recording a decision.
Behind their starter, the Shuckers capitalized and extended their lead on a Biscuits defensive miscue in the third. With O’Neill aboard third following a double, Weston Wilson bounced a two-out grounder to the second baseman Tenerowicz who bobbled and allowed the run to score. Patrick Leonard added in the next at bat with a double to score Wilson and give Biloxi a 4-0 cushion.
Leading 4-1 in the fifth, O’Neill barreled a ball over the left-center field wall off Montgomery starter Josh Fleming (L,3-2). O’Neill’s third homer of the season proved to be a crucial run after Montgomery scored twice in the sixth and once in the seventh.
Out of the bullpen, left hander Daniel Brown (W, 1-0) walked Brett Sullivan and plunked Tenerowicz with an out in the sixth. Brendan McKay then reached on a fielders’ choice and Brown was replaced by Aaron Kurcz. Facing Rene Pinto, Sullivan scored on a wild pitch and the Biscuits catcher proceeded to double home McKay to make it a 5-3 game.
Thomas put Biloxi back up by three with an RBI-single in the sixth before Montgomery made another push with a Dalton Kelly solo home run in the seventh to make it 6-4. Tasked with a two-inning save opportunity, Nate Griep (S, 6) retired six batters in a row, including strikeouts of Pinto and Lowe to lock up the game.
The Shucker continue a five-game series at home against the Montgomery Biscuits on Tuesday night at 6:35 pm. RHP Trey Supak (2-1, 2.20) is scheduled to start for the Shuckers against Biscuits RHP Riley O’Brien (NR).