BILOXI, Miss. (Biloxi Shuckers) - Fueled by 16 straight retired during his start, RHP Alec Bettinger (W, 1-3) captained the Biloxi Shuckers (21-20) to a 4-0 victory over the Chattanooga Lookouts (21-18) during Thursday’s series opener at MGM Park. The right-hander punctuated his night with a career-tying tenth strikeout on his 100th pitch in the seventh while the offense contributed behind him with a pair of homers.
Biloxi’s first big fly came in the first at bat of the game. Michael O’Neill worked a favorable 3-1 count and pummeled a solo homer over the left field wall off Scott Moss (L, 2-2) for the early 1-0 advantage. Bettinger struck out three over his first two innings and was padded with insurance when his batterymate Max McDowell drove in Patrick Leonard in the second with a single.
After walking Taylor Trammell in the first inning, Bettinger did not allow another base runner until Alfredo Rodriguez singled in the sixth to end a stretch of 16 straight retired. The 23-year-old right-hander struck out at least one hitter in all seven of his innings, including Jose Siri and Gavin LaValley in the seventh for his ninth and tenth puncheouts of the night.
McDowell added on again in the sixth, bashing his second home run of the season to left field to make it a 3-0 score. The Biloxi catcher collected his first three-hit game of the year, finishing 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run. Leonard reached all four times in the game with a pair of single and two walks, capping the scoring with a broken bat single in the seventh.
Behind Bettinger, RHP Marcos Diplan and RHP Aaron Kurcz combined for a pair of scoreless frames and locked up the win to improve the Shuckers to a game above .500.