BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Troy Stokes Jr. capped one of the biggest comebacks of the season for the Biloxi Shuckers (59-40, 18-11) with a walk-off home run to defeat the Tennessee Smokies (50-50, 14-16) 7-5 at MGM Park on Sunday afternoon. Corey Ray and Jake Gatewood both homered for the Shuckers in their seventh straight win.
The two sides traded runs in the first inning. Ray tied the game with a leadoff home run in the bottom of the frame, his 19th on the year to lead the Southern League (at the time) and sixth leadoff tater. The Smokies added a second tally on a Lucas Erceg throwing error in the second to take a 2-1 lead.
RHP Zack Brown tossed 3.2 innings before exiting the game due to an apparent leg injury. Brown tried to field a comebacker when his cleat got caught underneath him as he fell to the dirt. He will be evaluated further and is considered day-to-day.
The Shuckers were held to just two hits over the first seven innings, but the broke out with five knocks in the eighth to tie the game. Blake Allemand started with a double followed by a Corey Ray two-bagger. Two batters later, Keston Hiura doubled home Ray, before Gatewood launched his 19th blast of the season out to left field to tie the game at five.
LHP Brad Kuntz (W, 3-2) tossed a scoreless top of the ninth to give the Shuckers their opportunity in the bottom half. Ray kept the frame alive with a two-out double, his third extra-base hit of the night and league-leading 52nd on the year. With reliever RHP Jake Stinnett (L, 0-4) on the hill, Stokes Jr. stepped up and delivered a laser shot over the left field wall to hand the Shuckers the 7-5 win and series sweep. The victory marks Biloxi's seventh in a row, one shy of a season-best eight that they racked up back in April.