The Biloxi Shuckers entered Wednesday night's road trip opener at Jackson coming off the high of their no-hit performance on Monday night, and those good vibrations continued with an extra-inning, 6-4 comeback win over the Generals to draw ever closer in the South Division.
Gabriel Noriega's RBI single in the 10th inning capped a late rally to give the Shuckers their fifth straight road win.
Wednesday's game marked the beginning of a season-ending stretch in which the Shuckers play 20 games in 20 days. With their win and a Mobile loss to Jacksonville, the Shuckers pull even with the second-place BayBears and remain 0.5 games behind the Jumbo Shrimp. The Shuckers were playing their league-leading 20th extra-inning games and improved to 11-9 in those contests.
The Shuckers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second thanks to some small-ball. With runners on second and third after a walk and a single, Javier Betancourt hit a smash to first base that Kevin Cron couldn't handle to bring in Dustin DeMuth for the game's first run. Jacob Nottingham followed with an RBI groundout to plate another for the Shuckers.
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Corbin Burnes started for Biloxi, and pitched into the fifth inning for the first time in more than a month. The righty struck out five and allowed seven hits in 5.1 frames. He gave back single runs in the fifth and sixth innings to tie the game, but Josh Uhen stranded a runner on base to enter the seventh in a 2-2 tie.
Generals starter Joel Payamps recovered nicely from his two-run second inning, completing seven innings while allowing only five hits. He was put in position to earn a win in the bottom of the seventh, when pinch-hitter Travis Denker hit a two-run homer to center off Nick Ramirez to give Jackson a 4-2 lead. It marked the first earned runs allowed by Ramirez in more than a month.
Biloxi would answer right back in the top of the eighth, loading the bases with no outs against Mason McCullough. Clint Coulter greeted new reliever Kirby Bellow with a two-run single down the left field line to tie the game 4-4.
Taylor Williams and Quintin Torres-Costa (2-1) each delivered scoreless frames to send the Shuckers to their league-leading 20th extra-inning game of the season. Johnny Davis and Troy Stokes Jr. started the 10th with their third hits of the game, and executed a double steal to get into scoring position. After Coulter was intentionally walked, Noriega dropped an RBI single into right off Gabe Speier(2-6) that gave the Shuckers a 6-4 lead. The steal was Davis’ league-leading 38th of the season. Davis collected his fifth three-hit game on the season, finishing 3-for-5 with two runs scored.
Matt Ramsey allowed a leadoff double in the bottom of the tenth, but retired the next three batters to finish off the victory. Ramsey's 24th save broke Stephen Kohlscheen's team record for single-season and career saves.
Jake Gatwood picked up his first multi-hit game as a Shucker, finishing 2-for-4 with a double and run scored.
The Shuckers can make it three wins in a row and take shared possession of first place in game two against the Generals on Thursday. Aaron Wilkerson looks for his team-leading 11th win as he faces off against Brad Keller