KODAK, Tenn. - Biloxi starting pitcher Jorge Lopez earned his eighth victory of the year to tie him for the Southern League lead and also drove in two runs as the Shuckers took a 9-2 series-clinching victory over the Tennessee Smokies Monday night.
Shuckers second baseman Nathan Orf accumulated a game-high three hits to lead the team at the plate.
The win improved Biloxi's Southern League leading overall record to 52-34, in addition to upping their second half mark back to the .500 point at 9-9 and giving the club a 3-2 series victory.
For the fifth consecutive contest, it was the Shuckers who got on the board first, plating two tallies in the second frame. Catcher Adam Weisenburger drew a one-out walk and then moved over to third on third baseman Brandon Macias' two-bagger to righ, before both were brought home via starting pitcher Jorge Lopez's two-run double to center.
Tennessee cut their deficit in half in the very next inning on an RBI single by left fielder Bijan Rademacher, making it 2-1.
The Biloxi lead grew to five two innings later thanks to a four-spot. Orf led off the fifth with a base hit to left, and then home courtesy of right fielder Michael Reed's RBI double to center, extending the Shuckers' margin to 3-1. Left fielder Victor Roache then ripped a line drive single to left to plate Reed before Weisenburger reached on a single to right. He and Roache scored via Macias' two-run single to center.
Biloxi added two more runs in the sixth to make it a seven-run contest. CF Tyrone Taylor began the frame with an infield single before coming all the way around from first on Orf's run-scoring two-bagger to left with Orf eventually scoring on a wild pitch to increase the margin to 8-1.
The Shuckers will have an off day Tuesday before returning to Biloxi to begin a seven-game home stand. The Shuckers host Chattanooga at 7:10 p.m. on Wednesday.
At 6 p.m. on Tuesday, select members of the Shuckers will hold a "Meet-and-Eat" with fans at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Biloxi. The cost is $10 with proceeds going to the Louisiana-Mississippi ALS Association.