The Biloxi Shuckers are one of just four teams in minor league baseball, and the only team at the Double-A level, with 11 wins. On Thursday, the Shuckers picked up a third-inning solo home run from Tyrone Taylor to beat the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, 1-0, at MGM Park. The Shuckers extended their winning streak to four games after being shutout in the series opener against the Blue Wahoos.
The Shuckers have dominated the overall series with Pensacola, winning 18 of the 25 meetings, including four of five this week. The shutout was the third posted in 14 games this season by Biloxi pitching, lowering the clubs ERA to 2.57.
Both offenses were quiet until Taylor blasted his first homerun of the year over the left field wall with two outs in the third to give Biloxi (11-3) a 1-0 lead.
That would be the only offense the hometown team needed as Wei-Chung Wang (2-0) did his part to keep Biloxi in the lead during his five innings on the night. The southpaw allowed two hits in the first and second, but never allowed more than one baserunner in any frame and tied a season high with five strikeouts.
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Shuckers' manager Mike Guerrero turned to Tristan Archer for his first reliever out of the bullpen to start the sixth. The righty allowed an infield single on a bang-bang play off the bat of Beau Amaral, who then moved up to second after an error by the shortstop Javier Betancourt. The 25-year-old induced a double play from Eric Jagielo and got Phillip Ervin to fly out to center to escape the jam.
Archer allowed a single to Zach Vincej in the seventh, but did not allow the runner off of first base. The Tennessee native retired pinch hitter Brandon Dixon on a fly ball to center to end his night with one out in the eighth.
Jed Bradley took the next call out of the bullpen and struck out Amaral and Alex Blandino to set down Pensacola (9-6) in order in the eighth inning.
The lefty made Eric Jagielo bounce out to second to start the ninth before giving way to newcomer Stephen Kohlscheen. The 27-year-old got Ervin to fly out to left before Tony Renda singled to extend the game, but the righty bore down and produced a lineout to second from Ray Chang to secure the victory and earn his first save of the season.
The Shuckers will take their winning streak north for a five-game series against the Mississippi Braves starting Friday night at Trustmark Park. RHP Adrian Houser (0-1, 5.73) takes his five-inning no-hit streak into the first matchup for Biloxi, while the Mississippi counters with RHP Lucas Sims (0-2, 1.84). First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m., with coverage starting at 6:40 p.m. on the Biloxi Shuckers' Radio Network's flagship station, WGCM 1240-AM,100.9-FM, WPMO 1580-AM, and the TuneIn Radio app. The contest can also be seen on milb.tv.
The Shuckers will return to MGM Park next Thursday, April 25 to begin a five-game homestand against the Tennessee Smokies (Chicago Cubs). The homestand will feature Pascagoula/Moss Point Community Night on Thursday, April 28, Shuckers' Team Picture Giveaway on Friday, April 29, Post-game Fireworks on Saturday, April 30 and Family Fun Day, presented by McDonald's and Little Hero Day on Sunday, May 1.