CHATTANOOGA, TN. - The Biloxi Shuckers took an early lead, but fell to the Chattanooga Lookouts 5-2, in the opening game of a five-game series on Saturday night at AT&T Field. The loss snapped the Shuckers three-game winning streak, and drops the team's road record to 6-7.
Brett Phillips (1x4, R, 2B) jump-started the offense for a second consecutive night after two quick outs were recorded for the Shuckers. The 21-year-old doubled to the gap in left-center field and came around to score on Garrett Cooper's (2x4, RBI, 2B) double to left to give Biloxi a 1-0 lead.
The advantage would not last long as Adrian Houser (2-4) allowed the first four men to reach base for Chattanooga (16-20). Zack Granite singled to left and scored on Shannon Wilkerson's double to right-center to tie the game at one. Daniel Palka put Chattanooga in the lead with a two-run home run to right, his sixth of the season.
Biloxi (22-13) grabbed a run in the second on Victor Roache's (1x4, HR, RBI, R) third long ball of the season, and opposite-field shot over the wall in right.
That would be the last tally for Biloxi's offense, as Lookouts' starter D.J. Baxendale (4-4) struck out a season-high nine in six innings of work. The right-hander allowed two runs on eight hits, and needed 94 pitches - 66 strikes - in the winning effort.
The game remained 3-2 going into the fifth, but Palka's RBI groundout to second plated Ryan Walker to bring the Shuckers' deficit to three. Chattanooga extended its lead to three in the seventh with Wilkerson's RBI single to left, bringing home Walker from second and ending the night for Houser. The Oklahoma native tossed a season-high 6.1 innings, and allowed five runs on nine hits, two walks and a strikeout on 84 pitches - 59 for strikes.
Steve Peterson (0.2 IP, SO) set down the only two men he faced in the eighth inning and runners at second and third to keep the Shuckers within three. Tyler Spurlin (IP, SO) worked a perfect ninth.
The two teams go at it again in game two of the five-game set at 1:15 p.m. Sunday at AT&T Field. RHP Jorge Ortega (0-3, 3.90) takes the mound in game one for Biloxi in search of his first win of the season, while LHP Nick Greenwood (0-0, 9.00) makes his second start of the season.