Biloxi Shuckers

Shuckers’ season ends on bright note

Brett Phillips of the Biloxi Shuckers dives safely back to first against Jackson Generals on Aug. 31.
Brett Phillips of the Biloxi Shuckers dives safely back to first against Jackson Generals on Aug. 31.

PEARL – The Biloxi Shuckers finished off the 2016 season with their consecutive consecutive win, 4-1, over the Mississippi Braves at Trustmark Park on Monday afternoon.

The Shuckers, who won 7-0 over the M-Braves on Sunday, finished the season with an 11-8 mark against their Magnolia state rivals, including 5-5 in Pearl, and are now 23-19 all-time against the Braves.

The Shuckers finished the season with a 72-67 record and missed the postseason by a ½ game in the second half after missing out in the first half by 1 ½ games.

Mississippi (39-30, 73-65) grabbed an early lead in the first with Ozzie Albies bouncing a ground rule double over the wall in left-center with one out. Dustin Peterson brought the runner home with a single up the middle to put Biloxi (33-37, 72-67) in a 1-0 deficit at the end of the opening inning.

The Shuckers responded with a run of their own in second to knot the game at 1-1.

Tyrone Taylor doubled to left to leadoff the frame, and came around to score on Clint Coulter’s run-scoring single to right.

The visitors took the lead the next inning when Johnny Davis, who finished 2-for-5, roped his fourth triple of the season to extend his hitting streak to eight games, and trotted home on a double to left by Angel Ortega, who went 3-for-5.

Jacob Nottingham added an insurance run in the fifth with a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Davis for the 3-1 advantage.

Jorge Lopez (2-4) took the mound for Biloxi in the season finale and finished the campaign on a high note with one run allowed across five innings. The 23-year-old allowed four hits and struck out seven without issuing any free passes in the winning effort.

Ortega drove in his second run of the game with an RBI single in the ninth, bringing home Javier Betancourt from second to extend the Shuckers’ lead to three at 4-1.

The bullpen went to work for Biloxi in the final four innings, as Tayler Scott, Mitch Lambson and Angel Ventura closed out the contest.

Ventura walked Dustin Peterson with one out in the ninth to snap a string of 10 consecutive batters set down by the bullpen, but induced a game-ending double play by Carlos Franco to secure the victory.

Lucas Sims (5-5) lasted only three innings in the start for Mississippi. The 2012 first-round draft pick allowed two runs on five hits and five strikeouts to fall to .500 on the season at the Double-A level.

The Shuckers will have the next seven months off before returning to action on April 6, 2017, to start the third season of Biloxi baseball against the Montgomery Biscuits at Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery, Ala.