Jacob Nottingham's ninth-inning single gave the Biloxi Shuckers a 4-3 victory over the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp on Friday night, and just the second five-game series sweep in team history.
As they hit the halfway point of the season's first half, the Shuckers have won 12 of 15 and three series’ in a row. They end the night tied with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos atop the Southern League's South Division after seeing themselves seven games back as recently as April 26.
The Shuckers struck early off Jacksonville starter Omar Bencomo, getting an RBI double from Javier Betancourt in the second to open the scoring. The double was one of three on the night for the second baseman, and five for his team. Shuckers’ starter Aaron Wilkerson helped his own cause with an RBI single to score Betancourt and put the Shuckers up 2-0. Back-to-back doubles from Angel Ortega and Dustin DeMuth in the third stretched the lead to 3-0.
Wilkerson was effective against the Jumbo Shrimp, but allowed a run back in the fourth inning and left with the bases loaded and nobody out in the sixth. After two of those runners came in off Forrest Snow, the Shrimp had tied the game 3-3 to end Wilkerson's chance at a winning decision.
The Shuckers and Jumbo Shrimp both threatened in the late innings. Biloxi left two runners on base in the top of the seventh, and Johnny Davis threw out the potential go-ahead run at the plate in the bottom half of the inning.
Bubba Derby (2-0) pitched a perfect eighth inning, and Mauricio Dubon started the top of the ninth with a single off Greg Nappo (0-1). Dubon, who had stolen his league-leading eighth base earlier in the game, advanced to third when a hard-hit grounder off the bat of DeMuth got by second baseman David Vidal for an error. Then, with two outs, Nottingham lined a base hit to bring in the eventual game-winning run. Derby pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to finish off the win.
The win was already the seventh for the Shuckers in their last at-bat, and improved Biloxi's road record to 14-6. Dubon picked up his league and Double-A-leading 18th stolen base and went 2-for-4, extending his hitting streak to six games. DeMuth upped his on-base streak to 20 games with a 1-for-4 night at the plate.