Biloxi Shuckers first baseman-turned-pitcher Nick Ramirez did it all on Tuesday night, earning the win with three scoreless innings of relief and hitting a grand slam to beat the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 5-2.
The Shuckers trail the Pensacola Blue Wahoos by four games in the South Division with five games to play in the first half. They begin a five-game road series at Mobile on Wednesday afternoon.
Forrest Snow, briefly back in Biloxi after earning a promotion to Triple-A Colorado Springs earlier in the week, made his first start of the season after Luis Ortiz was placed on the disabled list due to a hamstring injury. The righty delivered four shutout innings and collected his first professional hit in the spot start before hitting his pitch limit.
Chris Mazza was just as tough for the Jumbo Shrimp, completing five scoreless innings against the Shuckers offense. But three singles against rehabbing Marlins reliever Junichi Tazawa (L, 0-1) set the stage for Ramirez (W, 4-1), who had singled in an earlier at-bat. The big lefty ended a nine-pitch at-bat with a home run to right, his second of the season. Biloxi’s all-time home run leader has now hit three of the four grand slams in Shuckers history.
Shuckers All-Star Dustin DeMuth added a solo home run off the right field scoreboard in the seventh to extend the lead to 5-0. Josh Uhen struck out the side in the eighth inning, but surrendered a two-run double to Cam Maron in the ninth inning, giving way for closer Matt Ramsey (S, 16). Ramsey struck out Brian Anderson looking to finish the game and earn his 16th save, which is good enough for a tie atop the league leaders.
Mauricio Dubon added two hits in the game and stole his 29th stolen base of the season, tying him with former Shucker Kyle Wren for the all-time Shuckers lead. The two runs scored in the ninth stopped a streak of 21 2/3 scoreless innings for the Shuckers pitching staff dating back to Sunday’s game.
The Shuckers travel to Mobile on Wednesday to face the BayBears for a five-game series. Aaron Wilkerson will start against Jake Jewell for the BayBears. First pitch is set for 12:05 pm with coverage beginning at 11:45 a.m. on the Biloxi Shuckers Radio Network’s flagship station WGCM 1240 AM/100.9 FM and the TuneIn Radio app.