Eyeing down the chance at a series sweep, the Biloxi Shuckers fell 3-2 at Blue Wahoos Stadium on Friday night, dropping game three of the South Division Championship Series to the Pensacola Blue Wahoos.
The Shuckers still held a 2-1 lead in the five-game series after Friday night.
Trailing early, Biloxi managed to even the contest at 2-2 before Pensacola gathered a second lead and pitched their way to the finish.
Bowden Francis walked three and stranded three over his first two innings on the mound but surrendered a solo home run to Alex Kirilloff to begin the third, as Pensacola jumped to a 1-0 lead. The right-field blast was Kirilloff’s third of the series, homering for a third straight game.
Ryan Costello tagged Francis for another home run in the fourth, going deep off the center field batter’s eye and pushing the lead to 2-0.
Biloxi’s offense stalled out of the gate against Jordan Balazovic in his Double-A debut, not reaching base via hit until Bruce Caldwell singled to open the fifth. Jake Gatewood and Mario Feliciano followed with singles as three straight knocks loaded the bases against the Blue Wahoos right-hander. Joantgel Segovia then popped a sacrifice fly to open the scoring and Alexander Alvarez tied the game with a sacrifice bunt down the first-base line, scoring Gatewood.
Promptly responding against Francis in the fifth, Royce Lewis reached with a lead-off single and advanced to second on a groundout by Trevor Larnach. With two outs, Travis Blankenhorn bounced a single through the right side to score Lewis and give Pensacola the outright 3-2 advantage.
Dakota Chalmers halted any chance of a comeback, not allowing a hit over 3.1 scoreless innings and working through the eighth. In the ninth, Anthony Vizcaya allowed a one-out single to Gatewood, but proceeded to strikeout Feliciano and Segovia to end the game.
Game 4 was set to be played at 6:35 p.m. on Saturday in Biloxi. Game 5, if necessary, will take place at 5:05 p.m. on Sunday at MGM Park.