BILOXI — From his spot on first base, Biloxi Shuckers center fielder Tyrone Taylor didn't even have to watch the ball sail over the left field wall. He just knew.
Deadlocked in a scoreless game, the Coast's new team needed a boost. Shortstop Orlando Arcia answered the call, driving the first pitch he saw from Mobile BayBears starter Braden Shipley in the sixth inning well over the 350-foot marker in left-center field for a two-run homer.
Coupled with a quality start from right-hander Brooks Hall, and a couple of web gems by his Shuckers teammates, the home team held on Monday to top the BayBears 2-1 at MGM Park.
Not only did Arcia's homer end up being the game-winning drive, it also marked the stadium's first homer.
"I knew it was gone right off the bat," said Taylor, who had walked ahead of the Arcia. "For him to get the first homer in the stadium, it just makes sense pretty much. Hopefully we keep it up."
Arcia, considered by Baseball America to be the Milwaukee Brewers' second-best prospect, right behind Taylor, has been one of the Shuckers' most consistent bats all season.
After going 2-for-3 against the BayBears (29-28) on Monday, Arcia improved his batting average to a team-best .329 in front of an announced crowd of 2,654.
"Just watching him hit so many times this year, you just know when he's going to hit a home run," Taylor said. "He put a good swing on it and it was sweet to watch."
Arcia's success hasn't affected his attitude according to teammates. The 20-year-old Venezuelan is always cutting up, whether it's on the field or in the locker room, which has helped to keep the Shuckers (35-22) loose after a 54-game road trip.
"He's a heckuva ballplayer. He's probably one of the best shortstops I've seen coming up," Hall said. "Just the way he carries himself on the field, he's always having fun. He has power and is only 20. I wouldn't be surprised if he's in the big leagues by the end of this year.
"If you want to learn how to have fun playing baseball, watch Arcia. That's all he does, have fun out there."
The Shuckers and BayBears will continue their five-game series Tuesday at MGM Park, beginning at 7:10 p.m\
PITCHER'S DUEL: Facing off against the Arizona Diamondbacks' No. 2 prospect in Shipley, Hall matched his right-handed counter part pitch for pitch and then some.
The 6-foot-5 right-hander struck out seven over seven innings, allowing one run on three hits and a walk to improve to 6-3. The seven whiffs were his most since fanning 10 in Low Class-A on July 29 2011. Hall also picked up his sixth quality start of the year.
Hall said he was working on a two-seamer and was able to keep it down, which enabled him to make it through seven innings on just 89 pitches (60 strikes).
"I threw a lot of those tonight to get a lot of ground balls," he said. "I was commanding it and in the seventh inning I lost a little focus but limited them to one run so I was proud of myself."
Shipley fell to 3-5 on the year after allowing two runs in seven innings. He struck out four and walked one.
Damien Magnifico closed out the game for the Shuckers with a two-inning save, his sixth this season.
BANG-BANG AT THE PLATE: Both teams traded plays at the plate early to keep the game scoreless. In the second inning, second baseman Gerson Montilla attempted to score from second on a Rudy Flores single to center field, but Taylor came up throwing and nailed the BayBear at the plate.
"I tried to come up on it as fast as I could and settle down before I throw because the past couple of throws have been a little wild," Taylor said. "I just threw it right on the money and made a good play on it."
The BayBears returned the favor in the bottom of the inning when Michael Reed, who doubled to lead off the frame, tried to score on a single to left field by Nick Shaw but was thrown out by Zach Borenstein.
GOING STREAKING: Third baseman Nathan Orf had his franchise-best 12-game hit streak snapped Monday. The infiellder went 0-for-3 and left two on base. Orf’s batting averaged dipped to .269 as a result.
LIGHTS, CAMERA BASEBALL: "Lone Survivor" producer Randall Emmett and actor Mark Paul Gosselaar were in attendance Monday night at MGM Park, taking in the Shuckers' win. During the middle innings, Emmett took over the PA for an inning and then spoke with local media about his new movie "Precious Cargo," which also stars Bruce Willis.
Watch what Emmett had to say about the Coast, Precious Cargo, Willis and more below:
Biloxi Shuckers (34-22, +3.5 games in Southern League South entering Monday)
LF Kyle Wren (.284 BA, 0 HRs, 12 RBIs)
CF Tyrone Taylor (.257, 0, 19)
SS Orlando Arcia (.324, 3, 27)
1B Nick Ramirez (.286, 8, 35)
RF Michael Reed (.311, 5, 31)
3B Nathan Orf (.273, 0, 14)
2B Nick Shaw (.196, 0, 11)
C Adam Weisenburger (.245, 1, 10)
RHP Brooks Hall (5-3, 3.78 ERA))
Mobile BayBears (29-27, 5 GB)
SS Sean Jamieson (.264, 1, 4)
RF Socrates Brito (.280, 1, 19)
3B Brandon Drury (.284, 1, 32)
LF Zach Borenstein (.340, 2, 15)
2B Gerson Montilla (.246, 7, 25)
1B Rudy Flores (.225, 6, 28)
CF Gabriel Guerrero (.221, 2, 16)
C Ronnie Freeman (.238, 0, 8)
RHP Braden Shipley (3-4, 4.64)