Biloxi Shuckers

Jackson State can't shake Biloxi Shuckers

The Jackson State Tigers held the Biloxi Shuckers to one run in the first inning and held them scoreless in the bottom of the fourth, but the Shuckers would string together 16 runs in the other four innings in their 17-0 win at MGM Park on Monday.

The Tigers finished the night with three hits to 20 for the Shuckers; the difference between a 17-11 (6-3, SWAC) team and a professional minor league baseball team.

"Once they reach the Double-A level, obviously they are some of the better players in the country," Tigers coach Omar Johnson said. "These guys are amateurs. The college teams and the professional teams are different levels. They are pros for a reason. That's why these guys banked out 19 hits.

"It's a great opportunity for our kids to play against a pro team," Johnson added. "That's it in a nutshell. The stats don't count. It's an exhibition game, and that's exactly what it was. It's an opportunity for some of these kids to get out here in a professional environment and see how that goes. It's a great opportunity for exposure."

Johnson said that one of the good things that came out of the game was the opportunity to have some players pitch who hadn't played before.

"We just came off a weekend series, so we allowed some guys that hadn't pitched before to pitch," said Johnson. "I'm sure it was a highlight for them that they will never forget."

Monday's exhibition game is the second of three games that the Tigers are scheduled to play at MGM Park. They will play Alcorn State at MGM Park on April 15. They played Southern University in early March.

"I like the environment," Johnson said. "I like the atmosphere. This is a great opportunity for our kids."

The Tigers are in second place in the SWAC's East Division behind 12-0 Alabama State.

The Tigers face the division-leading Alabama State in three-game series beginning on Friday.

"We've got to make plays," said Johnson, looking toward upcoming conference games, particularly against Alabama State. "We have to take care of what we need to take care of. We take care of what we need to take care of and everything will work out."

Bryce Williams had two hits for JSU.

Every Shuckers player who registered an at-bat -- except for two -- tallied a hit. Nate Orf was 4-for-5 with four RBIs, three runs, a double and a homer. Brandon Macias went 3-for-4 with two runs. Kyle Wren, Brett Phillips, Garrett Cooper, Victor Roache and Rene Garcia all recorded two hits. Roache also tied Orf with a game-high four RBIs. Adrian Houser drew the start for Biloxi and struck out two against one walk in two innings. Javier Salas and Martin Viramontes also pitched scoreless frames with one strikeout apiece. Wei-Chung Wang struck out five against one walk and two hits in three innings.

Biloxi will open its season at 6:40 p.m. Thursday against Chattanooga, the Minnesota Twins' Double-A affiliate.

Related stories from Biloxi Sun Herald