BILOXI - Shortstop Javier Betancourt broke a 5-all tie in the bottom of the eighth inning with a RBI single to right as the Biloxi Shuckers rallied for an 8-5 win over the Chattanooga Lookouts on Sunday at MGM Park.
The Shuckers (3-1) trailed 5-3 going into the eighth. But back-to-back-to-back doubles by Nathan Orf, Brett Phillips and Garrett Cooper tied the game at 5. Two outs later, Betancourt singled home Cooper with the go-ahead run. Then Nick Ramirez hit a two-run pinch-hit double for two insurance runs before a crowd of 2,015.
Steve Peterson (1-0) picked up the win in relief while Mike Strong (0-1) took the loss for the Lookouts (1-3). Jaye Chapman retired all three batters in the ninth for his first save of the season.
"I just wanted to take the ball up the middle,'' Betancourt said. "There was a big hole between first and second. Finally I got the right pitch, a breaking ball. We fight to the final, we have to play 27 outs This was a big win.''
The Shuckers, who rapped out 14 hits, will take on Chattanooga in the series finale at 6:40 p.m. Monday. Jorge Ortega (0-0) will start for Biloxi on the mound and Chattanooga will counter with Ryan Eades.
"I think we had a lot of chances throughout the game,'' said Nathan Orf, who went 2-for-3 and had a double to start the winning rally. "We had tough luck in hitting into a bunch of double plays the whole day. Finally, the guys stayed aggressive and didn't let that (the double plays) bother the way we approached our at-bats. Finally, we ripped a couple of liners and we put up a 5-spot. This early, I think this was a more important win than the two earlier ones where we led all the game.''
Chattanooga turned six double plays in eight innings.
Left-hander Wei-Chung Wang had a good opener for Biloxi, going 5 2/3 innings, giving up just one run on six hits. He fanned five and walked three.
"The whole game we had people on base but we hit into six double plays and killed all the momentum we were trying to build,'' Shuckers manager Mike Guerrero said. "We put it together with some clutch hitting in the eighth inning. Wang threw the ball outstanding. He allowed only one run in 5 2/3 innings in his first game in Double-A. I was proud how he threw the ball.''
Betancourt, Orf, Chris McFarland, Tyrone Taylor and Rene Garcia each had two hits for the Shuckers.
Zach Granite had three hits for Chattanooga.
Travis Harrison staked the Lookouts to a 1-0 lead in the second inning on a solo homer to left. But the Shuckers answered on a RBI single to center by McFarland, and a RBI single to right by Betancourt to take a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second.
Wang kept the Lookouts at bay, but Chattanooga exploded for four runs in the seventh inning against reliever Tristan Archer to regain the lead. Engelb Vielma reached on an error, Granite bunted and Leo Reginatto got hit by a pitch by Archer. Daniel Palka doubled to center to score three runs, then crossed the plate himself on a throwing error.
Biloxi cut into the lead at 5-3 when Taylor scored as the Lookouts turned a double play in the seventh.