The Biloxi Shuckers pounded out 12 hits, including a pair of homers, and snapped their three game losing streak with a 9-7 win over the Chattanooga Lookouts at AT&T Field on Tuesday night. The nine runs ties a season high for the Shuckers. Biloxi's bullpen allowed just two runs over 6 1/3 innings to improve to 16-3 as a staff. Also, the Shuckers remain in first place for a 29th consecutive day.
Biloxi (23-15) got Chattanooga (18-21) starter Aaron Slegers (2-4) for four runs in the first inning and jumped out to an early lead.
Kyle Wren doubled to left to start things off. Jacob Nottingham walked and Brett Phillips laid down a bunt and beat it out for an infield single to load the bases for Garrett Cooper. The Shuckers' first baseman bounced out to first, allowing Wren to score for the 1-0 lead, and advancing Nottingham and Phillips.
Nick Ramirez followed with a two-run single through the shift into right field, bringing home both base runners for the 3-0 edge. Tyrone Taylor reached on the second free pass of the inning, and Nick Shaw (1x4) singled to center to load the bases for a second time. Chris McFarland was then hit by a pitch to force in Ramirez from third for the fourth run of the inning.
Chattanooga responded with a run in the first to cut into Biloxi's lead. Zach Granite tripled to start the bottom half of the inning, and scored on Daniel Palka's RBI groundout to first.
The Shuckers struck for two more in the second to stretch the lead back to five. Wren singled with a bunt down the third base side, and scored on Nottingham's drive over the wall in left center for his third home run of the season.
The Lookouts responded, again, with a three-spot in the home half.
Leo Reginatto walked to start the inning and moved up to second on Joe Maloney's infield single. A wild pitch to Levi Michael by Brooks Hall allowed the runners to advance a base, and the Lookouts' second baseman bounced out to short to score Reginatto, and moving Maloney to third on the play.
A strikeout to Jairo Rodriguez brought Biloxi an out away from limiting the damage, but a walk to Ryan Walker put runners on the corners for Granite, who singled in both runs on a rocket off the bat to right.
Nottingham answered in the top of the third with his third long ball of the season, and first since April 12, to put the visitors ahead, 7-4. Not to be outdone, Maloney added an RBI double for Chattanooga to cut Biloxi's lead to two and end the night for Hall.
The spot starter lasted 2 2/3 innings and allowed five runs on four hits, four walks and a strikeout on 59 pitches - 31 strikes.
Both offenses quieted down in the middle portion of the game, as neither team tallied any runs from innings four through six, but Taylor added two more runs for the Shuckers with a two-run single in the seventh to score Victor Roache and Cooper to bring the lead back to four at 9-5.
The Lookouts brought the game within three on a sacrifice fly by Granite to plate Maloney.
Southpaw Brett Lee was the first reliever called upon for Shuckers' manager Mike Guerrero, and the left-hander walked a batter and picked up a strikeout in 1.1 innings of work. Tyler Spurlin (1-0) tossed two innings of scoreless ball, while walking and striking out a batter to go along with one hit allowed to pick up his first win at the Double-A level. Lefty Steve Peterson followed with one run allowed on two hits over one inning. Stephen Kohlscheen picked up the final six outs and allowed a run on two hits, a walk and two punchouts for his third save in three chances.
The Shuckers will look to salvage the series in the finale on Wednesday morning at AT&T Field. LHP Wei-Chung Wang (2-2, 3.43) takes the mound for Biloxi, while RHP Ryan Eades (2-2, 5.00) toes the rubber for Chattanooga. First pitch is scheduled for 10:15 a.m., with coverage starting at 9:55 a.m. on the Biloxi Shuckers' Radio Network's flagship station WGCM 1240 AM, 100.9 FM, Pascagoula's WPMO 1580 AM and the TuneIn Radio app. The contest can also be seen on milb.tv.