BILOXI - The Biloxi Shuckers dropped the first game of their eight-game homestand with a 1-0 shutout loss to the Mobile BayBears on Friday night at MGM Park. Despite the loss, a crowd of 4,328 witnessed Jorge Ortega pitch his fourth quality start of the season as the Shuckers were shutout for a fifth time in 2016.
The BayBears broke a scoreless tie in the ninth with a two out, solo homer off the bat of Michael Perez. The loss drops the Shuckers back into second place, a game behind the Pensacola Blue Wahoos.
Ortega tied a season-high with 6.1 innings and set a season-high with six strikeouts, while allowing only five hits during his scoreless outing. The right-handed exited the game after a one-out single by Gabriel Guerrero in the top of the seventh inning.
Tristan Archer faced two batters in relief of Ortega and struck out Kevin Cron and induced a groundout off the bat of Jamie Westbrook to clean up the seventh. Steve Peterson tossed the eighth, allowing a single and picked up a double play to get out of the frame.
Stephen Kohlscheen (1-2) recorded the first two outs of the ninth on groundouts, but Perez lifted his third home run of the season over the wall in left for the only run of the game for both teams.
Biloxi's (27-21) best scoring chance came in the fourth inning with back-to-back one-out singles by Jacob Nottingham (2x4) and Garrett Cooper (1x3), but a rope off the bat of Victor Roache (0x3) was snagged in on a dive in center by Evan Marzilli, as the throw back in to second doubled off Nottingham.
Matt Koch had an impressive start as well for Mobile (22-26), allowing four hits and striking out six on 66 pitches - 48 strikes - in five innings.
Daniel Gibson (3-0) picked up the win for the BayBears with a scoreless eighth, as Brandon Macias (1x3) was the only batter to reach on an error by shortstop Ildemaro Vargas. Jimmie Sherfy (SV, 4) earned his fourth save with two strikeouts in a perfect ninth.
Southpaws will duel in game five of the six-game series on Saturday night from MGM Park, with Biloxi's LHP Josh Hader (1-1, 0.79) taking his league-leading ERA against Mobile's LHP Anthony Banda (3-2, 3.04). First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m.