BILOXI – Mississippi Braves third baseman Carlos Franco ripped a two-run ground rule double to right field in the top of the 14th to break a 2-2 tie and lift the Braves to a 6-2 victory over the Biloxi Shuckers Wednesday night at MGM Park.
The Shuckers (30-22) went up 2-0 in the second inning but failed to score a run in the final 12 innings of the game before a crowd of 2,156.
The M-Braves (23-29) weren't much better at the plate, stranding a total of 15 runners. But they managed to get to relief pitcher Tristan Archer with four runs in the top of the 14th.
Archer (4-4) took the loss, allowing four runs on six hits in one inning out of the bullpen.
Willians Astudillo followed Franco's double in the 14th with his own two-run double to set the final margin of victory at four runs.
Garrett Cooper paced the Shuckers at the plate, going 4-for-6 with an RBI.
The Shuckers stranded a total of 12 runners on Wednesday and failed to take advantage of opportunities late.
“It's just baseball,” Cooper said. “You're going to have your ups and downs. Sometimes the hits aren't going to come with runners in scoring position, but you take today. The pitching was great. You just move on to tomorrow.”
Both teams ran out of position players entering the 14th inning.
Cooper played three different positions Wednesday – left field, right field and first base.
“I've never done that,” Cooper said of playing three different positions in one game. “It's baseball. You do anything you can to help the team.”
Starting catcher Jacob Nottingham also played multiple positions, moving to first base in extra innings as Rene Garcia moved behind the plate.
First baseman Jacob Schrader was 4-of-6 to lead the M-Braves' effort in the batter's box.
Shuckers starting pitcher Adrian Houser put in a quality start, but didn't factor into the decision. He allowed one run on seven hits in six innings, striking out six and walking three.
Ole Miss product Chris Ellis overcame a bumpy start for the M-Braves to put in a nice outing of his own. He allowed two runs on six hits while striking out six and walking three.
The Shuckers had the first four men reach in the bottom of the second – a single by Nick Ramirez, a double by to left by Nottingham, an RBI infield single to shortstop by Cooper and a walk by Nick Shaw. Javier Betancourt then lifted a sacrifice fly to left to bring home Nottingham from third to give the Shuckers a 2-0 lead after two innings.
Johan Camargo hit a solo home run in the fifth and Mel Rojas Jr. hit an RBI double in the seventh to tie the game at 2-2 and push the contest into extra innings.
Tyler Spurlin, Stephen Kohlscheen and Daniel Tillman combined to throw five scoreless innings in relief Biloxi, but that streak ended with Archer's struggles in the 14th.
Right-hander Stephen Janas (3-2) earned the win for Mississippi by throwing two scoreless innings.
Right-hander Javier Salas (3-1, 3.79) is set to be the starting pitcher for Biloxi at 7:10 p.m.on Thursday. at MGM Park. Mississippi will counter with left-hander Sean Newcomb, who is 2-2 with a 3.71 ERA.