JACKSONVILLE, Fla. The Biloxi Shuckers opened up a five-game series with the Jacksonville Suns at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville with a 5-3 loss, despite out-hitting their opponent again, 12-7 on Sunday afternoon. The Shuckers closed out the month of July with an 11-18 record, their third consecutive losing month after posting a mark of 16-6 in April.
Jacksonville (17-19, 47-59) put up the first three runs of the game in the first inning, thanks to a two-out, three-run home run by Alex Glenn to put Biloxi in an early 3-0 deficit.
Ronnie Mitchell started the inning with a walk and moved up to second two batters later on a free pass to Brian Anderson. Glenn then blasted his third long ball of the season into the bleachers in right to put the Shuckers in a 3-0 hole at the end of an inning. Biloxi has now surrendered 81 runs in the first inning, while scoring 43 in the opening frame.
Biloxi (13-23, 52-53) dug into Jacksonville’s lead with a run in the fourth. Dustin DeMuth (4x5, 3 R) started the inning with a triple to center to give the Shuckers a scoring chance with nobody out. After a pop out by Jacob Nottingham(0x5, 3 SO), Tom Belza (2x4, 2 RBI) lined a single up the middle to plate DeMuth for Biloxi’s first run of the game.
The Suns extended their lead back to three in the bottom half of the fourth when Ronnie Mitchell deposited a second blast into the bleachers for his third homer of the season.
Angel Ventura (1-3) started for Biloxi and allowed four runs on two hits, four walks and three strikeouts. The right-hander’s outing snapped a streak of 12 consecutive games a Shuckers’ starter tossed at least five innings.
J.T. Riddle welcomed Brooks Hall from Biloxi’s bullpen with a leadoff home run to right in the fifth to create a four-run gap between the clubs.
Hall lasted two innings in his relief appearance, allowing a run on three hits and three strikeouts.
Belza brought the Shuckers within two at 5-3 in the eighth inning on a double to center, scoring DeMuth from second. DeMuth started the inning with a single off the glove of Brian Anderson at third and made his way to second on a wild pitch during Belza’s at-bat.
Johnny Davis (2x4, SB) reached on an infield single to put runners at the corners and place the tying run on base. The speedster swiped second for his 10th stolen base of the season to move the tying run into scoring position, and take sole advantage of the team lead in that category. Angel Ortega (0x4) struck out to leave the runners stranded.
Biloxi had another chance to tie the game in the ninth with two on and two out for Nottingham, but the Shuckers’ backstop struck out looking to end the game.
Austin Brice (SV, 2) earned his second save of the season for Jacksonville by striking out the side in the ninth.
Tyler Bremer earned the win out of the Suns’ bullpen with one run allowed over 2.2 innings on three hits, two walks and a strikeout.
The Shuckers will look to climb back into the series in game two at 6:05 p.m. Monday night at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. RHP Taylor Jungmann (0-2, 3.58) takes the mound for Biloxi against Jacksonville’s RHP Patrick Johnson (6-5, 3.71).