The Biloxi Shuckers and Jacksonville Suns endured a 29-minute delay to start Tuesday’s doubleheader at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. When all was said and done, only one game was played, resulting in a Shuckers, 3-0 victory. Game two of was postponed due to rain and will be made up as part of a Wednesday doubleheader starting at 10:05 a.m.
Dustin Houle made his Double-A debut in the opener and made an instant impact, giving the Shuckers the lead in the second inning. Dustin DeMuth started the frame with his fifth consecutive hit, a single to right, to put the leadoff man on board. Gabriel Noriega (1x3) bounced into a double play to bring Biloxi within an out of coming away empty.
Tom Belza and Javier Betancourt kept the inning alive with back-to-back base hits, bringing Houle to the dish for his first at-bat with the Shuckers. The 22-year-old banged a single to center, scoring Belza without a play. Betancourt hustled his way into third, and an errant thrown by Alex Glenn from center caromed off the base runner, allowing Betancourt to score the second run.
Biloxi (14-23, 53-53) extended its lead to three with a sacrifice fly in the fourth to plate DeMuth, who had singled to start the inning.
DeMuth’s leadoff single in the fourth gave the Indiana University product six consecutive plate appearances with a hit, passing Nick Shaw’s team high of five for the 2016 season, which was also set against the Suns from May 12-13. Garrett Cooper has the club record when the first baseman had eight consecutive plate appearances with a hit from Aug. 30-Sept.3 of Biloxi’s inaugural season.
Taylor Jungmann (1-2) took the shutout into the seventh and took aim for the first complete game for the Shuckers this season. The right-hander induced a ground out off the bat of Chris Curley to start the inning, but issued two free passes and gave up a hit to load the bases and make way for Stephen Kohlscheen (SV, 15).
The Shuckers’ closer struck out Ronnie Mitchell and Peter Mooney to end the game and snap the Shuckers’ three-game losing streak.
Jacksonville’s (17-20, 47-60) Patrick Johnson (6-6) suffered the loss by allowing all three of Biloxi’s runs (two earned) on eight hits and five strikeouts through five innings.
LHP Wei-Chung Wang (6-5, 3.48) takes the mound for the Shuckers in the opener Wednesday against former Ole Miss lefty Matt Tracy (1-3, 5.88) for the Suns. It has yet to be determined who will take the mound for either club in Game 2.
First pitch is scheduled for 10:05 a.m., with coverage starting at 9:45 am 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.