The Biloxi Shuckers went into Sunday night’s contest against the Jackson Generals with a chance to force a rubber match, but fell short, 5-1, at The Ballpark at Jackson. The loss hands Biloxi its 13th series defeat of the season, and eighth of the second half.
Clint Coulter (2x3, HR, RBI, R) carried his hot streak into Sunday’s contest, blasting a solo shot over the wall in left to give the Shuckers a 1-0 lead after two innings. The 23-year-old extended his hitting streak to a season-high, eight games: seven of which have come in his first seven starts at the Double-A level.
Jackson (30-18, 76-42) tied the game in the bottom half of the second on an RBI double to the gap in right off the bat of Adam Law, scoring Marcus Littlewood all the way from first.
The Generals took advantage of two Biloxi errors in the fourth to grab the lead.
Tim Lopes singled to leadoff the inning and took off for second with Leon Landry at the plate. An errant throw to the bag by Rene Garcia sailed into center. With the runner breaking for the extra base, Johnny Davis fired to third, but the throw carried into the Generals’ dugout, allowing Lopes to score.
Tyler O’Neill tagged his league-leading 21st home run of the season for a solo shot in the fifth to extend the Shuckers’ deficit to 3-1.
Jorge Lopez (0-3) started for Biloxi (19-30, 58-60) and went five innings for the fourth consecutive outing. The 2015 Southern League Pitcher of the Year allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits, two walks and three strikeouts. The right-hander needed 95 pitches to work through his fourth start at the Double-A level, with 58 going for strikes.
Tristan Archer relieved Lopez to start the sixth and gave up a one-out triple to Leon Landry to put a runner in scoring position with less than two outs. Littlewood flew out to Tyrone Taylor in left field, who then gunned out Landry at the plate on a tag attempt to get Archer out of trouble.
The right-hander ran into a bases-loaded, two-out situation in the seventh, but was able to escape any damage by getting Dario Pizzano to fly out to left.
The Generals added insurance in the eighth against Junior Rincon by taking advantage of another defensive miscue by the Shuckers.
Lopes started the inning with a single and advanced to third on a fielder’s choice by Landry. Javier Betancourt fielded Landry’s grounder, but threw the ball away on an attempt to start a double play on a toss to second, allowing both runners to advance 90 ft.
Littlewood deposited a two-run single to right to bring home the runners and stretch Jackson’s lead to four heading into the ninth.
Ryan Yarbrough (12-4) picked up his 12th win of the season for Jackson with one run allowed on two hits, a walk and six strikeouts in six innings. Both hits were surrendered to Coulter.
Dan Altavilla (SV, 16) earned his 16th save of the season with 1.1 scoreless innings and a strikeout.
Biloxi will look to salvage the series in the finale of the five-game set on Monday night and The Ballpark at Jackson. RHP Brooks Hall (4-2, 3.47) makes the start for Biloxi against Jackson’s RHP Paul Blackburn (7-5, 3.34)