The Biloxi Shuckers were eliminated from postseason contention with a 6-2 loss to the Mississippi Braves on Saturday night at Trustmark Park.
Biloxi stranded 12 men on base, and set a season-high with 11 walks issued on the mound.
Mississippi (39-28, 73-63) tagged a run off of Taylor Jungmann (3-4) in the first to take the early 1-0 lead.
Ozzie Albies drew a one-out walk and advanced to second on a ground out to second by Dustin Peterson. Carlos Franco drove the runner home with a base hit to center to put the Shuckers in a one-run deficit at the end of one inning.
Biloxi (31-37, 70-67) had an opportunity to knot the game at one with a bases-loaded situation in the third, but came up empty.
After Parker Berberet (0x3) struck out to start the inning, Jungmann, Johnny Davis (2x4, 2 R, 3B, BB) and Angel Ortega (3x4, RBI) collected three straight singles to put a man at every base for Brett Phillips (2x5, RBI). The center fielder struck out looking for the second out, and Tyrone Taylor (0x5) unleashed a hard-hit liner to third that was snagged by Franco to leave the maximum.
The Shuckers were able to pull even in the fifth on an RBI knock by Phillips.
Jungmann started the frame by drawing the first free pass of the night by Michael Mader, but was erased on a fielder’s choice by Davis. Ortega singled to right for his third hit of the game to put the tying run in scoring position.
Phillips dropped a two-strike pitching into right field, bringing Davis home from second for the tying run.
The Braves used a crooked number in the sixth to pull back ahead of the Shuckers.
Franco started the inning with a walk against Jungmann and moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt by Joey Meneses. Connor Lien drew the second base on balls of the inning to put runners on first and second for Cade Scivicque, who struck out to bring the Shuckers within an out of escaping the inning.
Johan Camargo shot a two-run triple past a diving Taylor in right field, brining home Franco and Lien to put Biloxi at a 3-1 disadvantage and force Jungmann from the game.
Biloxi’s starter finished the night with three runs allowed on five hits, five walks and eight strikeouts in 5.2 innings. The right-hander needed 96 pitches, with only 56 strikes, in the loss.
Preston Gainey took over on the mound and walked Levi Hyams and Mallex Smith to load the bases, but struck out Albies to end the inning.
The Shuckers responded in the top of the seventh with the help of a leadoff triple by Davis and a sacrifice fly by Ortega to pull within a run, 3-2, just before the stretch.
The visitors would get a chance to tie the game in the eighth after Javier Betancourt (2x4, 2B) doubled to left to start the inning, and Berberet moved the runner over with a sacrifice bunt. Nick Ramirez (0x1) pinch hit for Gainey and struck out looking. Davis drew a walk to put runners on the corners for Ortega, who went down looking to leave the tying run at third.
The Braves created separation with three runs in the eighth to ice the Shuckers’ chances of making the playoffs. Tyler Spurlin started the inning on the mound, but only recorded two outs while giving up two hits and walking three with two runs crossing the plate.
Stephen Kohlscheen came in to try to stop the bleeding, but forced in another run with a bases loaded walk to Franco to bring home the third run of the inning, and put the Shuckers in a 6-2 hole going into the ninth.
Biloxi went down in order in the final inning, with Gabriel Noriega going down swinging to end the game against A.J. Minter.
Evan Philips (6-3) earned the win for Mississippi with a scoreless inning in the sixth.
The Shuckers will look to break the three-game losing streak in game four of the five-game set at 5 p.m. Sunday night at Trustmark Park against the Braves. RHP Brandon Woodruff (9-8, 3.21) takes the mound for Biloxi against Mississippi’s HRP Max Povse (4-0, 2.64)