Behind Brown, Hager, Shuckers Down M-Braves on Thursday Night 9-1
BILOXI, MS - The Biloxi Shuckers (32-21) defeated the Mississippi Braves (24-29) for the second-straight night at MGM Park on Thursday night 9-1 to take a 2-1 series lead.
Biloxi's Zack Brown (W, 4-0) struck out a career-high ten M-Braves and cruised through 7.0 shutout innings in the win.
M-Braves starter Bryse Wilson (L, 1-1) breezed through a 1-2-3 first frame with two strikeouts but ran into trouble in the second and third innings.
The Shuckers collected five straight hits to open the second inning and scored first on an RBI single from Blake Allemand. The fifth consecutive knock was a two-run double by Tyler Heineman to make it 3-0. Wilson struck out Brown and intentionally walked Corey Ray to load the bases then Troy Stokes Jr. lifted a sacrifice fly to left to finish of the four-run inning.
The bottom of the third inning began with three straight Shuckers' hits including another RBI single by Allemand. A bases-loaded walk to Ray ended Wilson's night with Biloxi on top 6-0. Reliever Elian Leyva got Stokes Jr. to fly out to end the threat. Wilson gave up six runs on eight hits over 2.2 innings with three walks and three strikeouts.
Leyva surrendered a solo home run to Jake Hager to lead off the fifth inning, but that was his only blemish over 4.1 innings of relief. The 29-year-old from Spain struck out three and walked none.
The Braves' most significant threat against Brown was when they loaded the bases in the sixth inning on three singles, but the right-hander struck out Travis Demeritte to leave them loaded.
In the eighth, pinch-hitter Luis Valenzuela singled with one out and later scored Mississippi's lone run as Alay Lago reached on a fielding error by Biloxi third baseman Lucas Erceg.
Hager added his second home run of the game in the bottom of the eighth against M-Braves reliever Jacob Webb. The two-run shot to left pushed the Biloxi lead to 9-1. Hager became the second player from the opposition to homer twice in a game against the M-Braves this season joining Tennessee's Jason Vosler on May 20.
Tyler Neslony was 2-for-4 to lead the Braves offensively, and Daniel Lockhart was 1-for-3 with a walk and has hit in 17 of his last 20 games.
The M-Braves and Shuckers will play game four of the five-game series on Friday night at MGM Park. First pitch is set for 6:35 pm with RHP Andres Santiago (3-0, 3.38) getting the start for the Braves and LHP Kodi Medeiros (4-2, 4.29) starting for Biloxi. The game can be heard on 103.9 WYAB and the free TuneIn Radio app.
The M-Braves return to Trustmark Park for a ten-game homestand beginning on Sunday, June 3 through Tuesday, June 12. For tickets or more information visit mississippibraves.com or call 888-BRAVES4.
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