The Biloxi Shuckers (45-69) concluded the 2021 season with a 5-0 win over the Tennessee Smokies (46-63) on Sunday afternoon at MGM Park. It was the first time the Shuckers have recorded back-to-back shutouts since Biloxi blanked Mobile twice in May of 2019.
Jesus Castillo (W, 5-9) took the mound for the Shuckers and worked around an early jam in the first. Luis Vazquez singled and Carlos Sepulveda worked a walk to put the first two men on base, but Castillo induced a flyout from the next batter before the Shuckers turned a double play to end the frame.
Biloxi’s offense cracked the scoreboard in the home half of the third inning. David Hamilton hit a one-out single and stole second, his 52nd steal of the season between two levels, before Hayden Cantrelle singled to right, plating Hamilton to give the Shuckers a 1-0 lead. Cantrelle then swiped second base and Mitch Longo drove him home with an RBI triple, pushing the Biloxi advantage to 2-0. Chad Spanberger capped the scoring in the frame with an RBI single, putting the Shuckers up 3-0.
In the bottom of the fourth, Cantrelle added on another run with an RBI triple, bringing home Brent Diaz who had walked to begin the frame. The triple was part of a three-hit effort for Cantrelle, who drove in two and scored a run in the victory.
Castillo scattered five hits over his six scoreless frames, walking just one batter while striking out three. The Shuckers gave their starter his final run of support in the bottom of the sixth when Cam Devanney, Hamilton and Cantrelle all singled to load up the bases and Thomas Dillard worked a walk to force in a run and move Biloxi in front 5-0.
Leo Crawford, Zack Brown and Cody Beckman combined to pitch the last three frames, allowing two hits and striking out four, including three by Beckman in the ninth inning to close out the victory. The Shuckers finish the season on a three-game winning streak and close out the campaign with a series victory over the Smokies, winning their four-game set three games to one and taking the season series six games to four.
Biloxi Shuckers outfielder Mitch Longo has been named the Double-A South Player of the Week for the week of September 14 through 19 as announced by Minor League Baseball on Monday.
Longo led the Double-A South in total bases for the week with 14, slashing .500/.545/1.400 with a double, a triple, two home runs, five RBI and three runs scored in three games during the week.
After the Shuckers were unable to play on Tuesday or Wednesday because of Tropical Storm Nicholas, Longo started the week with a 2-for-4 performance on Thursday night, hitting a two-run homer in the sixth inning and doubling in the fourth as part of a 6-4 Shuckers’ defeat.
During Biloxi’s doubleheader on Saturday night, Longo started in Game One and helped spark a Shuckers’ comeback. The outfielder hit his second home run in two games in the bottom of the fifth to bring Biloxi within a run, then tied the game with a single in the sixth inning. Biloxi would go on to win in the seventh inning on a walk-off homer by Chad Spanberger.
On the final day of the season, Longo went 1-for-2 with an RBI triple and a walk before being subbed out in the sixth inning, helping Biloxi to a 5-0 victory.
In the month of September, the former Ohio Bobcat slashed .400/.413/.889/1.302 in 11 games with three doubles, two triples, five home runs, 12 RBI and 11 runs scored. In 75 games with the Shuckers, Longo hit .308 with 15 doubles, four triples, 11 home runs, 36 RBI and 47 runs scored. He also led Biloxi in stolen bases during the 2021 season with 18 steals in 20 attempts.
The Player of the Week honor is the third Player of the Week recognition for the Shuckers this season, joining Luis Castro and Chad Spanberger. It’s also the fifth overall weekly honor as Ethan Small and Jesus Castillo each collected Pitcher of the Week honors during the 2021 season.
Overall, it is the 24th weekly award for the Brewers’ organization, tied for the fourth most in Minor League Baseball this season with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels.
The 2022 Biloxi Shuckers schedule has been announced and Shuck Nation Memberships and group outings will be available later. Event spaces at MGM Park can be booked for private events during the offseason by calling (228) 271-3486.
The Biloxi Shuckers are the Double-A Affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. The Shuckers play at MGM Park in Biloxi, Mississippi and are members of the Double-A South. For more information, please visit biloxishuckers.com and follow us on Twitter @biloxishuckers and at facebook.com/biloxishuckers