Gazebo Gazette

After trailing by five runs at two separate points during their contest on Sunday evening, the Biloxi Shuckers (34-33) rallied for a 9-8 walk-off win over the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (35-29) at MGM Park. The five-run comeback ties the largest comeback in franchise history, as the Shuckers overcame a five-run deficit on May 27, 2015, against the Chattanooga Lookouts.

Trailing 8-3 going to the bottom of the seventh inning, the Shuckers started their rally. Felix Valerio reached on a walk and stole second before  Anuerys Zabala struck out the next batter. Thomas Dillard grounded into a fielder’s choice where Valerio was thrown out at third, putting Dillard on first with two outs. Dillard advanced to second on a passed ball and scored on a double from Jakson Reetz to make it 8-4.

Cam Devanney then worked a walk, bringing up Yeison Coca.

The Shuckers’ third baseman singled to left to score Reetz but was caught in a rundown between first and second. Coca avoided the rundown long enough to allow Devanney to score before the last out was recorded, giving the Shuckers a three-run frame and pulling them within two at 8-6.

Robbie Hitt worked around a pair of singles to start the top of the eighth, hurling a scoreless frame.

Nash Walters (W, 4-1) followed with a scoreless ninth to keep the Shuckers within striking distance.

In the home half of the ninth, Jefrey Yan (L, 1-2; BS,1) struck out the first batter before Dillard singled, bringing the tying run to the plate. Reetz and Devanney each walked to load the bases, but Yan struck out the next hitter for the second out.

Jason Lopez got ahead in the count 2-1 before lacing a double inside of third and into the left-field corner, clearing the bases to win the game for the Shuckers, 9-8. It was the 11th one-run game between the Wahoos and Shuckers and the 10th game in the last 12 contests between the two squads that has been decided by one run.

Pensacola scored in the top of the first inning on a solo home run by Griffin Conine, his 12th of the year. Biloxi replied with three consecutive singles from Joey Wiemer, Dillard and Reetz, drawing the Shuckers back level at 1-1.

In the top of the second, Pensacola struck for three runs on a hit by pitch, a throwing error, four hits, a walk and a sacrifice fly, but the Shuckers were able to move within a pair in the bottom of the third. Valerio worked a lead-off walk and stole second base and Dillard drove him in with a single to right, making it 4-2.

A three-run home run by Conine in the fourth widened the advantage to the Wahoos, pushing Pensacola to a 7-2 lead. Biloxi scratched across the first run of their comeback in the bottom of the fifth on a double to left by Devanney, extending his franchise-record hitting streak to 19 games.

Following a series victory over the Pensacola Blue Wahoos in the first six games of their 12-game homestand, the Biloxi Shuckers start the second half of the Southern League season with a six-game tilt against the Mississippi Braves from June 28 to July 3 at MGM Park.