Biloxi Beats The Wahoos

April 29, 2017

For a change, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, who have the best ERA in the Southern League, lost the pitching duel against the Biloxi Shuckers Friday at Blue Wahoos Stadium.

The Blue Wahoos has lost five of its last six games and two in a row to the Shuckers, falling 1-0 to Biloxi in front of 4,465 fans.

Pensacola starter Luis Castillo worked six innings and gave up only one run in the first inning but picked up the loss to even his record, 1-1, even though, his ERA dropped to 2.08 on the season. He gave up seven hits and one walk and struck out four.

In his first five starts this season in Double-A, Castillo has lasted at least 5.0 innings and has allowed two runs or less in each game.

However, Biloxi right-hander Jorge Lopez was even better, throwing six scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and one walk, and striking out 10 Blue Wahoos batters. He struck out five in a row and Lopez separately also retired 12 in a row.

On the night, Pensacola got just four hits and struck out 14 times as they got shutout for the second time this season.

Pensacola manager Pat Kelly said his hitters have to remain upbeat at the plate despite their struggles at the plate with a .210 team batting average, which is ninth in the Southern League.

“They got to stay positive because it’s a long season,” Kelly said. “This is a tough league. Some of the managers think the pitching is better this than last year. This is a tough league to hit in.”

Kelly pointed out the Pensacola offense has scored 66 runs in its 22 games this season but still has the second-best record in the Southern League at 14-8 and is in first place in the Southern Division.

He complimented 24-year-old Biloxi pitcher Lopez, who was named the Southern League Pitcher of the Year in 2015 when he went 12-5 with a 2.26 ERA. That year, Lopez even started two games for the parent club, Milwaukee Brewers. Last year, though, he was 3-11 between Triple-A Colorado Springs Sky Sox and Biloxi.

Pensacola did have a chance to score in the seventh inning. Gabriel Guerrero, who was 2-4, got thrown out at third by Biloxi catcher Jacob Nottingham. Kelly argued the call because he thought the throw pulled Shuckers third baseman Blake Allemand off the bag on the close play. If Guerrero reached third safely, Pensacola would have had the bases loaded with no outs.

But Biloxi reliever Josh Uhen bore down and struck out the next two Pensacola batters to get out of the jam.

Biloxi scored first in the top of the first inning to go ahead, 1-0, when Allemand scored from third on a passed ball by Adrien Nieto. The Shuckers then loaded the bases with two outs on two singles and a walk but Castillo go out of the jam on a fly ball to right field.


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