Blue Wahoos Roughed Up In Series Opening Loss At Biloxi

June 8, 2019

The Blue Wahoos ran into a hot pitcher and a big inning in a 9-1 loss Friday night against the Biloxi Shuckers to begin their pivotal series battle at MGM Park in Biloxi, Miss.

Shuckers’ righthander Alec Bettinger, named earlier this week as the Southern League Pitcher of the Week, after posting a pair of wins, spun another gem Friday, while wearing a New Orleans Saints jersey as part of a theme night before a crowd of 2,508.

Bettinger allowed just two hits, only one after giving up a leadoff home run to Pensacola’s Travis Blankenhorn to start the game. It was Blankenhorn’s 10th home run since joining the Blue Wahoos on April 27.

Bettinger then settled in to strike out 12 Blue Wahoos batters and allowed just one walk. The Shuckers moved back into a first-place tie with the Blue Wahoos atop the Southern League South Division first half standings.

Both teams have identical 36-25 records. The teams will continue their five game series Saturday at 6:35 p.m. Each team has nine games left in the first half schedule.

After Talyor Grzelakowski hit a two-out triple in the second inning for the Blue Wahoos’ second hit, it became their last one of the game. The Blue Wahoos had only three other baserunners in the game. Michael Davis reached on a walk, two others reached on errors.

Biloxi, meanwhile, pounded out 14 hits, including nine against Blue Wahoos starter Bryan Sammons (0-1), who had his roughest outing (9 hits, 6 earned runs) since joining the team two weeks ago.

Bettinger retired 16 of the final 18 batters he faced. Reliever Devin Williams entered in the eighth and produced two hitless innings.

Bettinger, a former University of Virginia standout, was drafted in 2017 in the 10th round by the Milwaukee Brewers – the Shuckers’ MLB affiliate. He has yielded just two runs in his last three starts, and only five runs allowed in his last six starts.

After Blankenhorn’s blast to start the game, the Shuckers’ Trent Grisham answered with a 2-run homer in the bottom of the first, after Luis Aviles Jr. reached on a fielder’s choice.

But the game was shaped by the fourth inning when the Shuckers went through all nine batters in producing a four-run inning. After Sammons loaded the bases by giving up a pair of singles and walk, Aviles Jr. had an RBI fielder’s choice play and Grisham followed with an RBI single.

Following a pitching change, Patrick Leonard hit a two RBI single off Blue Wahoos reliever Adam Bray. The Shuckers added three more runs in the eighth inning off Blue Wahoos reliever Tyler Jay.

Pensacola will send Charlie Barnes (0-0,3.60 ERA) to the mound for Saturday’s game. Barnes and Sammons both joined the team May 27.


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