Suns Fall Short to Barons 3-2

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Suns (8-9) used a late ninth-inning rally to cut to within a run but fell short to the Birmingham Barons (8-9) 3-2 Monday night from Bragan Field.

Earning the victory for Birmingham was starter Myles Jay (W, 2-1) tossing seven no-hit innings while not walking a batter and striking out seven. Suns starter Trevor Williams (L, 0-2) lasted six innings allowing three earned runs on eight hits while walking two and striking out three. Raul Fernandez (S, 1) locked down his first save of the year pitching the ninth, in which he was tagged for two runs (both earned) on two hits (one home run) while striking out a pair.

The scoring began in the first frame for Birmingham after Jacob May lead off with a double. Courtney Hawkins promptly drove him home with a RBI two-bagger to leap the Barons out to a 1-0 lead.

In the third frame the Barons tacked on a pair of runs after a May lead off single, that would be followed by a Hawkins run-scoring triple, and two batter’s later, Brian Fletcher’s RBI base knock to create a 3-0 scoreboard advantage through three innings of play.

The Suns after breaking up Jaye’s no-hitter in the eighth, posted a pair of runs in the ninth after a two-run blast off the bat of Viosergy Rosa (HR, 1) crept Jacksonville to within a 3-2 score. Matt Juengel’s groundout to second and Ryan Rieger swinging strikeout ended any further threat, and the ballgame.

The Suns and Barons will square off once again Tuesday night at Bragan Field with a first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. ET. The Suns will send out left-hander Chipper Smith (2-0, 1.17 ERA) while the Barons starter has yet to be announced.

Tomorrow night is Fifty Cent Family Feast Night with GATE Tuesday Night BOGO Tickets & Strike Out Stroke Night! All fans get 50 cent hot dogs, peanuts and ice cream all night long courtesy of Oscar Mayer, Hampton Farms, Blue Bell Ice Cream, Folio Weekly & 99.9 Gator Country! Plus bring a receipt from any GATE Convenience Store for Buy One Get One Tickets! Also join the Suns for Strike Out Stroke Night as we join UF Health Jacksonville in promoting stroke awareness and prevention and see a special visit from the TraumaOne Helicopter!

Suns fans can also listen to Tuesday’s game on the Suns Baseball Network, 100.3 FM/600 AM WBOB or through http://www.jaxsuns.com, MiLB.com, or the TuneIn radio app, with the Memorial Hospital Suns Pregame Show beginning at 6:50 p.m. ET

The 2015 season of Suns baseball is presented by EverBank, the official banking partner of the Jacksonville Suns. Sponsorships, group outings, and season/individual game tickets are currently available by calling the Suns front office at (904) 358-2846.

Here are highlights from tonight’s contest:

Suns Look For Series Victory Tonight

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By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns

JACKSONVILLE Fla., – The Jacksonville Suns (8-8) will look to take a series victory against the Birmingham Barons (7-9) in game three of the five-game set tonight with a 7:05 p.m. ET first pitch from Bragan Field.

With the 4-0 shutout win yesterday over Birmingham, the Suns are now winners of two-straight and have worked their way back to .500 for the first time since April 21st. Jake Esch earned his second win in a Jacksonville uniform manufacturing seven scoreless innings surrendering six hits while walking a pair of batters and striking out six. Lay Batista provided two scoreless frames in relief to earn his first save of the year. The offense would get off to a very slow start being retired in order for five of the first six innings before coming alive in the seventh. Matt Juengel provided the spark in that seventh frame when he sent a solo shot over the left field wall to give the Suns a 1-0 lead. Still 1-0, and now in the eighth, Jacksonville pulled away posting a three-spot after Justin Bohn’s RBI triple, Austin Nola’s run-scoring single, and Kenny Wilson’s RBI double all came in succession to set the final score of 4-0. For Birmingham, starter Mark Blackmar, pitched seven strong innings while being tagged for only one run on two hits in his second loss of the year.

Tonight’s starting pitching matchup will feature right-hander Trevor Williams for the Suns and he’ll be opposed by Barons righty Myles Jaye. Through three starts Williams is 0-1 with a 3.31 ERA. He ran into trouble in his last start providing only 4 and 1/3 innings allowing a season-high five earned runs on eight hits while walking and striking out a batter in what was a 6-0 Jacksonville loss to the Biloxi Shuckers. Williams will be opposed by Jaye, Birmingham’s opening day starter, that has made three trips to the hill posting a 1-1 record to go along with a 4.11 ERA. In his last start against Pensacola Jaye worked six innings of scoreless baseball surrendering four hits while walking three and striking out four in a winning effort.

Tonight it’s Service Industry Night with free tickets available at select locations throughout the first coast area, courtesy of AM600 WBOB!

Fans can listen to the game live on the Suns Baseball Network, with Roger Hoover providing play by play. Roger Hoover and Kyle Crooks will host the Memorial Hospital Suns Pre-Game Show, beginning at 6: 50 p.m. ET on the Suns Baseball Network.

Listen Live to Barons and Suns: Live- April 27, 2015:

You can also keep up with all the game action on the Suns Baseball Network and by following the Suns on Twitter and liking us on Facebook.

Matchup: Birmingham Barons (7-9) @ Jacksonville Suns (8-8)

Starters: BIR: RHP Myles Jaye (1-1, 4.11 ERA) vs. JAX: RHP Trevor Williams (0-1, 3.31 ERA)

Who’s Hot: With his performance yesterday, Suns starter Jake Esch moved to 2-0 with Jacksonville attached with a spotless ERA. In yesterday’s start Esch lasted a strong seven scoreless innings allowing six hits while walking a pair and striking out six.

Suns Spots: Here’s a note from the official Jacksonville Suns game notes:

-Matt Juengel currently sits second in total bases (32), and home runs (3) while currently placing in third in total at-bats (65) and extra base hits (8). Suns closer Sean Donatello is slotted in third in saves with four in 2015. Starter Chipper Smith has assembled the fifth-best average against in the league (.164) to go along with the ninth best ERA (1.17).

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First Glances…

-Currently riding a four game winning streak, the Smokies have come to life atop the North Division. Tennessee made a statement by handling the Lookouts with relative ease in the first two editions of their five game set over the weekend.

-Biloxi continues to play well despite the road challenges the team has faced out of the gate in 2015. The Shuckers were forced to play two double-headers across the past six days due to early season weather issues, yet they have tasted victory in seven of the past ten games. As a result the Shuckers stand alone at the head of the South Division

-The aforementioned 7-3 record posted by the Shuckers (and Smokies) is second only to the eight wins logged by Montgomery during that stretch. The Biscuits are arguably the league’s hottest team and enter this week just two games out of first place in the North.

-The prospect laden Lookouts and Smokies combined for 26 runs alongside the same amount of hits, including six long balls, as part of an absolute slugfest in front of over 5,000 fans on Saturday evening at Smokies Stadium. Just a sample size of the offensive potential for both clubs.

Southern League Spotlight…

This week’s spotlight is on Biloxi’s middle infield. We’ve already introduced you to the outstanding duo of Yadiel Rivera (#13/#23) and Orlando Arcia (#2/#1), but this past week their defense has become a main topic of conversation around the new Shuckers franchise. The two highly regarded Brewers prospects are spending their days alternating positions between second and short, wowing fans all the while with highlight moments on the diamond.

Combine these defensive skills with their current offensive numbers and headlines continue to be garnered out on the road. Arcia is one of only two players in the league still batting above .400 on the year at .423 and sits second in runs scored (12). Rivera has cracked the top 10 in average (.346), triples (2) and stolen bases (4) across the season’s first two few weeks.

Prospect Watch…

-Rankings listed use the format Baseball America/MLB.com-

Tennessee– First Baseman Dan Vogelbach (#25/#15) led the league in batting average and snagged player of the week honors from the Southern League office entering this past week. The twenty-two year old Cub’s prospect followed up with 3 HR’s and 10 RBI’s between April 20-26 to boost his average to an eye-popping .444 through 54 at bats. Vogelbach also leads the league in RBI’s with 13.

Biloxi– Brewers left-hander Hobbs Johnson (#23/#25) shined in Jacksonville on Thursday, using only sixty-three pitches to deliver five innings of one-hit ball against the Suns. It was his third start of the season for the Shuckers. Johnson is 1-0 with an 0.79 ERA thus far.

Birmingham- Jason Coats has already accumulated 9 doubles in only 12 games played for the Barons to lead the Southern League in that category. The White Sox 29th round selection in 2012 has separated himself as an extra base hits machine to the delight of fans at Regions Field.

MontgomeryRichie Shaffer (#18/#22) has moved into a tie with two other players for the league lead in home runs. The Rays prospect tallied three more across this past week and drove in five runs for the surging Biscuits.
Jamie Schultz (—/#30) struck out six consecutive batters on April 20, a total two shy of the Southern League record. The right-hander worked six solid innings without allowing the BayBears a single hit (#30). Schultz leads the league in strikeouts with 33 across just over twenty innings of work

Mississippi – Twenty-two year old Daniel Castro (#25/—) is drawing attention as the everyday shortstop in Jackson. The Braves prospect has notched 5 doubles, driven in 7 runs, scored 11 times and is batting .386 through 15 Double-A games in 2015.

PensacolaLayne Somsen has posted a minuscule 0.69 ERA to lead the Southern League across 13 IP. The South Dakota State product in Cincinnati’s organization worked five solid innings of two-hit ball at home against Biloxi on Sunday April 26th.

Series To Focus On…

Mobile BayBears @ Biloxi Shuckers
Thursday April 30-Monday May 4
in Huntsville, Alabama

It’s hello again, goodbye again for Joe Davis Stadium as the top two teams in the South Division meet in Huntsville at the former home to which the Shuckers (then known as the Stars) supposedly bid farewell last fall. Ironically, this is as close to a home game as the now Biloxi based team will experience for some time.

The highly anticipated weekend series will provide an outstanding and unexpected opportunity for baseball fans in the state of Alabama to see these storied rival franchises once again do battle on familiar turf. It makes it all the more sweeter that division supremacy will be on the line in the process.

Mobile enters the week as winners of three straight and fresh off an extra inning walk-off victory over Mississippi, while Biloxi boasts a league leading eleven wins on the season.

A Look At The Standings…

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Suns Power Past Barons 4-0

By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Suns (8-8) used a three-run eighth to help propel them to a 4-0 victory over the Birmingham Barons (7-9) Sunday afternoon from Bragan Field.

Hear from Suns Manager David Berg Postgame:

Earning the victory was right-hander Jake Esch (W, 2-0) tossing a scoreless seven innings on six hits while walking two and striking out six. Taking the loss was Mark Blackmar (L, 0-2) hurling seven innings allowing one run (earned) on two hits, including the solo home run to Matt Juengel (HR, 3), accompanied by two strikeouts. Lay Batista (S, 1) earned his first save of the year pitching a scoreless two innings while walking and striking out a batter.

This contest went scoreless until the bottom of the seventh when Juengel (HR, 3) sent a deep fly to left giving the Suns a 1-0 lead.

In the eighth frame Jacksonville provided three runs, all with two outs, when Justin Bohn provided a RBI triple, Austin Nola followed with a run scoring base knock, and Kenny Wilson’s RBI double ballooned the lead to 4-0 through eight innings.

The Suns are now winners of two-straight and have improved to a .500 on the season.

The Suns and Barons will square off once again Monday night at Bragan Field with a first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. ET. The Suns will send out right-hander Trevor Williams (0-1, 3.31 ERA) to the mound to be opposed by Barons righty Myles Jaye (1-1, 4.11 ERA).

It’s Service Industry Night with free tickets available at select locations throughout the first coast area, courtesy of AM600 WBOB!

Suns fans can also listen to Monday’s game on the Suns Baseball Network, 100.3 FM/600 AM WBOB or through http://www.jaxsuns.com, MiLB.com, or the TuneIn radio app, with the Memorial Hospital Suns Pregame Show beginning at 6:50 p.m. ET

The 2015 season of Suns baseball is presented by EverBank, the official banking partner of the Jacksonville Suns. Sponsorships, group outings, and season/individual game tickets are currently available by calling the Suns front office at (904) 358-2846.

Here are highlights from tonight’s contest:

Suns and Barons Set for Afternoon Baseball

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By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns

JACKSONVILLE,Fla. – The Jacksonville Suns (7-8) will take on the Birmingham Barons (7-8) for the second game of this five-game set this afternoon from Bragan Field with a first pitch set for 3:05 p.m. ET.

The Suns stopped a three-game slide last night in a 3-0 victory over Birmingham in the series opener. Suns pitching was dominant in the contest tallying a season-high 19 strikeouts between starter Greg Nappo, and relievers Brian Ellington, Frankie Reed, and Sean Donatello. Nappo in his spot start, lasted three innings allowing two hits while striking out eight batters. Ellington earned his first victory of the year entering the fourth, and twirled 3 and 2/3 innings fanning six batters. Reed and Donatello combined for five strikeouts in 2 and 1/3 innings, and it was Donatello who picked up his fourth save which is good for third best in the Southern League. After being shut out 1-0 in the series finale against Biloxi in which Jacksonville only provided two hits, they got timely offense starting with a Chadd Krist solo home run in the sixth, his first double-A longball. That was soon followed in the same frame by a Matt Juengel’s run-scoring double to push the Suns advantage to 2-0 through six. In the seventh frame the Suns added some insurance when Carlos Lopez provided a sac fly setting the final score of 3-0.

Today’s pitching matchup will feature Suns right-hander Jake Esch in his second start in a Suns uniform after receiving the call up to NOLA (AAA) on 4/14.The last time he took the hill for Jacksonville was on 4/10 against Jackson when he tossed 5 and 1/3 scoreless innings allowing three hits and two walks while striking out six in a rain-shortened start. The Suns would go on to shutout the Generals 7-0. At the triple-A level Esch made two starts, both against the Iowa Cubs finishing 0-1 with a 5.23 ERA in 9 and 1/3 frames tossed in which he allowed six earned runs and struck out nine. For the Barons right-hander Mark Blackmar will get the start, posting a 0-1 record alongside a 7.88 ERA in two starts this year. Blackmar has allowed seven earned runs in a total of eight innings pitched while walking four and striking out six. The righty’s two starts came against Mobile on 4/13 in which he surrendered five earned runs on eight hits in a loss, while in his second go around against Pensacola on 4/21 he relinquished two earned runs on eight hits in a no decision.

Tomorrow there’s a Kids Clinic on the Field & Kids Run the Bases! Bring the kids early for a special on-field baseball clinic conducted by Suns players and coaches from 1:30-2:30! Check out the hottest rides from your Southern Ford Dealers and be sure to stick around after the game for Kids Run the Bases, presented by VyStar Credit Union, CW17 & 95.1 WAPE!

You can watch today’s game in high definition television on CW-17 with Roger Hoover, Suns Owner Peter Bragan Jr., and reporter Mackenzie Thurkill on the call. Also the game will be available on the Suns Baseball Network with Kyle Crooks providing the play-by-play. Coverage will begin at 2:35 p.m. ET with a special “Suns Sunday” edition of the Memorial Hospital Suns Pregame Show on 102.3 FM “The Beach,” milb.tv, and the TuneIn radio app.

Listen Live to Barons and Suns: Live – April 26,2015:

You can also keep up with all the game action on the Suns Baseball Network and by following the Suns on Twitter and liking us on Facebook.

Matchup: Birmingham Barons (7-8) @ Jacksonville Suns (7-8)

Starters: BIR: RHP Mark Blackmar (0-1, 7.88 ERA) vs. JAX: RHP Jake Esch (1-1, 3.45 ERA)

Who’s Hot: The combination of Greg Nappo, Brian Ellington, Frankie Reed, and Sean Donatello combined for a team-high 19 strikeouts in last night’s 3-0 win.

Suns Spots: Here’s a note from the official Jacksonville Suns game notes:

-Matt Juengel is tied for first in games played (16) and second in total at-bats (62) in the Southern League. Suns closer Sean Donatello currently has the best K/9 ratio (12.91) in the S.L. and is third in saves (4) after nailing down his fourth save in four tries in last night’s 3-0 win. Starter Chipper Smith boasts the third-best average against in the league (.164).

 

Suns Shutout Barons 3-0

By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Suns (7-8) shutout the Birmingham Barons (7-8) 3-0 to snap a three-game losing streak Saturday night from Bragan Field.

Hear from Suns Manager David Berg Postgame:

Picking up the win for the Suns was reliever Brian Ellington (W, 1-1) who lasted 3 and 2/3 scoreless innings allowing three hits while not walking a batter and striking out six. Barons starter Junior Guerra (L, 1-3) was tagged for the loss manufacturing six innings allowing two earned runs on three hits while walking a solo batter and striking out seven. Sean Donatello (S, 4) entered the game in the eighth and nailed down his fourth save of the year in 1 and 2/3 scoreless frames pitched while fanning four batters.

Scoreless through five frames the Suns broke through offensively in the sixth. Chadd Krist (HR, 2) in his first game in a Suns uniform, lead off the inning with a solo blast to left field pushing Jacksonville in front 1-0. In the same inning, Matt Juengel added to the lead ripping a RBI double to left bringing home Austin Nola to double up the Suns advantage 2-0 through six innings.

Moving to the last of the seventh, Jacksonville was provided with back-to-back base knocks by Ryan Rieger and David Adams, setting up Carlos Lopez to lift a RBI sac fly to left growing his squad’s lead to 3-0.

The Suns and Barons will square off once again Sunday afternoon at Bragan Field with a first pitch set for 3:05 p.m. ET. The Suns will send out right-hander Jake Esch (1-1, 3.45 ERA) to the mound to be opposed by Barons righty Mark Blackmar (0-1, 7.88 ERA).

Tomorrow is the Kids Clinic on the Field & Kids Run the Bases! Bring the kids early for a special on-field baseball clinic conducted by Suns players and coaches from 1:30-2:30! Check out the hottest rides from your Southern Ford Dealers and be sure to stick around after the game for Kids Run the Bases, presented by VyStar Credit Union, CW17 & 95.1 WAPE!

You can watch tomorrow’s game in high-definiton on CW-17 with Roger Hoover, Suns Owner Peter Bragan Jr., and Mackenzie Thurkill on the call. Suns fans can also listen to Sunday’s game on the Suns Baseball Network, 102.3 FM “The Beach” or through http://www.jaxsuns.com, MiLB.com, or the TuneIn radio app, with the Memorial Hospital Suns Pregame Show “Suns Sunday” edition beginning at 2:35 p.m. ET

The 2015 season of Suns baseball is presented by EverBank, the official banking partner of the Jacksonville Suns. Sponsorships, group outings, and season/individual game tickets are currently available by calling the Suns front office at (904) 358-2846.

Here are highlights from tonight’s contest:

Suns Welcome the Barons to Bragan Field

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By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., – The Jacksonville Suns (6-8) will welcome in the Birmingham Barons (7-7) for the series opener of a five-game set tonight from Bragan Field with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. ET.

The Suns come into this series losers of three-straight after being shut out in a 1-0 loss to the Biloxi Shuckers last night. Jacksonville continued to struggle with the bats while only being able to muster up two hits against Biloxi pitching. Shuckers starter Jorge Lopez earned the victory working a strong five scoreless innings while walking two and striking out three. For Jacksonville, Matt Tomshaw lasted five innings allowing one run (earned) on seven hits while walking a batter and fanning four Shuckers. The lone run for Biloxi came via a “hot shot” infield single by Orlando Arcia that put the Shuckers up for good in the third. The story of limited offense from the Suns continues, finding only a pair of hits in last night’s contest, those two hits came courtesy of a Ryan Rieger double in the second followed two innings later by a David Adams single. Jacksonville finished their series finale 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position leaving a total of five men on base. In the four losses to Biloxi the Suns have tallied a total of 10 hits.

Last year when Jacksonville and Birmingham last met at Bragan Field it was  on July 25th when tempers flared and benches cleared–twice. The multiple scuffles forced a total of six ejections combined between both squads in what ended up being a 5-1 Barons win in the series finale.

This first matchup between the two in 2015, will mark the final series of an historic 20-game homestand for the Suns at the Baseball Grounds in April.

Tonight’s pitching matchup will feature Suns left-hander Greg Nappo, making his first start of the year after appearing in three games out of the bullpen, going 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA over 4 and 1/3 innings pitched only surrendering one earned run while striking out six. He’ll be opposed by Birmingham righty Frankie Montas who comes to the Baseball Grounds sporting a 3.48 ERA while not recording a decision. In the last start from Montas, he would operate for five innings allowing three earned runs on five hits while walking six and striking out four in a no decision against Pensacola in a 6-5 Barons loss on 4/20.

It’s Viosergy Rosa Replica Jersey Giveaway, Olate Dogs Performance & Bark in the Park! Be sure to arrive early as the first 3,000 fans will get a Viosergy Rosa Replica Suns Jersey, courtesy of Swisher Sports.com, FOX-30 & 99.1 WQIK! Enjoy a special performance from the Olate Dogs who will perform throughout the game and it’s Bark in the Park! All dogs get in for just $2.50! The Blood Alliance Bloodmobile will be on hand and the Suns encourage all fans to donate blood! The first 25 donors receive 2 tickets to the game plus a hot dog and soda voucher! It’s also the Saturday Night Shrimp Buffet courtesy of Sea Best! Get unlimited Butterfly Breaded Shrimp and sides from 6-8 in the Sundowner Lounge! Also check out the hottest rides from your Southern Ford Dealers!

Fans can listen to the game live on the Suns Baseball Network, with Roger Hoover providing play by play. Roger Hoover and Kyle Crooks will host the Memorial Hospital Suns Pre-Game Show, beginning at 6: 50 p.m. ET on the Suns Baseball Network.

Listen Live to Barons and Suns: Live – April 25,2015:

You can also keep up with all the game action on the Suns Baseball Network and by following the Suns on Twitter and liking us on Facebook.

Matchup: Birmingham Barons (7-7) @ Jacksonville Suns (6-8)

Starters: BIR: RHP Frankie Montas (0-0, 3.48 ERA)  vs. JAX: LHP Greg Nappo (1-0, 2.08 ERA)

Who’s Hot: With rising run totals surrendered by Suns starting pitching of late, Matt Tomshaw was strong last night in his five innings of work in which he only allowed a solo earned run and struck out four.

Suns Spots: Here’s a note from the official Jacksonville Suns game notes:

For the Suns, starter Chipper Smith is ninth in ERA (1.17) in the Southern League, and Matt Juengel currently sits second in total at-bats (58), and games played (15). The Suns are currently last in the S.L. in team batting average (.194).