by Matt Leland / Jacksonville Suns
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It took 11 innings for the Jacksonville Suns to beat the Pensacola Blue Wahoos in game two of a five-game series, walking off on Taylor Krick’s hit-by-pitch in the bases loaded to force in the winning run in a 5-4 victory.
Jacksonville put three runners on ahead of Krick in the 11th when right-hander Loek Van Mil’s two-strike offering came inside and hit Krick on the left hand, giving the Suns their second straight win over Pensacola in front of 1,781 fans at Bragan Field.
“It was a grind, we had the lead a couple of times,” Suns manager Andy Barkett said following the win. “It was a nice win. It wasn’t how we scripted it, but we’ll take it.”
The Suns handed starter Sam Dyson a 3-0 lead through three innings thanks in part to a two-run first against Blue Wahoos right-hander Tim Crabbe. Jacksonville plated its first run thanks to an error by first baseman Marquez Smith and pushed the lead to 2-0 on Mark Canha’s RBI single.
Danny Pertusati’s third inning sacrifice fly made it 3-0, but Pensacola would begin its rally in the next inning against Dyson. After a run in the fourth made it 3-1, the Blue Wahoos got even closer in the fifth on Yorman Rodriguez’s run-scoring double that cut Jacksonville’s lead to 3-2.
Dyson, who threw five innings with two earned runs allowed, left the game with a chance to win, but left-hander Edgar Olmos surrendered the lead in the seventh. Donald Lutz came to the plate with bases loaded and no one out and was promptly hit by a pitch to force in the tying run. Olmos was able to escape further damage with a strikeout and a double play ball, leaving the game tied at three.
Jake Marisnick put the Suns in front again in the eighth with a single to right that scored J.T. Realmuto. Ahead 4-3, Jacksonville turned to closer Michael Brady to finish off another victory, but Brady suffered a rare lapse and allowed the Blue Wahoos to tie the game 4-4 and send the contest to extra innings.
Grant Dayton (2-3) threw a scoreless tenth and 11th for the Suns, and Krick’s game-winning at-bat came moments later.
Danny Black, who scored the winning run, finished as one of the game’s offensive starts for Jacksonville, finishing his night 4-for-6 with a pair of runs scored. Krick also added three hits to go along with his hit-by-pitch.
“Today [Black] found holes and barreled balls,” Barkett said. “Hopefully that will help his confidence going forward.”
The Suns can win the series in another afternoon start on Monday in game three of the five-game set. The game will be a battle of left-handers, as the Suns send Adam Conley (7-2, 3.97) to the mound against Pensacola’s Ryan Dennick (3-9, 3.44). First pitch is scheduled for 12:05 p.m. ET.
Suns fans can listen to Monday’s game on the Suns Baseball Network, 94.1 WSOS-FM or through jaxsuns.com, MiLB.com or the Suns iPhone or Android app, beginning at 11:50 a.m. ET with Suns Sunday on the UF Health Suns Pre-Game Show.
Monday at Bragan Field is Camp Day #2, Senior Citizen’s Day and Baseball in the SUNShine with a special 12:05 Matinee. All area camps are invited to come out to Bragan Field for an afternoon of Baseball. It’s also Senior Citizens Day, and all Seniors 62+ get Half Priced Box Tickets.