Suns Blank BayBears 5-0 On Sunday Night

Game Recap

JACKSONVILLE, FL – A four-run fourth inning and seven scoreless frames from Justin Nicolino pushed the Jacksonville Suns (44-25, 80-59) to a 5-0 shutout victory over the Mobile BayBears (37-30, 79-57) on Sunday in front of a crowd of 7,173 at Bragan Field.

Hear from Justin Nicolino after picking up the win on Sunday:

Justin Nicolino (W, 14-4) was outstanding over the course of his seven shutout innings, only allowing three hits without a walk, while tying his season-high with six strikeouts in his winning effort. With the victory, Nicolino now leads the Southern League with 14 wins on the 2014 season.

Blake Logan retired all six hitters he faced in two unblemished innings of relief, striking out two batters to finish off the game for the Suns in a non-save situation.

A.J. Schugel (L, 6-4) was dealt the loss for Mobile after surrendering four runs (all earned) on six hits with four walks and a pair of strikeouts in Sunday night’s start.

The game remained scoreless until the Suns batted around and scored four times in the bottom of the fourth. A Brady Shoemaker two-run single, a Brent Keys sacrifice fly and a Justin Nicolino RBI single broke the scoreless deadlock to give the Suns a 4-0 lead with four innings in the books.

That 4-0 score held until Brady Shoemaker (HR, 11) led off the bottom of the eighth inning with an opposite field solo homer to right, extending Jacksonville’s lead to 5-0 after eight innings.

The Suns and BayBears will be back at it on Monday, with first pitch set for 1:05 p.m. ET. The Suns will start right-hander Trevor Williams (0-1, 6.97) while the BayBears will counter with a righty of their own in Graham Godfrey (0-0, 2.25).

Suns fans can listen to Monday’s game on the Suns Baseball Network, 94.1 WSOS-FM or through www.jaxsuns.com, MiLB.com or the Suns iPhone or Android app, beginning at 12:50 p.m. ET with the Memorial Hospital Suns Pregame Show.

The 2014 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.

Below are two highlights from Sunday’s ballgame:

Southern League Central – August 31, 2014

Southern League Central

By Jason Patterson / Jacksonville Suns

Here’s a look at the second half and overall standings:

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Yesterday’s Recaps / Today’s Matchups:

Game 1-Jacksonville Suns 3 Mobile BayBears 1: The Suns erased a 1-0 deficit in the middle innings, then used a two run bomb as a follow up from the team’s home run leader Austin Barnes to take game one of the twin-bill. Both clubs gathered only three hits in the contest and combined to score all the ballgame’s runs in the 4th inning. Mobile initiated the scoring thanks to an Argenis Diaz double cashed on a ball put in play by Evan Marzilli which resulted in the game’s only fielding error by the Suns. Austin Barnes homer was his twelfth of the season. The Suns would not allow Mobile to score again. With the victory, Jacksonville set the tone for game two and kept hopes of an eighty win season alive. More importantly, they kept the pressure on Mississippi in the South Division’s second half pennant race.

Game 2-Jacksonville Suns 1 Mobile BayBears 0: Jacksonville claimed sole possession of first place in the Southern League South by sweeping the double-header behind a memorable outing in the second of two seven inning contests from starter Jon Link. With the Suns plating the game’s only run to win it in walk-off fashion. Link was not eligible for the win, despite six solid innings which included a career-high twelve strike outs. This also set the single game high-water mark for Jacksonville this season. Aaron Blair matched him across five innings and also garnered a no-decision. In the end, the heroics of Viosergy Rosa settled the score. Rosa drove home the winning run with two down in the bottom of the 7th inning. Isaac Galloway beat out an infield single to begin the frame, but was thrown at out the plate for the second out. The Suns avoided extras with another timely base hit. It would be Austin Nola coming home to score the winner on Rosa’s single up the middle.

Starters: MOB: A.J. Schugel (6-3, 3.34) JAX: Justin Nicolo (13-4, 2.98)

Jacksonville leads the series 3-0

Mississippi Braves @ Huntsville Stars : Weather postponed game three between the Braves and Stars, setting up a double-header on Sunday in this very important series. The half-game remains in play for at least one more day in the South Division race. The Braves now trail the Suns by that very margin. Sunday will be a day marked by major scoreboard watching in the South. Keep in mind, Mississippi is trying to keep alive the chance that this battle previews a potential Southern League Championship series matchup.

Game 1- Starters: MIS: Williams Perez (7-6, 2.91) HVL: Austin Ross (1-3, 3.86)

Game 1- Starters: MIS: Joe Gardner (2-0, 0.75) HVL: Jed Bradley (5-7, 4.29)

Series tied 1-1

Tennessee Smokies @ Chattanooga Lookouts: Why not wait a little longer for what in essence has become a three game series for the North Division’s second half title and final playoff spot? That is exactly what weather issues in Chattanooga has made reality heading into the final Sunday of the regular season. A sweep either way would pop open the champagne and commence the celebration in one of the two clubhouses at AT&T Field. A split sets up a one game showdown on Monday for the right to join the Huntsville Stars in the post-season.

Game 1 – Starters: TNS: C.J. Edwards (1-1, 2.25) CHT: Matt Shelton (4-4,-4.19)

Game 2 – Starters: TNS: Pierce Johnson (5-4, 2.49) CHT: TBA (- -, -.—)

Series tied 1-1

Jackson Generals 4 Montgomery Biscuits 3: Jackson built a 4-0 advantage at Montgomery, then survived a furious Biscuits rally in the bottom of the 9th inning. The Generals outhit the home team fifteen to six, yet nearly saw the ballgame slip away. D.J. Peterson provided the big blast for the victors, his 11th home run of the season. Jackson’s runs came in the form of two in the 2nd, one in the 5th and a final score in the top of the 7th. All three Montgomery runs were plated as a part of their 9th inning effort.  The Biscuits major contribution came from Willie Argo, his two out two-run double pulled the club within one. Unfortunately for the home team an ensuing fly out left Argo stranded in scoring position as the potential tying run. The fly ball which settled into the glove of center-fielder Patrick Kivlehan nailed down the win for Jackson.

Starters: JXN: Stephen Landuri (6-5, 3.94) MTG: Jim Patterson (4-0, 3.81)

Montgomery leads series 2-1

Birmingham Barons 6 Pensacola Blue Wahoos 3: Birmingham used a three run bottom of the 8th inning to break a 3-3 tie and notch win number sixty on the season. The Blue Wahoos drew first blood with a single run in the top of the 1st. The visitors would not score again until after the Barons built a 3-1 lead by scoring in the 3rd and 4th frames. Pensacola plated runs in the 6th and 7th innings respectively to knot things up. The home standing Barons overcame three fielding errors thanks to the three run eighth. Dan Black and Devan Smith homered early in the game for Birmingham to set the table.  It would be Joey DeMichele and Trayce Thompson cashing in for the Barons in the decisive 8th. DeMichele singled home Adam Heisler ahead of Thompson’s two-RBI double. 

Starters: PNS: Robert Stephenson (6-10, 4.93) BIR: Terrance Marin (0-1, 9.00)

Birmingham leads series 2-1

First Place Suns Go For Ninth Straight, Battle First Half Champs Tonight

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The Suns are once again atop the division standings. (Photo courtesy: Brian DeLettre / Jacksonville Suns)

By Jason Patterson / Jacksonville Suns

One hundred thirty-eight games are in the books, still the Southern League’s second half pennant races are not settled. Jacksonville is right in the middle of things in the South entering the final two days of the season. The home team will need a little help to remain alone in first place at night’s end, with a lot of help they could clinch the division title.

The Suns (43-25, 79-59) and BayBears (37-29, 79-56) continue the final regular season series, facing off in a critical Sunday night contest. The first pitch of tonight’s fourth game is scheduled to be delivered at 7:05 p.m. ET.

With an impressive sweep of first-half champion Mobile in Saturday’s twin-bill at Bragan Field, the Suns reclaimed sole possession of first place heading into the final Sunday of the regular season. Weather issues forced the postponement of Mississippi’s game Saturday evening, leaving Jacksonville fans to major scoreboard watching when the Braves face North Division first half winner Huntsville in a key double-header tonight.

Every possible scenario between the Suns and Braves remains on the table. Yesterday’s results at least served to make it a two team race across the season’s final two days, assuring that Mobile will not sweep the season standings.

Both the Suns and Braves are in position to clinch the second half crown if everything falls their way on Sunday. It is just as likely that game 140 will be required to determine the playoff fate of two clubs playing some of the best baseball the Southern League has seen all season.

How can one of the two teams emerge from Sunday’s full slate with a division title? For Jacksonville, a win coupled with a Huntsville sweep of Mississippi would serve to make the Suns second half champs. If the Braves wins both games of their double-dip and the Suns lose tonight, Jacksonville would be officially eliminated. Anything in between, leaves the race to be settled on the season’s final day.

The BayBears will have a hand in determining their first round post-season opponent across the final two scheduled games in the River City. It has to feel like pick your poison weekend for Mobile. Jacksonville enters today’s game riding an eight game winning streak, while Mississippi has lost only once in their past ten games.

Winning the first three games against the BayBears has assured Jacksonville victory in the current series. The Suns have also kept the season series alive, they now only trail Mobile 7-6 overall. With a sweep of the five-game set, the Suns would claim the regular season head to head matchup and perhaps force an additional five games in the 2014 post-season.

In a side note, the clubs are also battling to reach the eighty win plateau first during the regular season. They each need just one more victory to reach the benchmark.

Jacksonville turns to the Southern League’s newly selected “Most Outstanding Pitcher” this season, lefty Justin Nicolino (13-4, 2.98) Sunday evening. Mobile is expected to counter with right-hander A.J. Schugel (6-3, 3.34). Schugel is coming off a win over Huntsville in his most recent start.

Tonight’s game will be carried live in high-definition to complete an eleven game package on Jacksonville’s CW-17. Roger Hoover will provide the play by play. He will be joined on the broadcast by Suns owner Peter Bragan Jr. The television broadcast will air beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Fans can listen to the game live on the Suns Baseball Network, with Michael West providing play by play. West will be joined by Jason Patterson. West and Patterson will host a special “Suns Sunday” edition of the Memorial Hospital Pre-game Show, beginning at 6:35 p.m. ET on the Suns Baseball Network.

Matchup: Mobile BayBears (37-29, 79-56) @ Jacksonville Suns (43-25, 79-59)

Starters: MOB: RHP A.J. Schugel (6-3, 3.34) JAX: LHP Justin Nicolino (13-4, 2.98)

Who’s Hot: Viosergy Rosa (delivered the game-winning base hit to walk-off the BayBears and complete the sweep of the double-header, also had the sac fly to tie the score in game one of the twin-bill)

Sun Spots: Here are a few key pieces of information to consider heading into tonight’s game, direct from the official Jacksonville Suns game notes compiled by Michael West:

– Entering Sunday’s ballgame, the Suns find themselves 0.5 games ahead of the Mississippi Braves for the top spot in the second half Southern League South Division standings (MIS will play a doubleheader today).

– Jon Link set a new Suns individual season-high with 12 strikeouts in his game two start (also was a new career-high in affiliated ball for the right-hander).

– With a 1-0 win in game two of the doubleheader, Jacksonville notched its 15th shutout win on the year.

– Thanks to Viosergy Rosa’s heroics in game two, the Suns earned their 10th walkoff victory of the year, and in the process collected their Minor League-leading 34th one-run win on the 2014 season.

Today’s broadcast will air on the Suns Baseball Network’s flagship station 94.1 Classic Rock WSOS-FM. It can also be found via the Jacksonville Suns mobile app. Click the link below to listen online.

Listen to Suns and BayBears: Live – August 31, 2014

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.

Here’s a look at today’s outstanding promotions for fans making the trip to Bragan Field:

FAN APPRECIATION NIGHT: Thousands of dollars in gifts & prizes will be given away as the Suns say THANK YOU for a great 2014 season. Two lucky fans will win a LA-Z-BOY recliner, one fan will have a chance to win a three year lease on a Honda Civic from Duval Honda and one fan will win a new grill from Lowe’s.

SUNS CAMO HATS: Arrive early as the first 2,000 fans will get a Suns camo hat in honor of Wish For Our Heroes.

SOUTHERN FORD DEALERS SHOWCASE: Check out the hottest rides from your Southern Ford Dealers which will be on hand.

HOLIDAY FIREWORKS SPECTACULAR: After the game, catch a giant Labor Day Celebration/Fan Appreciation Fireworks show. SPONSORS: Your Local Southern Ford Dealers & 99.1 WQIK!

The 2014 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.

Suns In First After Sweep Of Saturday’s Twin Bill

Game Recap

JACKSONVILLE, FL – A combination of timely hitting and brilliant pitching helped the Jacksonville Suns (43-25, 79-59) to a doubleheader sweep of the Mobile BayBears (37-29, 79-56), winning 3-1 and 1-0 on Saturday from Bragan Field. With the pair of wins, the Suns have earned a series victory with two games to play.

The Suns were able to erase a one-run deficit with a three-run fourth inning en route to a 3-1 win to begin Saturday’s doubleheader.

Jay Rogers (W, 7-5) earned his seventh victory as a Sun, only allowing one unearned run on three hits with a pair of walks and three strikeouts in his 5.1 innings of work.

Reid Redman (H, 2) retired both batters he faced, picking up one strikeout in his 0.2 innings of relief.

Nick Wittgren (SV, 19) collected his 19th save on the year after working a 1-2-3 seventh inning, striking out one batter along the

The game remained scoreless until the BayBears struck for an unearned run in the top of the fourth. A fielding error by Austin Barnes allowed Argenis Diaz to score from third with two outs, putting Mobile up 1-0 in the top of the fourth.

But the Suns answered right back with a three-spot in the bottom part of the frame. A Viosergy Rosa sacrifice fly and a two-out, two-run home run from Austin Barnes (HR, 12) gave the Suns a 3-1 lead after four innings of play.

Game two remained scoreless until Viosergy Rosa walked the Suns off as 1-0 winners with a RBI single in the bottom of the seventh, allowing Jacksonville to complete the sweep of Saturday’s twin bill.

Hear from Viosergy Rosa after his walk-off single lifted the Suns to a 1-0 win in game two:

Jon Link struck out a career-high 12 batters in six brilliant innings of shutout ball, only allowing two hits and a walk as he did not factor into the decision. Link struck out four batters in the first inning, three in the second, one in the third, one in the fourth, two in the fifth and one more in the sixth inning. His 12 strikeouts are the most by a Sun in a single game on the 2014 season.

James Nygren (W, 4-2) collected the win after working a scoreless top of the seventh inning, allowing a lone hit in his winning relief outing.

RJ Hively (L, 3-5) took the loss for Mobile, surrendering the game’s lone run (earned) on four hits with a walk and two strikeouts in 1.2 innings of work.

The game remained scoreless until Viosergy Rosa came up with a two-out RBI single to score Austin Nola from third base, walking the Suns off as 1-0 winners to finish off the double dip.

The Suns and BayBears will be back at it on Sunday, with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. ET. The Suns will start left-hander Justin Nicolino (13-4, 2.98) while the BayBears will counter with right-hander A.J. Schugel (6-3, 3.34).

Suns fans can listen to Sunday’s game on the Suns Baseball Network, 94.1 WSOS-FM or through www.jaxsuns.com, MiLB.com or the Suns iPhone or Android app, beginning at 6:35 p.m. ET with the Memorial Hospital Suns Pregame Show on Suns Sunday. Additionally, Suns fans can tune into the CW 17 to watch the Suns live in high definition as Roger Hoover and Suns President & Owner Peter Bragan, Jr. will anchor all of the coverage.

The 2014 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.

Below are two highlights from game one:

Below are two highlights from game two:

Southern League Central – August 30, 2014

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By Jason Patterson / Jacksonville Suns

Here’s a look at the second half and overall standings:

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Yesterday’s Recaps / Today’s Matchups:

Jacksonville Suns 8 Mobile BayBears 3: Jacksonville was able to keep pace with Mississippi in the battle for the second half South Division crown by taking round one from the first half South Division champs. The Suns used a five run first inning which capitalized on the early struggles of the Mobile starter. The big knock came off the bat of Isaac Galloway. Galloway extended his season high hitting streak to ten games with a two-run contribution in his first at bat of the ballgame. Jacksonville would add a trio of runs in their final at bat for good measure, though the initial scoring stood as more than Mobile would muster in the contest. Suns starter Jose Urena (W, 13-8) matched teammate Justin Nicolino with his Southern League leading thirteenth win of the season to hold down the BayBears. A very consequential double-header is on tap for Saturday between the South Division rivals, as this potential playoff preview series continues.

Game 1- Starters: MOB: Braden Shipley (1-1, 3.30) JAX: Jay Rogers (6-5, 4.67)

Game 2 – Starters: MOB: Aaron Blair (4-1, 2.18) JAX: Jon Link (1-0, 4.50)

Jacksonville leads the series 1-0

Mississippi Braves 5 Huntsville Stars 0: The Braves refused to give an inch in the South Division pennant race, they also refused to give up a single run to the North Division’s first half champs in the ballgame. Mississippi plated runs in four consecutive innings between the 5th and 8th frames to nail down the victory and even the series. Single runs in the 5th, 6th and 7th, preceded a two run 8th to total the scoring. The Braves also doubled up the home team in the hit column, twelve to six. Daniel Castro was responsible for Mississippi’s loudest knock, providing his fourth home run of the season with one out in the 5th inning. Kyle Wren was solid out of the lead-off spot for the Braves, logging a 4 for 4 performance including a triple. The center-fielder also scored a pair of runs. Mississippi holds steady at one-half game ahead of Jacksonville with only four games remaining for the Suns alongside the remaining three contests in this series for the Braves.

Starters: MIS: Williams Perez (7-6, 2.91) HVL: Austin Ross (1-3, 3.86)

Series tied 1-1

Tennessee Smokies 6 Chattanooga Lookouts 5: Tennessee turned this five game series for the final playoff spot out of the North Division into a three game series for the right to participate in the post-season. All the scoring came early in this one. The Smokies made their intentions very clear in the club’s first trip to the plate. A three spot pushed the visitors out front early. Chattanooga battled back with a single run in the bottom of the frame, then posted a three-spot of their own to tie the game 4-4 just an inning later. Their productive inning came immediately after Tennessee scored again in the top of the 2nd to secure a fourth run. Both teams traded single runs in the 3rd inning to create a 5-5 tie which would stand into the 5th. The Smokies decisive run came on an Anthony Giansanti single which brought Christian Villanueva home with the eventual game-winner. This series, now marked by a no-hitter and a one run contest, is dead even. The clubs involved are also even once again atop the North Division’s second half standings.

Starters: TNS: C.J. Edwards (1-1, 2.25) CHT: Matt Shelton (4-4,-4.19)

Series tied 1-1

Montgomery Biscuits 7 Jackson Generals 1: Montgomery picked up a second straight win over Jackson by bombarding the Generals with early runs. Two in the 1st and five in the 2nd made up the offensive performance for the home team. A solid outing from starter Dylan Floro (W, 11-13) made sure those seven runs were more than enough. Floro allowed just a single run in the 3rd inning. Jackson would not score again on the night. The Biscuits used twelve hits to put together their seven run performance. This was in comparison to only five base knocks for the visitors. No one homered in the ballgame. Luke Maile led the way for Montgomery with two hits and three runs driven in. Maile was the only member of the Biscuits order to drive home more than a single run. He was joined by Jake Hager, Taylor Motter and Justin O’Conner in the hits department, however. All four players notched a multi-hit performance. Montgomery goes for the series victory and their sixty-seventh win on the season tonight.

Starters: JXN: Tyler Olson (9-7, 3.73) MTG: TBA (- -, -.—)

Montgomery leads series 2-0

Birmingham Barons 1 Pensacola Blue Wahoos 0: Both teams secured four hits each and played flawless defense in an impressive pitcher’s duel between Mike Recchia (W, 6-4) and Timothy Adleman (L, 3-8). In the end, Aldeman was the tough luck loser on a Friday night when both starters worked seven full and solid innings. The only difference between these clubs in game two of the series was the lone run Birmingham pushed across in the bottom of the 5th inning. Rangel Ravelo tripled to lead off the decisive frame. Ravelo came home to score on a ground ball through the infield off the bat of Jason Coats. Those back to back at bats by the home standing Barons set the game’s final. The defending Southern League champions are now aware that there will be no post-season in 2014. They will, however, be attempting to close out their title defense by claiming this final series of the year. With one more victory during  the final three game stretch they can do just that and reach the sixty win mark on the season in the process.

Starters: PNS: Ben Lively (3-6, 3.76) BIR: Terance Marin (0-1, 9.00)

Series tied 1-1

Suns, BayBears Meet In Key Double-Header At Bragan Field On Saturday Evening

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Two very important games are on tap tonight at The Baseball Grounds. (Photo courtesy: Brian DeLettre)

By Jason Patterson / Jacksonville Suns

The Suns (41-25, 77-59) and BayBears (37-27, 79-54) continue the final regular season series of 2014 with a consequential double-header tonight at Bragan Field. The first of two seven inning contests is scheduled to get underway at 5:05 p.m. ET.

Jacksonville’s six consecutive wins have served only to pull them within one-half game of division leading Mississippi in the standings. That “half-game” will be dealt with tonight as the Suns and BayBears play a pair. The ultimate direction that half game swings could determine the second half division race.

By the time all of Saturday’s Southern League action is complete a much clearer picture of what it will take for Jacksonville to reach the post-season will have emerged. Keep in mind, the Suns only remaining entrance route for playoff baseball is winning the South Division’s second half crown outright.

Should the Suns sweep the BayBears, they could wake up Sunday morning in sole possession of first place with a Braves loss against Huntsville. This scenario illustrates how tight this race has become at the wire. Anything short of being swept and seeing Mississippi win tonight will keep Jacksonville in the race for at least another day.

Whatever the case, only two games will remain in the regular season following tonight’s twin-bill. Jacksonville is still in position to cross the eighty win threshold with just three more victories in their final four games.

Mobile enters today’s double-dip on the brink of second-half elimination. While the BayBears are already assured of post-season play by virtue of winning the first-half race, any further losses will end their hopes of sweeping both halves and securing an even greater home field advantage in the divisional round of the playoffs.

Winning the opener placed the Suns in position to take the current series from the BayBears with a sweep tonight. Jacksonville also remained alive in the overall series, shrinking the BayBears advantage to 7-4 on the year. Mobile took four of five from the Suns at Bragan Field in May, then followed with a three games to two series win at Hank Aaron Stadium in June.

Jay Rogers (6-5, 4.67) will take the ball in game one for Jacksonville. The Suns right-hander will be opposed by BayBears righty Braden Shipley (1-1, 3.00). Game two will feature another matchup of righties, Jacksonville is expected to send Jon Link (1-0, 4.50) to the hill against Mobile’s Aaron Blair (4-1, 2.18)

Tonight’s games will be carried live in high-definition as part of an eleven game package on Jacksonville’s CW-17. Roger Hoover will provide the play by play. He will be joined on the broadcast by Suns owner Peter Bragan Jr. The television broadcast will air beginning at 5:00 p.m. ET for the 5:05 p.m. ET first pitch.

Fans can also listen to the game live on the Suns Baseball Network, with Michael West providing play by play. West will be joined on the broadcast by Jason Patterson. West and Patterson will host the Memorial Hospital Pre-game Show, beginning at 4:50 p.m. ET on the Suns Baseball Network.

Matchup: Mobile BayBears (37-27, 79-54) @ Jacksonville Suns (41-25, 77-59)

Starters: MOB: RHP Archie Bradley (2-2, 3.31) JAX: RHP Jose Urena (12-8, 3.37)

Who’s Hot: Isaac Galloway (Galloway enters Saturday riding a ten game hitting streak – His two-run single capped the Suns tone-setting five run first-inning on Friday night)

Sun Spots: Here are a few key pieces of information to consider heading into tonight’s game, direct from the official Jacksonville Suns game notes compiled by Michael West:

– Entering Saturday’s pair of games, the Suns find themselves 0.5 games back of the Mississippi Braves for the top spot in the second half Southern League South Division standings.

– After going seven strong innings in his winning effort on Friday, Jose Urena now moves into a tie with teammate Justin Nicolino for the Southern League lead in wins with 13.

– Jacksonville improved its record to 51-21 when scoring first in a given ballgame.

– With his first inning single on Friday, Isaac Galloway (10 games) is now one of four Suns to post double-digit hitting streaks on the 2014 season (Austin Nola, 17 games; Joe Benson, 10 games; Danny Black, 10 games).

Today’s broadcast will air on the Suns Baseball Network’s flagship station 94.1 Classic Rock WSOS-FM. It can also be found via the Jacksonville Suns mobile app. Click the link below to listen online.

Listen to Suns and BayBears: Live – August 30, 2014

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.

Here’s a look at today’s outstanding promotions for fans making the trip to Bragan Field:

DOUBLEHEADER: Due to the Jacksonville Jaguars game on Aug. 28, the Suns rescheduled their contest for that day to Aug. 30 for two seven-inning games. First pitch is 5:05 p.m.

CHRISTMAS IS AUGUST: Be sure to arrive early as the first 2,000 fans get a Southpaw Snowglobe, courtesy of Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront & First Coast News 12 & 25. Also all fans get a 2014 Suns Team Photo, courtesy of The Salvation Army.

BIRDZERK APPEARANCE: Catch all of the crazy antics of everyone’s favorite fowl, Birdzerk, who will be on hand and performing throughout the games. SPONSORS: Memorial Hospital and 96.9 The Eagle.

SEA BEST SATURDAY SHRIMP DINNER: Enjoy the Sea Best Unlimited Shrimp Dinner in the Sundowner Lounge from 6-8 p.m. Get unlimited Butterfly Breaded Shrimp, sides and a soda for only $16.50.

SOUTHERN FORD DEALERS SHOWCASE: Check out the hottest rides from your Southern Ford Dealers which will be on hand.

BLOOD ALLIANCE BLOOD DRIVE: The Suns encourage all fans to donate blood. The first 25 donors receive two tickets to the game, a hot dog and soda voucher and a special Suns gift.

The 2014 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.

Five-Run First Guides Suns To 8-3 Win Over BayBears

Game Recap

JACKSONVILLE, FL – A five-run first inning helped the Jacksonville Suns (41-25, 77-59) set the tone en route to an 8-3 series-opening victory over the Mobile BayBears (37-27, 79-54) on Friday night from Bragan Field in front of a great crowd of over 8,000.

Hear from Suns center fielder Isaac Galloway after the Suns defeated the BayBears in Friday’s series opener:

Jose Urena (W, 13-8) was sharp in his Friday night start, allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits with no walks and seven strikeouts over the course of his seven innings. With the win, Urena now moves into a tie with teammate Justin Nicolino for the Southern League lead in wins with 13.

Matt Ramsey (H, 2) retired all three hitters he faced in a 1-2-3 top of the eighth inning, picking up one strikeout in his relief effort.

Collin Cargill finished off the ballgame by retiring the side in order in the top of the ninth in a non-save situation.

Archie Bradley (L, 2-3) took the loss for Mobile after surrendering five runs (all earned) on one hit and five walks as he retired one batter in his Friday night start.

The Suns grabbed the early advantage by sending ten men to the plate and scoring five times in the bottom of the first. The Suns received a Viosergy Rosa RBI single, back-to-back bases loaded walks to Brady Shoemaker and Terrence Dayleg and a two-run single from Isaac Galloway to go ahead by a 5-0 score after one inning of play.

The BayBears countered by plating a pair of runs in the top of the second inning. Mobile got a run on Dallas Tarleton’s RBI double and another on Austin Nola’s throwing error to make it a 5-2 Suns lead after one and a half innings.

That 5-2 score held until Mobile grabbed a run in the top of the seventh. Ryan Court brought in Dallas Tarleton with a two-out RBI double to cut the lead to two, with the Suns leading 5-3 after six and a half innings of play.

The Suns were able to create a little bit of breathing room by scoring twice in the bottom of the eighth. Terrence Dayleg’s two-run double into the right-center gap and Ryan Rieger’s pinch-hit RBI double made it an 8-3 Suns lead with eight innings in the books.

The Suns and BayBears will be back at it for a doubleheader on Saturday, with first pitch of game one set for 5:05 p.m. ET from Bragan Field, with game two scheduled to get underway approximately 30 minutes following the completion of the first ballgame. In game one, the Suns will start right-hander Jay Rogers (6-5, 4.67) while the BayBears will counter with a righty of their own in Braden Shipley (1-1, 3.00). For game two, the Suns will send out right-hander Jon Link (1-0, 4.50), while the BayBears will give the ball to righty Aaron Blair (4-1, 2.18).

Suns fans can listen to Saturday’s pair of games on the Suns Baseball Network, 94.1 WSOS-FM or through www.jaxsuns.com, MiLB.com or the Suns iPhone or Android app, beginning at 4:50 p.m. ET with the Memorial Hospital Suns Pregame Show.

The 2014 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.

Realmuto and Nicolino 2014 Southern League All-Stars

Breaking News

J.T. Realmuto is now a 2014 Southern League Postseason All-Star. Photo Courtesy: Roger C. Hoover.

By Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville Suns catcher J.T. Realmuto and left-handed pitcher Justin Nicolino were named 2014 Southern League Postseason All-Stars, announced by the league office on Friday evening.

Realmuto in 93 games this season with the Suns is hitting .298 with eight home runs and 61 RBI. His batting average leads the Suns and is also tied for seventh-best in the Southern League. He also leads Jacksonvilel with 17 stolen bases. Realmuto also had two big league call-ups to the Miami Marlins this season, and in seven games in the major leagues he hit .200 (4-for-20) with five runs batted in.

Realmuto spent the entire 2013 season in Jacksonville, where he earned Southern League Midseason All-Star honors and played in the 2013 Southern League All-Star Game in Jacksonville. In 2012 Realmuto earned Florida State League Midseason All-Star honors with the Jupiter Hammerheads. Realmuto was selected by the Marlins in the third round of the 2010 draft out of Carl Albert High School in Midwest City, Oklahoma. Coming into this season Realmuto was listed by Baseball America as the Marlins No. 10 prospect, as well as the “best defensive catcher” in the Miami organization.

In 27 starts this season for the Suns, Nicolino is 13-4 with a 2.98 ERA in 163 and a third innings pitched. Nicolino leads the Southern League in wins with 13, and his ERA of 2.98 is the second lowest in the circuit.

Nicolino also has the league’s second most complete games (2), is tied for first in shutouts (2), second in innings pitched (163.1), lowest in WHIP (1.10), highest winning percentage (.765), lowest walks per nine innings (1.05), and fewest baserunners per nine innings (10.14).

The award adds to the list of accolades for Baseball America’s No. 4 Marlins prospect Nicolino, who earlier this season was named a Southern League Midseason All-Star, and the league also announced him the “Most Outstanding Pitcher” in the Southern League this season. The postseason Southern League All-Star honor is the fourth time in his four-year career. Nicolino was also twice named a Southern League pitcher of the Week on June 23 and August 4.

In 2013 Nicolino was a Florida State League Midseason and Postseason All-Star, as well as the Florida State League Pitcher of the Year. In 2012 Nicolino was a Midwest League Midseason and Postseason All-Star, as well as the TOPPS Midwest League Pitcher of the Year. In his first full professional season in 2011 Nicolino was a Northwest League Postseason All-Star, as well as a Baseball America Short Season All-Star.

Nicolino was originally selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the second round of the 2010 draft out of University High School in Orlando, Florida. He was acquired by the Marlins organization following the 2012 season in a 12-player trade with the Blue Jays.

Nicolino Named 2014 Southern League Most Outstanding Pitcher

Breaking News
Justin Nicolino, the 2014 Southern League Most Outstanding Pitcher. Photo Courtesy: Cliff Welch

Justin Nicolino, the 2014 Southern League Most Outstanding Pitcher. Photo Courtesy: Cliff Welch

By Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville Suns left-handed pitcher Justin Nicolino has been named the 2014 Southern League Most Outstanding Pitcher, announced by the league office on Friday afternoon.

In 27 starts this season for the Suns, Nicolino is 13-4 with a 2.98 ERA in 163 and a third innings pitched. Nicolino leads the Southern League in wins with 13, and his ERA of 2.98 is the second lowest in the circuit.

“It’s an honor, but I couldn’t have done it this year without every single one of those guys in the clubhouse and in the dugout,” Nicolino said. “It’s a really good honor and I’m really fortunate and honored by it.”

Nicolino also has the league’s second most complete games (2), is tied for first in shutouts (2), second in innings pitched (163.1), lowest in WHIP (1.10), highest winning percentage (.765), lowest walks per nine innings (1.05), and fewest baserunners per nine innings (10.14).

The award adds to the list of accolades for Baseball America’s No. 4 Marlins prospect Nicolino, who earlier this season was named a Southern League Midseason All-Star, and the league also announced he was the “Best Left-Handed Pitcher” for postseason All-Stars. The postseason Southern League All-Star honor is the fourth time in his four-year career. Nicolino was also twice named a Southern League pitcher of the Week on June 23 and August 4.

Nicolino becomes the eighth Sun to win the honor, joining a list of: Brian Holman (1987), Brian Barnes (1990), Jim Converse (1992), Francisco Cordero (1999), Joel Hanrahan (2003), Spike Lundberg (2006), and in the Marlins era Tom Koehler in 2010, who was also coached by Suns pitching coach John Duffy.

“Even from last year Duffy and I got to know each other and got to know each other a little bit, and I knew I was coming here this year so we were on the same page a lot,” Nicolino said. “Whenever you have that, especially even with the catchers – J.T. Realmuto, Wilfredo Gimenez, and Austin Barnes, there’s no complaints.

In 2013 Nicolino was a Florida State League Midseason and Postseason All-Star, as well as the Florida State League Pitcher of the Year. In 2012 Nicolino was a Midwest League Midseason and Postseason All-Star, as well as the TOPPS Midwest League Pitcher of the Year. In his first full professional season in 2011 Nicolino was a Northwest League Postseason All-Star, as well as a Baseball America Short Season All-Star.

Nicolino was originally selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the second round of the 2010 draft out of University High School in Orlando, Florida. He was acquired by the Marlins organization following the 2012 season in a 12-player trade with the Blue Jays.

Southern League Central – August 29, 2014

Southern League Central

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Andres Santiago’s timely no-hitter pushed the Lookouts out front alone in the North’s showdown series. (Photo courtesy: Tim Evearitt, The Chattanoogan)

By Jason Patterson / Jacksonville Suns

Here’s a look at the second half and overall standings:

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 12.38.38 AM

Yesterday’s Recaps / Today’s Matchups:

Mobile BayBears @ Jacksonville Suns: Playoff implications abound in this series. Jacksonville enters the day one-half game out of first place. The Suns will be looking to turn the remaining five games between the South Division rivals into at least an eight game set. Mobile will host the first two games of the South Division’s post-season series. The BayBears will also have a major hand in who they will be playing. In what feels like playoff baseball already for the River City crew, will this five game set be a preview of things to come? Due to scheduling changes, the question will begin to be answered on Friday Night at The Baseball Grounds.

Starters: MOB: Archie Bradley (2-2, 3.31) JAX: Jose Urena (12-8, 3.37)

Series begins on Friday. A double-header is on tap for Saturday with single games scheduled for Sunday and Monday to close out the 2014 regular season.

Huntsville Stars 7 Mississippi Braves 5: It took the first-half champs out of the North to snap Mississippi’s winning streak and further tighten the race in the South. Huntsville went to work early, plating a trio of runs in their initial at bat. The Stars would add four more in the bottom of the 4th, extending the lead to 7-2 at the time. Though the South Division leading Braves battled back the rest of the way and eventually rallied to put up their first crooked number of the game in the 9th, it would not be enough to pull even. Mississippi used the long ball, securing homers form both Cedric Hunter (14) and Seth Loman (12). Huntsville’s only home run was provided by Hector Gimenez (8), but it was a key blow.  It was Gimenez three run shot in the first inning which gave the home team a lead they would never relinquish. Affter Mississippi answered with single runs in the 2nd and 4th innings to pull within one, the four run explosion in the bottom of the 4th inning served to settle it. The Braves watched their lead shrink to just one-half game over idle Jacksonville in the push for the South Divisions second half crown and final playoff spot. The half game will be dealt with during a double-header between Mobile and Jacksonville on Saturday, making clear exactly what remains at stake across the final two days of the 2014 season.

Starters: MIS: Greg Ross (6-3, 2.28) HVL: Jacob Barnes (2-5, 4.33)

Huntsville leads series 1-0

Chattanooga Lookouts 1 Tennessee Smokies 0 (Santiago No-Hitter): This series doesn’t just feel like a playoff series, in essence it is. The winner of the five game set at AT&T Field will move on to face Huntsville in the North Division playoffs, the loser heads home for the off-season. Round one goes to Chattanooga thanks to an Andres Santiago (W, 6-8) no-hitter.  It was a classic pitcher’s duel on both sides, which had all the qualities of September baseball at the Double-A level. Santiago was matched nearly pitch for pitch by starter Felix Pena (L, 2-4), and relievers Jeff Lorick and Tony Zych. The trio combined to allow only five hits and the ballgame’s only run. Santiago’s memorable night possessed the following line: 9 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB and 12 K’s. Tennessee also made one error in the contest. Chris O’Brien’s solo blast (6) in the bottom of the 2nd inning stood as the game’s only run. With Thursday night’s results around the Southern League, it has now become impossible for any other club to overtake the winner of this series for the second half crown in the North Division across the season’s final four days of action.

Starters: TNS: Corey Black (6-7, 3.26) CHT: Nick Struck (5-6,-5.22)

Chattanooga leads series 1-0

Montgomery Biscuits 1 Jackson Generals 0 (10): Jackson saw the long-shot hopes for a surprise finish in the North Standings take a fatal blow on Thursday. Playing the role of spoiler with perfection, Montgomery used a one run victory to place Jackson four games off the pace with only four ramaining. While not yet mathematically eliminated form the playoff race, the circumstances of the final four games, matchup wise, no longer provide a path of entry into the post-season for the Generals.  This contest was pitched as well as any of the Southern League’s upcoming playoff game could be. Only there hits were logged by both teams and not a single run was scored in the regularly scheduled innings. The Biscuits ended Jackson’s hopes in an instant, with the walk-off victory.  It was a painful finish to an outstanding game for Jackson. In a season that has provided just about everything imaginable around the Southern League, call this one the “balk-off” win. With Jeff Malm at the plate hoping to drive in the winning run, Montgomery’s Willie Argo was awarded third and then home to end the game on consecutive balk calls.

Starters: JXN: Cam Hobson (8-10, 4.43) MTG: Dylan Floro (10-13, 3.62)

Montgomery leads series 1-0

Pensacola Blue Wahoos 6 Birmingham Barons 5 (10): The defending Southern League Champions fought into extra innings in an attempt to keep hope of an eleventh hour run in the North Division alive. The league’s only two officially eliminated clubs both embraced the role of spoiler all to well on Thursday. There was no way for the Barons to escape with victory. Credit the Blue Wahoos for playing with all the intensity and focus required of clubs in a playoff race. Pensacola battled back with two runs in the 9th inning to tie the game, then plated the game winner in the top of the 11th. Bryson Smith drove home the decisive run with a single through the right side of the infield. Travis Mattair came home to score. It was also Smith who provide half the production in the 9th with an RBI single. The other run during the 9th inning comeback was secured via a Brodie Greene sac fly which cashed in Juan Silverios’ rally igniting lead-off double. The result pushed the Barons to four full games behind with only as many games to play. With Chattanooga and Tennessee playing head to head across the final days of the season, Birmingham saw any hope of a miraculous run disappear in the extra frame at Regions Park on Thursday evening.

Starters: PNS: Timothy Adleman (3-7, 3.00) BIR: Mike Recchia (5-4, 3.32)

Pensacola leads series 1-0