JACKSONVILLE, FL – The Jacksonville Suns (2-1) rode home runs from Viosergy Rosa, Brady Shoemaker, Joe Benson and Terrence Dayleg to a 7-5 victory over the Mobile BayBears (1-2) in game three of the South Division Championship Series on Saturday from Bragan Field. The Suns now hold a 2-1 series lead.
Hear from Justin Nicolino after he goes seven innings and collects the win in game three:
Justin Nicolino (W, 1-0) collected the victory for Jacksonville on Saturday, giving up three runs (all earned) on eight hits with a walk and three strikeouts in seven innings of work.
Collin Cargill retired the side in order in his 1-2-3 eighth inning of work.
Blake Logan allowed two runs (both earned) on two hits and a walk without retiring a batter in his relief outing.
Matt Ramsey (SV, 2) gave up a lone hit and struck out three batters in a scoreless ninth inning as he has saved both of Jacksonville’s wins in the South Division Championship Series.
Aaron Blair (L, 0-1) took the loss for Mobile after surrendering seven runs (all earned) on eight hits with three walks and four strikeouts in five innings of work. Blair gave up four home runs in the start.
The game remained scoreless until the bottom of the second, when the Suns had back-to-back-to-back home runs for the first time on the 2014 season. Viosergy Rosa (HR, 2) led off the frame with an opposite-field home run to left, Brady Shoemaker (HR, 1) then followed that up by driving the first pitch he saw from Aaron Blair well over the wall in left-center, with Joe Benson (HR, 1) providing the third of three consecutive homers to put the Suns up 3-0 after two innings of play.
Mobile used a two-out rally to get on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth, as Evan Marzilli’s RBI single cut it to a 3-1 Suns lead through three and a half innings.
The Suns answered back to extend their lead with a four-run fifth inning. A Joe Benson sacrifice fly followed by a two-out, three-run home run from Terrence Dayleg (HR, 1) had the Suns in front by a 7-1 score with five innings in the books.
The BayBears drew a pair of runs closer in the top of the seventh, receiving an Evan Marzilli RBI double and a pinch-hit RBI single from Jon Griffin to make it a 7-3 Suns lead with six and a half innings complete.
Mobile did not go quietly in game three, as Tom Belza’s two-run single trimmed Jacksonville’s lead to 7-5 in the top of the ninth inning, capping off the scoring on Saturday night in the process.
The Suns had not received back-to-back homers once in the 2014 season prior to Saturday’s ballgame and had not had back-to-back-to-back home runs since Derek Dietrich, Mark Canha and Zack Cox homered in succession in the seventh inning of a 5-1 win in Montgomery on July 27, 2013.
Jacksonville’s four total home runs are the most the Suns have had in a single game in 2014.
The Suns and BayBears will be back at it on Sunday for game four of the South Division Championship Series, with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. ET from Bragan Field. The Suns are set to start right-hander Jay Rogers (7-5, 4.40) while the BayBears are due to counter with a righty of their own in A.J. Schugel (6-4, 3.47).
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.
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 Saturday’s ballgame: