By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns
The Jacksonville Suns (1-1) will take on the Jackson Generals (1-1) in the third game of this season-opening five-game set at Bragan Field with a first pitch of 7:05 p.m. ET.
Last night the Suns returned the favor with a shutout victory of their own, beating Jackson 7-0. Jacksonville starter Jake Esch (1-0) in his opening start, provided a stellar pitching performance before rain stopped play in the sixth. Esch went 5 and 1/3 innings surrendering three hits two walks while striking out six in his first victory of the year.
Tonight the Suns will send left-hander Chipper Smith to mound for his first start of the year. In his second straight season with double-A Jacksonville, Smith represents the only lefty in the Suns starting rotation. Last year with Jacksonville the southpaw went 3-4 with a 4.27 ERA in in 14 starts and 65.1 innings pitched. Against Jackson last season he posted a 4.02 earned-run mark and allowed five earned runs in 11 and 2/3 innings pitched over two starts.
For Jackson, southpaw Tyler Pike will take the mound after coming off a season split with High Desert and Jackson in 2014 going 5-8 while pitching to a 6.44 ERA in 27 starts and 110.1 innings pitched between the two destinations.
Through two games, Jacksonville has hit .343 against left-handed pitching collecting 12 hits in 35 at-bats.
Fans can listen to the game live on the Suns Baseball Network, with Roger Hoover providing play by play. 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.
Matchup: Jackson Generals (1-1) @ Jacksonville Suns (1-1)
Starters: JXN: LHP Tyler Pike (0-0,0.00) vs. JAX: LHP Chipper Smith (0-0, 0.00)
Who’s Hot:Matt Juengel stood out for the Suns offensively going 3-for-4 with two RBI, on a night that was highlighted by the right-handed swinger’s two-run scoring triple in the third, which he would bookend with singles in the second and fifth innings. His batting average through two games is .500 (4-for-8).
Suns Spots: Here’s a note from the official Jacksonville Suns game notes:
-Jake Esch was stellar in his 5 and 1/3 innings of three-hit work on Friday night. The right-hander, didn’t allow a run and struck out six Generals batters along the way while retiring the first half a dozen batters he faced in order. Through five frames, the only hit given up by Esch would belong to Steve Baron who singled and was quickly erased from the base paths when Esch induced an inning-ending double play. There is no predicting what could have really been of his start due to the torrential downpours that began at Bragan Field starting a one hour and one minute rain stoppage.