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.
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).