By: Kyle Crooks/ Jacksonville Suns
The Jacksonville Suns (10-10) will look to leap back above .500 tonight in a matchup with the Chattanooga Lookouts (9-11) in game two of their five-game set that has a first pitch slated for 7:15 p.m. ET from AT&T Field.
In last night’s 6-4 win, the Suns matched a season-high in hits (11) for a contest set back on 4/10 against Jackson. Jacksonville finished the game 6-for-14 (.428) with runners in scoring position.
Brian Ellington (W, 2-1) would earn the victory throwing a scoreless 1 and 1/3 innings in relief while not allowing a hit or a walk and striking out three. Nick Burdi (L, 1-3) took the loss after allowing two earned runs on three hits while walking one and striking out a solo batter. Sean Donatello (S, 6) nailed down his sixth save in six tries after hurling a perfect ninth inning accompanied with a strikeout.
The scoring would begin in the top of the second after the Suns hit back-to-back doubles, first by Zack Cox to lead off the inning, then by next batter Austin Nola who laced the run producing two-bagger, to leap Jacksonville in front 1-0 through two innings.The Lookouts would tie the score in the last of the third courtesy of Jorge Polanco’s RBI single to center that sent home Byron Buxton who lead off the frame with a walk, and entered into scoring position after stealing his seventh base of the year.Jacksonville put up a three-spot in the top of the sixth. Matt Juengel’s run-scoring single brought home Kenny Wilson, who lead of the frame with a double to set the score at 2-1. A Cox RBI single followed by Nola’s sac fly added a pair to the Suns advantage, now possessing a 4-1 lead.Chattanooga manufactured a two-out rally in the bottom half of the sixth against Suns reliever Matt Tomshaw. First Miguel Sano (HR, 4) would blast his fourth home run of the year to bring the tally to 4-2. A Stuart Turner run-scoring single, and Levi Michael’s RBI double tied the score at four apiece through six frames at AT&T field.Moving to the top of the eighth, the Suns would plate a pair against Lookouts reliever Nick Burdi. Back-to-back RBI singles from Ryan Rieger and Sharif Othman broke the tie and hopped the Suns to a 6-4 advantage. Suns starter Austin Brice lasted four innings allowing one earned run on four hits while walking two and striking out six. Jacksonville reliever Matt Tomshaw surrendered three earned runs over 1 and 2/3 innings.
Tonight’s pitching matchup will feature the right-hander Jake Esch going for the Suns to be opposed by the Lookouts righty Tyler Duffey. Esch in two starts with Jacksonville has been impressive in a pair of victories. The Georgia Tech product has taken the “ace” of the staff status containing a spotless ERA in his first year of double-A, having relinquished nine hits over a scoreless 12 and 1/3 frames pitched while walking four and striking out 12. After receiving the call up to triple-A New Orleans on 4/14, Esch made two starts against the Iowa Cubs posted an 0-1 mark attached alongside a 5.23 ERA over 9 and 1/3 innings. The Lookouts will send Tyler Duffey to the hill who has taken a loss in his last two times taking the ball. Duffey in his last start against Tennessee supplied five innings surrendering five earned runs on eight hits. The Texas-native’s last two starts have seen him relinquish a total of nine earned runs on 16 hits. The former 5th round pick in 2012 currently sits tied for third in the Southern League in strikeouts (26).
The 2015 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.
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 7:00 p.m. ET on the Suns Baseball Network.
Matchup: Jacksonville Suns (10-10) @ Chattanooga Lookouts (9-11)
Starters: JAX: Jake Esch (2-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. CHA: Tyler Duffey (0-2, 3.16)
Who’s Hot: Zack Cox currently holds on to a four-game hit streak and finished last night’s contest 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored.
Suns Spots: Here’s a note from the official Jacksonville Suns game notes:
-Sean Donatello is tied for the Southern League lead in saves (6), and has the held opponents to the fifth-lowest average (.175) .Matt Juengel is knotted in the top spot in games played (21). After last night’s start Austin Brice has the second best K/9, 23 K/16.2 IP (12.42) while fellow starter Trevor Williams has the second best BB/9, 4 BB/22.1 IP (1.61).