By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – The Jacksonville Suns (10-13) would fall victim to a 14-13 walk-off defeat at the hands of the Chattanooga Lookouts (12-11) thanks to Levi Michael’s RBI single in the bottom of the ninth Sunday afternoon from AT&T Field.
Nick Burdi (W, 2-3) earned the victory for Chattanooga out of the bullpen although he would allow go-ahead run in the ninth. Sean Donatello (L, 0-1) (BS, 1) tried to nail down the save in the bottom of the ninth, but instead allowed the game-winning single to Levi Michael. Donatello would surrender two earned runs on three hits while walking two and not striking out a batter.
The Suns would get on the board first after David Adams ripped a RBI single to right field bringing home Viosergy Rosa to leap his squad in front 1-0 in the top of the second.
In the third Kenny Wilson (HR, 2) would push Jacksonville out to a 2-0 lead courtesy of his solo home run to center. The Suns were not done, tacking on one more run after Adams lined his second run-scoring base knock to extend the scoreboard advantage to 3-0.
Chattanooga got in the scoring column in the last of the third. First a fielding error by Suns first baseman Rosa on a Stuart Turner groundball, a Byron Buxton two-run triple, a Dalton Hicks RBI single, and Miguel Sano’s (HR, 5) second home run of the series, a two-run shot all helped manufacture the six run frame. Chattanooga would now posses a 6-3 lead through three innings at AT&T Field.
Jacksonville wouldn’t trail for long when the offense took front and center with two outs in the top of the fourth. With two men on, Matt Juengel would provide a RBI single to bring the Suns deficit to within two runs. Rosa then knotted the score at six, when he mashed a double that brought home a pair of baserunners. Adams finished off the frame putting the Suns back on top after mashing a two RBI double to create a 8-6 cushion over the Lookouts.
This seesaw affair continued with more offense in the bottom the fourth. First a Hicks run producing single brought the Lookouts to within a run. Next man to the plate D.J. Hicks would tie the score at eight apiece, via a sacrifice fly that plated Turner.
In the last of the seventh, facing Suns reliever Lay Batista, Adam Walker II (HR, 6) put Chattanooga back in front with a solo blast over the left field wall that gave his team a 9-8 lead.
The top of the eighth would see Jacksonville put together a four spot to take the lead. Rosa got it started with a RBI single that tied that tied the score at nine. Next batter Zack Cox provided an encore with a RBI single of his own to put the Suns up 10-9. Carlos Lopez manufactured the big blow when he ripped a two-run double to provide a pair of insurance runs and a 12-8 scoreboard advantage.
In the bottom of the frame Chattanooga would tie the score. First Michael’s two-run triple brought his team to within one then Sano’s sac fly bringing in Michael would bring the tally to 12-12 through eight innings.
In ninth the Suns would once again take the lead after Austin Nola’s sacrifice fly sent home Wilson from third after is one out triple. Jacksonville now would lead 13-12.
Chattanooga would rally working the bases loaded against Suns closer Sean Donatello, and Heiker Meneses would work a walk to knot up the scoring. Bases still full, Michael would end the game with his walk-off single that earned the Lookouts a 14-13 victory.
The Suns starter Chipper Smith lasted 4 and 1/3 innings allowing five earned runs on six hits while walking three and striking out five. Greg Peavey manufactured 3 and 2/3 frames surrendering seven earned on 10 hits while not walking a batter and striking out four.
The Suns and Lookouts will square off again Monday night in the series finale from AT&T Field with a first pitch slated for 7:15 p.m. ET. The Suns will send out right-hander Kendry Flores (1-3, 3.57ERA) while the Lookouts will throw righty D.J. Baxendale (2-0, 1.07 ERA).
Suns fans can also listen to Monday’s game on the Suns Baseball Network, 102.3 FM “The Beach” or through http://www.jaxsuns.com, MiLB.com, or the TuneIn radio app, coverage will start with the Memorial Hospital Suns Pregame Show beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET
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.
Here are highlights from tonight’s contest: