By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns
The Jacksonville Suns (15-23) will look to bounce back after being swept in a doubleheader last night by the Biloxi Shuckers (23-16). First pitch for the series finale is slated for 7:40 p.m. ET at Joe Davis Stadium.
After losing a pair of contest to the Shuckers last night the Suns are now 2-7 against the top team in the South Division standings.
In game one, Jacob Barnes (W, 1-4) earned the victory in his start for the Shuckers working five scoreless innings allowing three hits while walking a solo batter and striking out two. Suns starter Trevor Williams (L, 0-6) took the loss tossing five frames surrendering four earned runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out a pair of batters.
The scoring would begin in the bottom of the fourth after Nick Ramirez (HR, 7) blasted his seventh long ball of the year to leap Biloxi out to a 1-0 lead. The fifth frame saw three-straight RBI doubles off the bat of Orlando Arcia, Ramirez, and Michael Reed that pushed Biloxi’s scoreboard advantage to 4-0.
In game two, Hiram Burgos (W, 1-0) earned his first double-A victory of 2015, tossing 5 and 1/3 innings allowing one earned run on four hits while walking four and striking out six. Suns starter Matt Tomshaw (L,0-4) in a spot start lasted four innings allowing one run (earned) on four hits while not walking a batter and striking out one.
The scoring would begin in the bottom of the fourth when Parker Berberet belted a two-out RBI double to leap the Shuckers out to a 1-0 advantage.Flashing ahead in the fifth Biloxi would plate four runner courtesy of a Michael Reed RBI single, Brandon Masias two-run double, and Kyle Wren’s run scoring single set the Suns deficit at 5-0. Viosergy Rosa would get the Suns on the board after his RBI double made the score 5-1 in the top of the sixth.
Tonight’s pitching matchup will feature left-hander Chipper Smith on the mound for the Suns to be opposed by Shuckers lefty Hobbs Johnson. Smith enters tonight’s start 2-1 with a 3.69 ERA after picking up his first loss of the season to Pensacola on 5/14. The Cumberland University product manufactured six innings allowing three earned runs on seven hits while walking one and striking out two. The former 38th round draft pick of the Marlins in 2012, has lasted at least five innings in all of his starts except for one against Chattanooga on 5/3 (4.1 IP).
Johnson takes the ball for the Shuckers manning a 2-1 mark attached alongside a 2.56 ERA. The southpaw took the loss in his last start against Jackson on 5/14 pitching 5 and 1/3 frames allowing two earned runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out five in a 91-pitch performance. The native of North Carolina tallied a winning decision in a start against Jacksonville on April 23rd, in which he worked five scoreless innings relinquishing only one hit while walking a pair of batters and striking out what still is a season-high of six men. Johnson collected honors last season as an Organization All-Star within the Brewers’ minor league system after posting 12 wins, and a sub three ERA, as a member of advanced-A Brevard County.
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 7:25 p.m. ET on the Suns Baseball Network.
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.
Matchup: Jacksonville Suns (15-23) @ Biloxi Shuckers (23-16)
Starters: JAX: LHP Chipper Smith (2-1, 3.69 ERA) vs. BLX: LHP Hobbs Johnson (2-1, 2.56)
Who’s Hot: Carlos Lopez had his 13-game hitting streak snapped last night after finishing hitless in a pinch-hit appearance in game two, but is still 13-for-34 (.382) in his last 10. Sharif Othman has had multiple strong showings in his last five going 5-for-8 (.625). Ryan Rieger is still posting an average over .300 over his last 10 contests going 7-for-23 with two RBI and a run scored.
Suns Spots: Here’s a note from the official Jacksonville Suns game notes:
-Starter Kendry Flores is first in batting average against (.170), second in WHIP (0.82), second in fewest baserunners allowed per nine innings (7.83), and controls the eighth-best ERA (2.06) in the Southern League. Starter Jake Esch controls the league’s 10th best ERA (2.55). Closer Sean Donatello sits first in saves (10) in the S.L. As a team Jacksonville has worked to only the league’s 8th best batting average (.238) and sit middle of the pack with the 6th best ERA (3.83).