By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Jacksonville Suns (18-27) topped the Birmingham Barons (21-25) 8-2 en route to their third-straight victory in the 20th annual Rickwood Classic Wednesday afternoon from Rickwood Field.
Hear from Suns manager David Berg Postgame:
Suns starter Kendry Flores (W, 3-3) earned the victory tossing six innings allowing two runs (all earned) on four hits while walking two and striking out three. Myles Jaye (L, 2-3) generated four and two-thirds frames surrendering five runs (three earned) on seven hits while walking one and striking out a solo batter in his start for the Barons.
The scoring would begin in the top of the second, after a two-out single by David Adams set the table for Terrance Dayleg’s RBI double leaping the Suns out to a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the third the Barons tied the score at one. Adrian Nieto blasted a lead off double, and subsequently moved to third after a wild pitch from Flores. Next batter Jeremy Farrell, cashed in with a RBI sacrifice fly to knot the score through three innings at Rickwood Field.
In the first of the fifth inning the Suns created separation on the scoreboard. First Danny Black, in his first game back in Jacksonville in 2015, lined a RBI single to put the Suns in front 2-1. Two batters later, with the bases loaded, Kenny Wilson reached courtesy of a fielding error by Barons third baseman Jeremy Farrell, that scored Black and Sharif Othman to make the tally 4-1. Now two runners on for Austin Nola, he would provide a productive groundout to shortstop that brought home Othman and completed the five-run rally, setting the score at 5-1.
To the bottom of fifth and Birmingham tacked on a run after Nieto’s (HR, 3) solo blast crept the Barons to within three runs, now trailing 5-2.
In the eighth, against Barons reliever Kyle Hansen, Matt Juengel (HR, 5) delivered a solo home run over the left field wall to swell the Suns edge to 6-2.
Flashing to the first of the eighth frame Danny Black added a pair of runs on one swing courtesy of his two-run single that put Jacksonville in front 8-2.
Out of the Suns bullpen Brian Ellington worked a pair of scoreless frames while relinquishing two hits. Juancito Martinez hurled a scoreless ninth in his double-A debut.
The Suns and Barons will shift their series to Regions Field for game two with a first pitch set for 8:05 p.m. ET. The Suns will send out righty Jake Esch (3-3, 2.83 ERA) while the Barons will counter with right-hander Mark Blackmar (0-3, 4.30 ERA).
Suns fans can also listen to Thursday’s game on the Suns Baseball Network, 100.3 FM & 600 AM “The Answer” 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 7:50 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: