By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns
The Jacksonville Suns (22-32) will start a five-game set tonight with their in-state rival Pensacola Blue Wahoos (21-32) and first pitch is set for 7:35 p.m. ET from Pensacola Bayfront Stadium.
The Suns are fresh off a series victory against the Montgomery Biscuits, and now shift focus towards the Wahoos who took four of the first five games between the two in the “Battle For The Golden Skillet” in mid-May from Bragan Field.
Pensacola enters this series 22-31 and in fourth place in the Southern League South Division standings sitting 10.5 games back of the first-place Shuckers, while manufacturing a 3-7 record over their last 10 games. The Wahoos are coming off a series loss to the Mobile BayBears after falling short in four of the five games played. The series featured a 5-4 walk off defeat for the Wahoos in 10 innings in last night’s finale that saw Pensacola reliever Kevin Shackleford walk in the winning run. The club has struggled offensively posting the worst batting average in the league (.241) while the pitching staff has worked to the league’s fourth best ERA (3.61). Starter Timothy Adleman currently sports the S.L.’s second best earned-run mark (1.97) while fellow starter Robert Stephenson has tallied 63 strikeouts and posted the fifth-best average against at .198. In a five-game set between these two in the first installment of the “Battle for the Golden Skillet” that took place between 5/11 and 5/15, the Wahoos claimed four out of the five games played at Bragan Field. Offensively in the series Kyle Waldrop and Seth-Mejias-Brean provided .421 and .333 averages respectively. Waldrop at the plate against Jacksonville in mid-May went 8-for-19 alongside two home runs and eight RBI and six runs scored. Mejias-Brean finished 5-for-15 at the plate with six RBI.
Tonight’s pitching matchup will feature Jacksonville left-hander Matt Tomshaw to be opposed by Pensacola’s southpaw Wandy Peralta. Tomshaw will make his fourth spot start of the year after Kendry Flores was recalled to the parent club Miami Marlins earlier in the week. Tomshaw comes into the start 1-4 with a 3.55 ERA in 14 total appearances on the year. The Jacksonville University product has made one career appearance against Pensacola that came this year in relief, in which he would allow three runs (all earned) on three hits in an inning of work. The 26-year old is a rule-5 pick up of the Marlins in 2014.
For the Wahoos Wandy Peralta takes the ball 2-4 attached alongside a 5.01 ERA. He was roughed up in his last start against Mobile on 6/2, lasting three frames while relinquishing six runs (all earned) on four hits while walking two and striking out two in a losing decision. The native of the Dominican Republic made one start against Jacksonville on 5/15, and worked six scoreless innings surrendering three hits while walking two and tying a season high for strikeouts with six. The 23-year old entered the Reds organization as a non-drafted free agent signing in August of 2009.
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 7:20 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 (22-32) @ Pensacola Blue Wahoos (21-32)
Starters: PEN: LHP Wandy Peralta (2-4, 5.01 ERA) vs. JAX: LHP Matt Tomshaw (1-4 3.55 ERA)
Who’s Hot: Carlos Lopez picked up his first double-A home run on Thursday night, and has put together a six-game hit streak going 8-for-24 (.333) in that stretch. Matt Juengel went back-to-back days with a homer on 6/3 and 6/4 against Montgomery, which puts him in the team-lead for long balls (8) and RBI (27). Kenny Wilson has collected a hit in eight of his last ten games, and posted a .333 average over his last five. Zack Cox over his last 10 has manufactured a .375 average, which has helped catapult him to control the S.L.’s seventh best B.A. (.323).
Suns Spots: Here’s a note from the official Jacksonville Suns game notes:
-Closer Sean Donatello is first in saves (13) in the Southern League. Starter Jake Esch now controls the seventh-best ERA (2.65) in the S.L. Zack Cox rests seventh in batting average (.375) and third in on-base percentage (.408).