By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns
The Jacksonville Suns (24-32) can grab a series victory against the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (22-33) tonight with a first pitch slated for 7:35 p.m. ET from Pensacola Bayfront Stadium.
After last night’s nail bitting 8-7 win, Jacksonville can tie the season series between the in-state rivals at four games apiece.
Brian Ellington (W, 3-1) earned the victory for Jacksonville tossing one and two-thirds scoreless frames while walking one and striking out a solo batter. Kyle McMyne (L, 1-2) took a losing decision after his appearance in the ninth out of the bullpen in which he surrendered three runs (all earned) on three hits while walking a batter. Sean Donatello (S, 14) earned his Southern League leading 14th save of the year, after hurling the ninth in which he was tagged for two runs (one earned) on two hits and two walks.
The scoring would begin for Jacksonville in top of the first with two outs. Austin Nola belted a double to set up in scoring position for Viosergy Rosa, who then provided a RBI single to give the Suns a 1-0 lead. To the bottom of the second, and the Wahoos would use a pair of extra base hits to tie the score. First a double off the bat of Juan Perez, followed by a run-scoring triple from Juan Silva that plated Perez, knotted the contest at one through two innings of play. Flashing ahead to the last of the sixth, Pensacola started the frame with back-to-back singles courtesy of Ray Chang and Kyle Waldrop. Next batter, Marquez Smith, (HR, 1) then would blast his first home run of the year that brought in three runs and leaped the Wahoos in front 4-1.
In the top of the seventh, now facing Wahoos reliever Carlos Gonzalez, Danny Black worked himself on base with a single that was followed two batters later by a Kenny Wilson walk. With two runners on, and Carlos Lopez to the plate, Lopez laced a RBI double to bring the Suns to within a 4-2 deficit. Jacksonville was not done in the frame, when Nola’s RBI base knock against Gonzalez brought Jacksonville to within a run. Then Pensacola reliever Kevin Shackleford would enter, to then promptly offer up RBI singles to Rosa and Zack Cox that leaped the Suns ahead 5-4. In the bottom of the frame, Casey McCarthy came in for the Suns and offered up back-to-back walks to Ray Chang and Kyle Waldrop. Jacksonville then turned to Brian Ellington who tossed a wild pitch to move the runners up to second and third respectively. Smith then provided a RBI groundout to bring in the tying run from third, and knot the contest at five through seven frames of play.
Moving to the top of the ninth, Suns now facing Wahoos bullpen arm Kyle McMyne, Lopez started off the stanza with his second double of the contest. Next batter, Austin Nola then laid down a sacrifice bunt to send the go-ahead run to third. Runners now on the corners after a Rosa walk, Matt Juengel lashed a RBI double to bring in Lopez and leap the Suns into a 6-5 scoreboard advantage. Sharif Othman continued the rally after his two-run single made the tally 8-5. Against Suns closer Sean Donatello, Perez would bring in a run with a RBI single, which was soon followed up by a fielding error by Suns second baseman Danny Black that brought in another run and made the score 8-7. Donatello would get pinch hitter Cam Maron to pop up to third and the end game and strand the bases full.
Tonight’s pitching matchup will feature Jacksonville right-hander Austin Brice to be opposed by Pensacola righty Tim Adleman. Brice enters this start 2-4 with a 7.09 ERA in 10 starts. His last trip to the hill came on 6/3 against Montgomery, in what was a no decision in six frames of work and he did allow three runs (two earned) on six hits while walking three and striking out five. Brice did make one start against Pensacola on 5/11, and in a winning decision, he generated five frames relinquishing a pair of runs on two hits while walking six and striking out four. The Marlins number 29-ranked prospect according to Baseball America is coming off a month of May in which he went 2-2 with a 8.61 earned run mark. The native of North Carolina has pitched better over his last two starts, working a season-high six innings in back-to-back trips to the hill against the Barons and the Biscuits.
Adleman takes the ball 2-5 with a 1.97 earned run mark in 11 appearances and 10 starts. His last time out came on 6/3 against Mobile, and he would shoulder a losing decision after his shortest start of the year that saw him last two and a third innings surrendering four runs (three earned) on three hits. On 5/12, at Bragan Field, Adleman defeated the Suns and picked up his first winning decision of the year after generating six scoreless innings. He’s a former 24th round draft pick of the Baltimore Orioles in 2010 out of Georgetown, and entered the Reds organization as a minor league free agent signing on 10/14/13. This is his second go-around with double-A Pensacola after making 30 appearances and six starts with the Wahoos a year ago finishing 3-8 with a 2.85 ERA.
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 (24-32) @ Pensacola Blue Wahoos (22-33)
Starters: PEN: RHP Tim Adleman (2-5, 1.97 ERA) vs. JAX: RHP Austin Brice (2-4, 7.09ERA)
Who’s Hot: Carlos Lopez picked up his first double-A home run on Thursday night, and has put together an eight-game hit streak after providing a pair of doubles yesterday, which he has done two other times this season. During the hit streak Lopez has generated a .353 average (12-for-34). Austin Nola went 2-for-3 at the plate yesterday marking his 11th multi hit game of the year while collecting his 23rd RBI, which is good for second on the Suns. Zack Cox over his last 10 has manufactured a .387 average which has helped him control a share of the S.L.’s third best B.A. (.327).
Suns Spots: Here’s a note from the official Jacksonville Suns game notes:
-Closer Sean Donatello is first in saves (14) in the Southern League. Zack Cox rests tied for third in batting average (.327) and third in on-base percentage (.412). Matt Juengel is now knotted in fourth in home runs (9).