By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Suns (28-34) were routed by the Tennessee Smokies (33-29) in a rain-shortened contest 12-3 Saturday afternoon from Bragan Field.
Tayler Scott (W, 2-1) earned the victory working in a pair of innings allowing one run (earned) on one hit while walking four and striking out one out of the bullpen. Austin Brice (L, 2-5) got the start for Jacksonville and he manufactured four innings relinquishing four runs (three earned) on seven hits while walking two and fanning five batters.
The scoring would begin in the top of the first, when Jacob Hannemann led off the game with a triple that was followed two batters later by a Dan Vogelbach RBI single, that brought in the first run of the contest, and provide the Smokies with a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the third, it was Viosergy Rosa who tied the score after his sacrifice fly brought home Austin Brice who led off the frame with an infield single.
In the first of the fourth frame, the Smokies started off with back-to-back home runs from Billy McKinney (HR, 1) and Stephen Bruno (HR, 2) that leaped the Smokies in front 3-1. With Wes Darvill on the third after a walk and an error on Viosergy Rosa, he would be brought home courtesy of Jacob Hanneman’s run-scoring double that made the tally 4-1.
Flashing to the fifth inning, and Tennessee would bring nine batters to the plate and score four runners. A RBI double by Stephen Bruno made the tally 5-1. Next batter Darvill, then skied a RBI sacrifice fly to right field that brought in the Smokies sixth run. Holding a five-run lead, pinch-hitter Albert Almora Jr. generated a run-scoring base knock that scored Darvill and ballooned the advantage to 7-1. They would round out their four-run rally with Hanneman’s second RBI double of the day, to make the score 8-1 through five frames at Bragan Field.
The Suns clawed closer in the last of the sixth, when Kenny Wilson lashed a RBI single that scored Danny Black after Black’s walk started the frame. Jacksonville trailed 8-2.
To the seventh, and the bases full with Suns reliever Casey McCarthy on the mound, Hanneman (HR, 2) blasted a grand slam to push the Smokies scoreboard edge to 12-2.
In the last of the seventh Matt Juengel (HR, 11) continued his hot power stretch with a solo shot over the left field wall creeping the Suns to within a 12-3 deficit.
In the bottom of the ninth, with the Suns batting, rain would situate over Bragan Field and call the contest early with a 12-3 final.
Chipper Smith saw time out of the Suns bullpen tossing a solo inning surrendering four runs (all earned) on three hits while walking three and striking out one. Casey McCarthy worked two and two-thirds innings while being tagged for four runs (all earned) on five hits. Bullpen arm Blake Logan manufactured a scoreless inning and a third.
The Suns and Smokies will continue their series Sunday afternoon from Bragan Field with a first pitch slated for 12:05 p.m. ET. The Suns will send out righty Trevor Williams (3-6, 4.21 ERA) while the Smokies will counter with major league rehabber Jacob Turner (0-1, 4.50 ERA).
Sunday afternoon is also a special 12:05 matinee and it’s Winn-Dixie Day & Pet Friendly Weekend! On this day $10 parking will be available only in Lot P & Lot X for Suns fans and be sure to stop by your local Winn-Dixie for free tickets while supplies last! Plus it’s the last day for Pet Friendly Weekend and all dogs get in for just $2.50, sponsored by Pedigree!
Suns fans can also listen to Sunday’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 a special “Suns Sunday” edition of the Memorial Hospital Suns Pregame Show beginning at 11:35 a.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: