By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns
The Jacksonville Suns (29-38) and the Chattanooga Lookouts (41-25) will continue their series tonight with a first pitch slated for 7:15 p.m. ET from AT&T Field.
With a loss Jacksonville will drop their fifth series of the year, and their second-straight in 2015 to the Southern League North Division champion Lookouts.
Alex Wimmers (W, 5-1) twirled a gem in his start for Chattanooga lasting seven scoreless frames allowing three hits while walking two and striking out a career-high 11 batters. Suns starter Austin Brice (L, 2-6) worked four and two-thirds innings surrendering two runs (both earned) on four hits while walking five and striking out six. Madison Boer (S, 1) earned the save for the Lookouts in two innings of work relinquishing two runs (both earned) on three hits while not walking a batter and striking out one.
The scoring would begin in the bottom of the third for Chattanooga, after Niko Goodrum worked a lead off walk to then move down to second with a stolen base. Next batter Levi Michael then laced a RBI single to push his squad in front 1-0. After a Michael stolen base, Jorge Polanco ripped a run scoring single to double up the Lookouts advantage to 2-0 through three innings of play. In the fifth, Chattanooga would load the bases after a pair of walks and a hit by pitch offered up by Suns starter Brice. Raudel Lazo now out of the bullpen for Jacksonville, would strike out Mike Gonzalez to strand the bases full of Lookouts.
Onto the seventh, and a walk to Austin Nola, and a single by Michael Morse put runners on the corners with one out for Jacksonville. Matt Juengel with a chance to cash in would ground into an inning ending double play to work Lookouts right-handed starter Wimmers out of the jam. Flashing to the bottom of the seventh Max Kepler’s RBI triple, subsequent to a Miguel Sano double, moved the Lookouts in front 3-0 through seven innings of play. For Kepler it was his fifth triple against Jacksonville in this their eighth meeting of 2015. In the ninth the Suns got a single from Chadd Krist then a RBI triple from Ryan Rieger to make it a 3-1 game. Next batter Austin Nola would arch a sacrifice fly to bring Jacksonville to within a 3-2 deficit.
Tonight’s pitching matchup will feature Jacksonville right-hander Trevor Williams to be opposed by Chattanooga righty Jose Berrios. Williams takes the ball tonight 3-7 alongside a 4.27 ERA in 13 starts with the Suns. His last trip to the hill came against Tennessee on 6/14, in which he would shoulder a losing decision in five and one-third innings pitched surrendering three runs (all earned) on four hits while walking four and striking out five. The former second round draft pick of the Marlins in 2013, has provided some of his best performances of the year in June working to a 2-1 mark and a ERA south of two for the month. On the road this year the California native has struggled sporting a 6.39 ERA and a 1-4 record in six starts away from Bragan Field.
Berrios enters this start 7-3 attached alongside a 3.09 ERA in 13 trips to the hill for Chattanooga this year. He is one of seven Lookouts to be elected to the Southern League All Star game on Tuesday, June 23 in Montgomery, Ala. His last start came on 6/14 against Birmingham, in which he would earn a no decision in his shortest outing of the year in three scoreless innings surrendering a solo hit while not walking a batter and striking out one in 41 pitches. The native of Puerto Rico was a former first-round draft pick of the Minnesota Twins in 2012, and was a member of the 2013 World Baseball Classic roster for team Puerto Rico. At AT&T Field he was worked to a 2-2 mark and a 4.38 ERA in six starts.
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 7:00 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 (29-38) @ Chattanooga Lookouts (41-25)
Starters: CHA: RHP Jose Berrios (7-3, 3.09 ERA) vs. JAX: RHP Trevor Williams (3-7, 4.27 ERA)
Who’s Hot: Matt Juengel blasted his 13th home run of the season on Thursday night, and has homered twice in this series while collecting seven RBI. Juengel’s 13th home run already surpasses all individual home run totals from any member of the 2014 Suns roster. The right-handed slugger is hitting .310 in his last 10 games with four home runs and 12 RBI. Carlos Lopez has hit safely in 17 of his last 19 games, and during that stretch he has manufactured a .362 average (25-for-69). Backup catcher Chadd Krist matched his longest hitting streak of three games with a single in the ninth of last night’s loss.
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 sixth in batting average (.316). Matt Juengel sits knotted in second for home runs (13), third for extra base hits (27), and total bases (117) while he’s fourth in RBI (42). Viosergy Rosa sits tied for fifth in walks generated (36). Austin Nola is tied for second in games played (65). For relievers, Brian Ellington controls the fifth-best ratio (9.87) of fewest baserunners/9IP.