By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns
The Jacksonville Suns (2-3, 31-43) will continue their in-state rivalry with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (2-3, 27-46) tonight from Pensacola Bayfront Stadium with a first pitch slated for 7:35 p.m. ET.
The season series between the Suns and Wahoos is currently tied at five. Both teams have had trouble holding court on their home turf, dropping four out of the five games in their respective ballparks. Jacksonville has won every season series since the inception of the Golden Skillet trophy in 2012.
The Pensacola Blue Wahoos come in 27-46 overall, 2-3 in the second half, and finished the opening half portion of the year last in the Southern League South Division at 25-43. The Wahoos enter this series posting the league’s worst batting average (.242), runs total (234), and RBI (218). Their pitching staff is sixth in ERA (3.74) while individually Robert Stephenson has posted the league’s best average against (.197), and its’ second-best strikeout total (89). Another bright spot in the rotation is Tim Adleman, who will take the ball in the series finale, and he currently controls the third-best ERA (2.09) in the S.L.
Tonight’s pitching matchup will feature right-hander Jake Esch taking the ball for Jacksonville to be opposed by Pensacola lefty Wandy Peralta. Esch enters this start 5-4 alongside a 3.65 ERA in 12 starts with the Suns. The Georgia Tech product has made two starts against the Blue Wahoos in which he has gone 0-1 with an earned run mark of 5.54 surrendering eight runs (all earned) on 11 hits in 13 innings pitched. In the month of June, the former 11th round draft pick of the Marlins has worked to a record of 2-1 while sporting a 4.98 ERA in four starts. Away from Jacksonville this year the 25-year old has posted an ERA north of six.
Peralta takes the ball 3-6 alongside a 4.85 earned run mark in 14 starts with the Wahoos. He earned a winning decision in his last start on 6/25 against Mississippi, in which he would generate five innings allowing three runs (earned) on eight hits while walking three and not striking out a batter for the second time this year. The southpaw in a pair of starts against the Suns is 0-1, while sporting an ERA of 2.25. He’s a former non-drafted free agent signing of the Cincinnati Reds 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.
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Matchup: Jacksonville Suns (2-3, 31-43) @ Pensacola Blue Wahoos (2-3, 27-46)
Starters: PNS: LHP Wandy Peralta (3-6, 4.85 ERA) vs. JAX: RHP Jake Esch (5-4, 3.65 ERA)
Who’s Hot:Carlos Lopez has hit safely in 23 of his last 26 games, and during that stretch he has manufactured a .351 average (34-for-97). Kenny Wilson in his last 10 ballgames is batting .308 with a home run and six RBI. J.T. Riddle blasted his first double-A home run on Monday night and finished a single shy of the cycle. Terrence Dayleg has generated a .310 average while posting a home run and eight RBI in his last 10 games.
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. Matt Juengel rests third in home runs (13), fourth in total bases (122), extra base hits (28), and RBI (45). Viosergy Rosa sits fifth in walks generated (40). For relievers, Brian Ellington controls the third-best ratio (9.32) of fewest baserunners/9IP, K/9 ratio (9.80), and average against (.201). Starter Austin Brice has the fourth-best K/9 ratio for starters (9.49). Kenny Wilson is knotted in second in games played (71).