By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns
The Jacksonville Suns (4-5, 33-45) will look for a second straight victory over the Chattanooga Lookouts (1-7, 44-32) tonight at Bragan Field with a first pitch set for 6:05 p.m. ET.
After last night’s 3-0 win, the Suns are now 6-8 overall in shutouts, after finishing 5-8 in the first half, and picking up their first victory in the second half when holding the opponent off the scoreboard. The last shutout victory for Jacksonville came on 6/12 in a 2-0 game against Tennessee at Bragan Field.
Trevor Williams (W, 4-7) earned the victory after tossing six scoreless innings in which he allowed two hits while walking a pair of batters and striking out six. Brett Lee (L, 0-2) turned in eight frames for the Lookouts in which he generated eight innings surrendering three runs (all earned) on seven hits while not walking a batter and striking out two. Suns closer Juancito Martinez (S, 4) earned his fourth save of the year tossing a scoreless ninth.
The scoring would begin in the bottom of the first with four-straight base hits that were highlighted by J.T. Riddle and Matt Juengel’s RBI base knocks giving the Suns a 2-0 lead. Jacksonville tacked one more run after they worked the bases loaded for Kenny Wilson’s RBI sacrifice fly to left field. The Suns would now hold onto a 3-0 advantage through five frames of play. Craig Stem tossed a pair of scoreless innings out of the bullpen for Jacksonville.
Tonight’s pitching matchup will feature right-hander Austin Brice to be opposed by Chattanooga righty D.J. Baxendale. Brice enters tonight’s start 3-6 alongside a 5.61 earned run mark in 14 starts with the Suns. Brice is coming off his best start in his professional career after tallying 13 strikeouts in eight scoreless innings in which he only allowed one hit in a rout of the Biloxi Shuckers on 6/29. In the month of June, Brice had performed better posting a sub three ERA in five starts. The former ninth-round draft pick of the Marlins in the 2010 draft is ranked as the Marlins #29 ranked prospect according to Baseball America. The North Carolina native against the Lookouts this year, has made a pair of starts in which he was worked to an ERA of 3.12 and a record of 0-1.
Baxendale will take the ball 3-1 sporting a 3.74 ERA in 12 appearances and 10 starts with the Lookouts. The 2015 Southern League All-Star tossed a scoreless inning in relief his last time to the mound on 6/28 against Montgomery. His last start came on 6/21 vs. JAX, in which he mustered up a no decision in three innings of work, which were scoreless. Overall against the Suns, the former 10th round selection of the Twins in 2012 has a spotless ERA in nine innings pitched.
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 5:35 p.m. ET on the Suns Baseball Network.
Sunday is Bark in the Park & Kids Run the Bases! The Baseball Grounds will go to the dogs with Bark in the Park and all dogs get in for just $2.50! Be sure to stick around after the game for Kids Run the Bases, presented by VyStar Credit Union & 97.9 KISS-FM!
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: Chattanooga Lookouts (1-7, 44-32) @ Jacksonville Suns (4-5, 33-45)
Starters: CHA: RHP DJ Baxendale (3-1, 3.74 ERA) vs. JAX: RHP Austin Brice (3-6, 5.61 ERA)
Who’s Hot: Carlos Lopez has hit safely in 27 of his last 30 games, and during that stretch he has manufactured a .350 average (40-for-114). David Adams has hit safely in seven of his last eight games while blasting his third home run of the year on Thursday night, and during the hit streak he’s hitting .385 (10-for-26). J.T. Riddle belted his first double-A home run on 6/29 and finished a single shy of the cycle, the Suns shortstop has now hit safely in five of the seven games he has played in Jacksonville since his call up on 6/27. Terrence Dayleg has put together a three-game hit streak while posting a .333 average in his last 10 games.
Suns Spots: Here’s a note from the official Jacksonville Suns game notes:
-Closer Sean Donatello (on DL) is first in saves (14) in the Southern League. Matt Juengel rests third in home runs (14), fourth in total bases (128), and RBI (47). Viosergy Rosa sits second in walks generated (42). For relievers, Brian Ellington controls the best ratio of fewest baserunners/9IP (9.00), and the second-best average against (.196) while he’s controlling the fourth best K/9 ratio (9.69). Starter Austin Brice has the fourth-best K/9 ratio for starters (9.49). Kenny Wilson is knotted in second in games played (75). Starter Matt Tomshaw has the tenth-best ERA (2.78) in the S.L.