By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns
The Jacksonville Suns (6-7, 35-47) will get set to begin a five-game series with the Mobile BayBears (7-6, 41-41) tonight and first pitch is set for 7:05 p.m ET from Bragan Field.
The BayBears are coming off a first half in which they finished 34-35, and in second place in the Southern League South Division standings. Overall they currently sit 41-41, and 7-6 in the second half while controlling first place by a solo game. Mobile is coming off a series victory against the Pensacola Blue Wahoos in which they took three of the five games played. The Diamondbacks double-A club currently rests fourth in batting average in the Southern League working to a .256 clip. The pitching staff has generated the fifth-best ERA at 3.65. Socrates Brito provides pop in the lineup, as he has manufactured nine triples this year, which is good for second in the S.L.
The Suns are coming off their first series victory since early June after taking three out of five from the Chattanooga Lookouts, but falling in the series finale 6-1 in a rain shortened contest.
David Hurlbut (W, 4-4) lasted six and two-thirds frames in which allowed one run (earned) on seven hits while while walking one and striking out four in the win. Scott Lyman (L, 0-4) in his start for Jacksonville worked five innings surrendering six runs (five earned) on nine hits while walking one and striking out six in a losing decision.
The scoring would begin in the top of the first for Chattanooga, after Levi Michael and Max Kepler generated a pair of singles that was subsequently followed by Aderlin Mejia’s RBI base knock creating a 1-0 advantage. To the bottom of the first, and Carlos Lopez (HR, 4) took the first pitch he saw and delivered a solo home run into the right field bleachers to make it a tie game at one apiece. To the second, and the Lookouts worked a pair of runners on for Niko Goodrum’s run-scoring ground rule double that made it a 2-1 game. Next batter Levi Michael then ripped a groundball to first that plated a pair of runs, courtesy of Ryan Rieger’s fielding error now creating a 4-1 Suns deficit. In the fourth, the Lookouts tacked on a pair of runs following a RBI groundout courtesy of Michael, and a run-scoring double off the bat of Max Kepler that generated a 6-1 cushion. The game would be called due to rain with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, earning the Lookouts a 6-1 win.
Tonight’s pitching matchup will feature Jacksonville right-hander Trevor Williams to be opposed by Mobile righty Blayne Weller. Williams enters this start 4-7 with an ERA of 4.26 in 16 games and 15 starts with the Suns. In his last trip to the hill, the former second round draft pick lasted six innings against the Chattanooga Lookouts on 7/4, in which he worked six scoreless frames surrendering two hits while walking two and striking out six in a winning decision. He has made one start against Mobile this year, and took the loss on 5/7 in five frames of work. That night he would relinquish six runs (all earned) on seven hits while walking four and striking out three. In the first half of the season, the number eight-ranked Marlins prospect according to Baseball America generated a 3-7 mark to go alongside an ERA of 4.23 14 starts and 76 and two thirds-innings pitched.
Weller will get set to make his first double-A start tonight after working in 16 starts with High-A Visalia, where he would muster up a 5-4 mark attached with a 4.55 ERA in that stop. The native of Key West, Fla. is a former 14th round draft pick of the Twins organization in the 2008 MLB First-Year Player Draft, to then sign with the Diamondbacks after spending a few years in independent league baseball.
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 6:50 p.m. ET on the Suns Baseball Network.
The Mobile BayBears make their first appearance of the season in Jacksonville on Thursday and it’s the biggest party in town with Thursday Night Throwdown and College Night! Enjoy Buds for a Buck and 2 for 1 Cocktails at the hottest spot in Jacksonville! Plus it’s College Night and all college students get in for $5 Dollars with ID! Sponsored by Budweiser, Jameson, Jim Beam, Jagermeister, Malibu Rum, Maverick’s, 95.1 WAPE & X102.9!
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: Mobile BayBears (7-7, 41-41) @ Jacksonville Suns (6-7, 35-47)
Starters: MOB: RHP Blayne Weller (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. JAX: RHP Trevor Williams (4-7, 4,26 ERA)
Who’s Hot: Carlos Lopez has hit safely in 30 of his last 34 games, and during the stretch he has manufactured a .344 average (44-for-128). David Adams has hit safely in 10 of his last 12 games while providing a pair of extra base hits in the Lookouts series. During this stretch for Adams, he is hitting .379 (14-for-37). Suns centerfielder Kenny Wilson has now hit safely in his last five games controlling the JAX’s longest current hit streak. Viosergy Rosa bursted onto the scene on Tuesday night against Chattanooga finishing 4-for-5 at the plate in both games played, including a 3-for-3 game in the nightcap.
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 (14), and fifth in RBI (47). Viosergy Rosa sits fourth in walks generated (44). For relievers, Brian Ellington controls the second-best ratio of fewest baserunners/9IP (9.00), and average against (.196) while he’s holding onto the third best K/9 ratio (9.69). Starter Austin Brice has the third-best K/9 ratio for starters (9.97). Kenny Wilson is knotted in third in games played (78).