By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns
The Jacksonville Suns (8-8, 37-48) can earn a series victory this afternoon over the Mobile BayBears (8-8, 42-43) with a first pitch set for 3:05 p.m. ET from Bragan Field.
Last night marked Jacksonville’s seventh extra innings game of the year, and they have now worked an overall record of 3-4 when playing more than the standard nine frames. The BayBears and Suns have played a pair of 14-inning games this year, the other coming on 5/8. When squaring off in May, that game would take three hours and 56 minutes, but Saturday night’s marathon would earn the top spot for the longest game played this year for Jacksonville at four hours and 50 minutes. The Suns and BayBears would use a combined 13 pitchers and five pinch-hitters on Saturday. The walk-off win for JAX marked only the second walk off win for the club this year, with the only other walk off victory coming on 4/16 when Sharif Othman’s RBI double clinched a 3-2 win over Montgomery
Josh Hodges (W, 1-0) in relief for Jacksonville tossed four scoreless innings allowing three hits while walking one and striking out four. Jimmie Sherfy (L, 0-4) shouldered the losing decision out of the bullpen for Mobile in two thirds of an inning in which he offered up the wild pitch that brought in the game-winning run for Jacksonville in the 14th.
The scoring would begin in the top of the fourth after Rudy Flores would work a lead off walk to then get knocked home by a Stewart ljames RBI triple to make it a 1-0 Mobile lead.In the last of the fourth, the Suns responded courtesy of a Ryan Rieger triple followed by Sharif Othman’s (HR, 2) two-run home run that all came with two outs, providing Jacksonville with a 2-1 lead. In the top of the seventh, against Suns reliever Raudel Lazo, the BayBears tied the score at two after Tom Belza led off the frame with a base knock, to then get knocked in courtesy of Gerson Montilla’s RBI double. Onto the top of the tenth and Mobile mounted a two out rally against Suns reliever Martinez. First a two out walk to Rudy Flores, then a single by Stewart Ijames, and a RBI base knock by Mark Thomas pushed Mobile in front 3-2.
In the bottom of the tenth, Viosergy Rosa would generate a one out walk to then get knocked in two batters later by Zack Cox’s pinch-hit two out RBI double to tie the game at three. All damage came against Mobile bullpen arm Silvino Bracho. The Suns loaded the bases in the fourteenth after a pair of singles by Brent Keys and J.T. Riddle, and a Viosergy Rosa walk. A wild pitch offered up Mobile reliever Sherfy brought in the game-winning run for Jacksonville in 4-3 walk off win.Suns starter Jake Esch lasted five and two thirds allowing one run (earned) on two hits while walking seven and striking out four. BayBears starter Zack Godley lasted four and two thirds frames surrendering two runs (both earned) on a pair of walks and three strikeouts.
With a win this afternoon the Suns can grab their second straight series win and clinch a winning homestand. If JAX were to take the series victory, they would have won five of the 10 five-game sets played at Bragan Field, and would tally their seventh series victory of 2015.
Today’s pitching matchup will feature Jacksonville left-hander Matt Tomshaw to be opposed by Mobile righty A.J. Schugel. Tomshaw takes the ball 4-5 alongside a 3.10 ERA in nine starts for the Suns. The southpaw has been impressive since entering the rotation in early June. In his opening month within the rotation, Tomshaw finished 3-0 with an impressive earned run mark of 1.75 in four starts and 25.2 innings pitched. The Jacksonville University product is a former 42nd round draft pick of he Minnesota Twins before coming over to the Marlins organization courtesy of the 2014 Rule-5 draft. In his career the 26-year old has produced a 28-21 mark and an ERA of 3.40 in 111 appearances and 66 starts.
Schugel will enter today 4-2 while sporting an ERA of 2.52 in nine starts and 60 and two-thirds innings pitched for the BayBears. The right-hander has bounced to different levels this year including AAA Reno in which he put together a 1-4 mark in five starts that came along with an inflated ERA of 12.66. He has made one appearance with the parent club Arizona Diamondbacks, and would offer up two runs (both earned) on five hits in three innings in relief. He’s a former 25th round draft pick of the Angels, and came over to the D-Backs as part of a trade that sent Mark Trumbo to LAA in 2013.
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 2:35 p.m. ET on the Suns Baseball Network.
Sunday is Family Faith Day and Kids Run the Bases! After the game join us for a special post-game concert featuring several area church bands & choirs! Also after the game and before the concert all Kids can run the bases, presented by VyStar Credit Union!
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 (8-8, 42-43) @ Jacksonville Suns (8-8, 37-48)
Starters: MOB: RHP A.J. Schugel (4-2, 2.52 ERA) vs. JAX: LHP Matt Tomshaw (4-5, 3.10 ERA)
Who’s Hot: Carlos Lopez has hit safely in 31 of his last 37 games, and during the stretch he has manufactured a .338 average (47-for-139). David Adams has hit safely in 12 of his last 15 games, and during that span for Adams, he is hitting .356 (16-for-45). Sharif Othman collected his second home run this year in Saturday night’s 4-3 win, and now controls a four game hit streak in which he is 5-for-16 (.313) at the plate.
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), fourth in RBI (50), and total bases (134). Carlos Lopez has tallied 87 hits, which is good for fourth in the S.L. Viosergy Rosa sits second in walks generated (48). For relievers, Brian Ellington controls the second-best ratio of fewest baserunners/9IP (9.00), third in average against (.196), and K/9 ratio (9.69). Starter Austin Brice has the third-best K/9 ratio for starters (9.78). Kenny Wilson and Carlos Lopez are knotted in third in games played (81). Zack Cox controls the tenth best batting average in the league (.306).