By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns
PEARL, Miss. – The Jacksonville Suns (9-12, 38-52) were dropped by the Mississippi Braves (12-9, 45-44) 3-2 Friday night from Trustmark Park.
Mitch Lambson (W, 1-0) earned the victory in relief for the Braves after generating a scoreless and hitless eighth frame. Craig Stem (L, 1-3) (BS, 2) worked one inning and allowed two runs (both earned) on two hits while walking one and striking out two out of the bullpen for Jacksonville in his losing decision. Tyler Jones (S, 10) in relief for Mississippi picked up the save after tossing a scoreless ninth in which he allowed a pair of hits while not walking or striking out a batter.
In the bottom of the second Matt Kennelly began the frame with a double that was soon followed by a single off the bat of David Rohm to put runners on the corners with nobody out. Then it was Eric Garcia who bounced into a RBI fielder’s choice to score Kennelly, and make it 1-0 in favor of Mississippi.
In the top of the third Jacksonville worked a pair of runners on after singles from Carlos Lopez and David Adams. Viosergy Rosa would tie the game at one after his run-scoring single brought home Lopez.
Flashing to the top of the fourth, and Sharif Othman (HR, 3) would lace a solo home run over the right field wall to put Jacksonville up 2-1.
With one out in the bottom of the eighth, Emerson Landoni lined a triple off of Suns bullpen arm Craig Stem to set up in scoring position. After a walk to K.D. Kang, a fielding error by Suns third baseman Matt Juengel brought home Landoni, and tied the game at two. Next batter Ruiz would then break the tie after grounding a RBI single into right to push the Braves ahead 3-2.
To the top of the ninth, and a pair of base hits by Juengel and Terrence Dayleg put runners on the corners with one out for the Suns against Braves closer Tyler Jones. Othman would then ground out into a game-ending double play en route to the 3-2 loss.
Josh Hodges in his spot start for Jacksonville lasted five innings relinquishing one run (earned) on five hits while walking two and striking out two. Braves starter Greg Ross worked seven frames allowing two runs (both earned) on six hits (one home run) while walking and striking two respectively.
Fabian Williamson worked a pair of scoreless and hitless frames after entering in the sixth out in the Suns bullpen while tallying four strikeouts.
The Suns and Braves will square off again Saturday night from Trustmark Park with a first pitch set for 7:00 p.m. ET. The Suns will send out left-hander Matt Tomshaw (4-6, 3.89 ERA) while the Braves will counter with righty Victor Mateo (5-5, 2.87 ERA)
Suns fans can also listen to Saturday’s game on the Suns Baseball Network, 600 AM & 100.3 FM “The Answer” or through http://www.jaxsuns.com, MiLB.com, or the TuneIn radio app, coverage will start with the Memorial Hospital Suns Pregame Show beginning at 6:45 p.m. ET.
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.
Here are highlights from tonight’s contest: