By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns
The Jacksonville Suns (9-17, 38-57) and the Birmingham Barons (18-7, 51-43) will get set for a doubleheader today from Bragan Field with the first pitch of game one set for 5:05 p.m. ET with the second game beginning roughly 30 minutes after the completion of the opener.
With the 8-7 walk off loss to the Birmingham Barons last night the Suns are now only 3-6 in extra inning games, and 1-1 in the second half when the contest works its way past the standard nine. Jacksonville in the first half finished 2-4 when playing free baseball.
Zach Isler (W, 1-0) worked an inning and two thirds scoreless in the victory for Birmingham. Juancito Martinez (L, 0-2) (BS, 2) took the loss for the Suns working three innings allowing three runs (all earned) on two hits while walking two and striking out two.
In the top of the first the Barons would load the bases after a pair of hit batsmen and a single. Following a four pitch walk to Christian Marerro making it a 1-0 ballgame, Danny Hayes would rip a two run double to balloon the Barons advantage to 3-0. With the bases loaded once again, Adrian Nieto and Joey DiMichele would provide a pair of RBI groundouts to push Birmingham ahead 5-0. To the last of the second the Suns responded with a pair of run scoring singles off the bat of Viosergy Rosa and Ryan Rieger to cut at the deficit, and make it a 5-2 contest. Flashing to the home half of the fourth frame Jacksonville worked a pair of runners on after a walk to David Adams, and an error on right fielder Keenyn Walker put Viosergy Rosa on base. The Suns would then plate solo runs on Eudy Pina’s, Ryan Rieger’s, and Kenny Wilson’s RBI singles that brought the Suns to within a 5-4 deficit.
Moving to the fifth inning and the Suns took the lead after Rosa mashed a two run double off the right centerfield wall to bring home J.T. Riddle and Matt Juengel, who singled and were hit by a pitch respectively to begin the frame. The Suns would now lead 6-5. Onto the seventh, and Jacksonville would get Riddle to lead off with a double to then get driven home courtesy of Juengel’s RBI single to push the Suns ahead 7-5. To the ninth against Suns bullpen arm Juancito Martinez, Nieto would work a lead off walk, then he would offer up a two run home run to Keenyn Walker (HR, 2) to tie the game at seven. Moving to the 11th frame Joey DiMichele drove in Nicky Delmonico courtesy of his RBI single to push the Barons on top 8-7. Suns starter Josh Hodges generated five frames allowing five runs (all earned) on two hits while walking three and striking out four. Fabian Williamson generated two scoreless and hitless frames in relief for the Suns while walking one and striking out a solo batter. Brian Ellington in relief for the Suns worked a scoreless eighth frame.
Tonight’s pitching matchup will feature Jacksonville’s Matt Tomshaw to be opposed by Birmingham righty Mark Blackmar. Tomshaw enters tonight’s start 4-7 alongside a 4.05 ERA in 22 appearances and 11 starts with the Suns. In his last trip to the hill on 7/18 against Mississippi, the left-hander worked six innings allowing four runs (all earned) on seven hits while walking one and striking out six in a no decision. Before entering the rotation in early June, Tomshaw worked 11 games out of the bullpen and generated a 1-1 mark and a 4.50 ERA. Against Birmingham this year the southpaw has made one appearance in which he lasted three innings of scoreless work. The 26-year old is a former 42nd round draft pick of the Minnesota Twins in 2011, and came to the Marlins as a rule-5 pickup in 2014. Blackmar will take the ball 3-4 attached with an ERA of 3.42 in 17 starts. His last start came on 7/17 against Pensacola, in which he generated five frames surrendering three runs (all earned) on six hits.
Blackmar has made a pair of starts against the Suns, and mustered up an 0-1 record to go along with an ERA of 3.75 in a total of 12 innings pitched. The 23-year old is a former 16th round draft pick of the Baltimore Orioles organization in 2011, and came over to the White Sox as part of a trade that sent Major Leaguer Alejandro De Aza to Baltimore.
In game two Jacksonville’s Blake Logan will enter 3-2 alongside a 3.65 ERA, while Birmingham will send out right-hander Tim Crabbe who comes in 1-0, 2.60 ERA.
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 4:50 p.m. ET on the Suns Baseball Network.
Saturday is Justin Nicolino Bobblehead Giveaway, Wrestling Night, Blood Alliance Blood Drive & Saturday Night Shrimp Buffet! Be sure to arrive early as the first 3,000 fans get a Justin Nicolino Bobblehead, courtesy of EverBank, FOX 30 & 96.9 The Eagle! Plus it’s wrestling night! You’ll want to stick around after the game to see three great wrestling matches featuring Ladies, Tag Teams & Midgets with Little Kato and Beautiful Bobby Dean from Half Pint Brawlers, sponsored by Bug Out! The Blood Alliance Bloodmobile will be on hand and the Suns encourage all fans to donate blood! The first 25 donors receive 2 tickets to the game plus a hot dog and soda voucher! Also enjoy the Sea Best Unlimited Shrimp Dinner in the Sundowner Lounge from 6-8! Get unlimited Butterfly Breaded Shrimp, sides and a soda for only $16.50!
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: Birmingham Barons (18-7, 51-43) @ Jacksonville Suns (9-17, 38-57)
Starters: G1: BIR: Mark Blackmar (1-0, 2.60 ERA) vs. JAX: LHP Matt Tomshaw (4-7, 4.05 ERA)
G2: BIR: RHP Tim Crabbe (1-0, 2.60 ERA) vs. JAX: RHP Blake Logan (3-2, 3.65 ERA)
Who’s Hot: Carlos Lopez has hit safely in 36 of his last 47 games, and during the stretch he has manufactured a .311 average (57-for-183). Sharif Othman has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games, in which he is 12-for-42 (.286) at the plate. Shortstop J.T. Riddle is batting .350 in his last nine games while producing a hit in his last seven contests. Zack Cox generated a 4-for-4 night on Monday, and finished the Pensacola series 5-for-7 while hitting a blistering hot .583 in his last four games. Matt Juengel has begun to heat up posting a .342 average in his last 10 games accompanied with a homer and six RBI.
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 second in home runs (15), third in RBI (56), and total bases (153). Carlos Lopez has tallied 97 hits, which is good for fourth, and he’s tied for fourth in games played (91). Viosergy Rosa sits third in walks generated (51). For relievers, Brian Ellington controls the second-best ratio of fewest baserunners/9IP (9.00), average against (.191), while controlling the third-best K/9 ratio (9.45). Starter Austin Brice has the fourth-best K/9 ratio for starters (9.76). Zack Cox controls the fifth-best batting average in the league (.316).