By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Suns (9-17, 38-57) fell to the Birmingham Barons (18-7, 51-43) 8-7 in extra innings Friday night from Bragan Field.
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.
The Suns and Barons will play a doubleheader Saturday night with a first pitch from Bragan Field for game one set for 5:05 p.m. ET. Game two beginning approximately 30 minutes after the completion of game one. In the opener the Suns will send out left-hander Matt Tomshaw (4-7, 4.05 ERA) while the Barons will counter with righty Mark Blackmar (3-4, 3.42 ERA). In the nightcap the Suns will start right-hander Blake Logan (3-2, 3.65 ERA) while the Barons will start righty Tim Crabbe (1-0, 2.60 ERA).
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!
Suns fans can also listen to Saturday’s doubleheader on the Suns Baseball Network, 1600 AM & 102.3 FM “The Beach” 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 4:50 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: