By: Kyle Crooks / Jacksonville Suns
The Jacksonville Suns (13-26, 42-66) and the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (23-16, 48-59) will close out their season series tonight at Bragan Field with a first pitch slated for 7:05 p.m. ET.
With the loss tonight the Suns have dropped their eighth series of the second half and their 17th overall. Jacksonville on their home turf have posted four series victories with their last one coming in early July when the Suns defeated the Chattanooga Lookouts in three of the five games played.
With tonight’s game marking the conclusion of this five-game set, JAX in series finales this year have struggled posting a 4-18 mark overall and have come up on the winning end in only one of the eight finales played in the second half. Tonight’s contest will mark the final meeting between Pensacola and Jacksonville in 2015.
Tonight’s pitching matchup will feature Jacksonville right-hander Austin Brice to be opposed by Pensacola righty Barrett Astin. Brice enters tonight’s start 3-8 alongside a 5.66 ERA in 20 starts with the Suns. The native of North Carolina in his last trip to the hill took a losing decision against Mobile on 8/1, in which he would offer up seven runs (six earned) on six hits (two home runs) while walking four and striking out four in a 90-pitch performance. Brice is coming off a month of July that saw him finish 0-1 with an ERA of 4.76 in five starts and 22 and two-thirds frames pitched. Brice this year has made three starts against Pensacola this year, and has posted a 3.07 earned run mark attached with a 1-0 record in 14 and two-thirds innings. The 23-year old is a former ninth-round draft pick of the Marlins in the 2010 MLB First-Year Player draft out of Pittsboro, N.C.
Astin will take the ball for Pensacola 3-2 while sporting an ERA of 3.48 in seven starts. His last start came on 8/1 against Chattanooga in what was a performance of seven and two-thirds innings allowing one run (earned) on only two hits while walking four and striking out a season-high nine batters. Astin has spent time this year at the High-A level with Daytona, and prior to his call up to Double-A, he was 4-3 alongside a 2.29 ERA in 16 games and 11 starts. The native of Arkansas is a former third-round draft pick of the Milwaukee Brewers organization in the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Arkansas. He was acquired by the Reds courtesy of a deal that sent major league reliever Jonathan Broxton to the Milwaukee Brewers in 2014.
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.
Tonight enjoy Buds for a Buck and 2 for 1 Cocktails at the hottest spot in Jacksonville. Sponsored by Budweiser, Jameson, Jim Beam, Jagermeister, Malibu Rum, Maverick’s, 96.9 The Eagle and X102.9. Come to the game dressed in your favorite schools colors and get in for only $5! All college students get in for $5 with a college ID.
Matchup: Pensacola Blue Wahoos (23-16, 48-59) @ Jacksonville Suns (13-26, 42-66)
Starters: PNS: RHP Barrett Astin (3-2, 3.48 ERA) vs. JAX: RHP Austin Brice (3-8, 5.66 ERA)
Who’s Hot: Centerfielder Kenny Wilson has hit safely in seven of his last eight games while controlling a .387 average over his last nine games along with three RBI and five runs scored. David Adams has posted a .323 average in his last 10 games, and was the only one to post multiple hits on Tuesday that featured the completion of a pair of contests. Closer Kyle Barraclough since joining the Suns via a trade with St. Louis Cardinals has nailed down a pair of saves while striking out seven batters in three innings of work.
Suns Spots: Here’s a note from the official Jacksonville Suns game notes:
-Zack Cox controls the fourth-best batting average in the league (.311) and the fourth-best on-base percentage (.391). Closer Sean Donatello is third in saves (14) in the Southern League. Matt Juengel rests tied for second in home runs (16) and third in RBI (58). Carlos Lopez is knotted fourth in games played (102). Viosergy Rosa sits fourth in walks generated (55). Starter Austin Brice has the third-best K/9 ratio for starters (9.63) and is fourth in K’s (102). Kenny Wilson is tied for third in stolen bases (25).