By Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns
The Jacksonville Suns look to get back on the winning track Sunday afternoon, hosting the Birmingham Barons in the fourth game of the series at the Baseball Grounds at 3:05 p.m.
Last night Birmingham edged out Jacksonville 2-1 in 10 innings, as the Barons handed the Suns their first loss of the season.
The Suns will try to clinch a series win this afternoon against the Barons in the fourth game of the series. Right-handed pitcher Ryan Newell will get the start for Jacksonville as he makes his Double-A debut. He’ll be opposed by Barons left-hander David Holmberg, who last season saw time pitching in the major leagues with the Cincinnati Reds.
Here are more notes on today’s game from the official Suns game notes:
Newell Makes AA Debut: This afternoon Ryan Newell will make his Double-A, Southern League debut as he faces the Birmingham Barons at the Baseball Grounds. In 2015 Newell battled blister injuries, missed most of June and July on the disabled list. With High-A Jupiter, he was 3-1 with 2.27 ERA in 10 starts. With the GCL Marlins he made three rehab starts where he only allowed three hits in 11 scoreless innings. Newell was selected by the Marlins in the seventh round of the 2012 draft out of Shorter College (Rome, Georgia).
Getting On Base: The Suns have done a nice job getting on base during the first three games of the season. The Suns have the league’s third best on-base percentage at .321, the Suns are second in the league in walks with 12. Austin Dean leads the Southern League in walks with four, and his .538 on-base percentage is the third best in the league.
People Will Come: Thursday night 8,367 fans made their way to the Baseball Grounds for Opening Night between the Suns and the Barons. The crowd topped any attendance figure the Suns had in 2015, and was the best attendance the Suns have had since July 4, 2014 when 9,246 attended. The crowd was also the best the Suns have had in the past nine seasons on Opening Night, dating back to 2007 when 10,417 was the announced attendance, and last night’s crowd was the first Opening Night crowd to top 8,000 fans since 2007. The Suns also had the top attendance in the league Friday night with 6,371, and the 5,754 was also the best around the Southern League on Saturday. The Suns have welcomed 20,492 fans to the Baseball Grounds for the first three games, nearly double the next closest team, and the 6,831 average attendance is also the league’s best.
Today at the Baseball Grounds, gates open at 2 p.m. for Kids Opening Day on the first Baptist Health Sunday Family FUNday, also presented by Channel 4 The Local Station. Kids and their families can play catch on the field before the game. Then a Suns player will read a children’s story to kids on the concourse. Following the game, kids 12 and under can run the bases.
Fans can listen to the game live on the Suns Baseball Network, with Roger Hoover and Marco LaNave providing play by play. Hoover, LaNave, and Andrew Gibson will host the pregame show Suns On Deck beginning at 2:50 p.m. ET, the game can be heard locally on FM 102.3 The Beach, on the TuneIn Radio app, as well as online by clicking the link below:
ABOUT THE SUNS: The Jacksonville Suns are beginning a new era of affordable family fun under new ownership in 2016. With a FUNdamentally Different promotional schedule and a new lineup of ticket packages for the upcoming season, there is a reason for everyone to get part of the action by calling the Suns at (904) 358-2846 or visiting http://www.jaxsuns.com.