By Steve Kolbe
Suns center fielder Donnie Webb drove in both runs for Jacksovnille in a 2-1 win over the Pensacola Blue Wahoos on Wednesday night at Bayfront stadium. The Suns improved to 8-4 in series finales this season.
The Suns started the scoring in the third inning against Pensacola starter Daniel Corcino. Webb led off with a triple, and scored when Chris Gutierrez lifted a sacrifice fly to center field to put the Suns up 1-0. Webb has hit four of his five triples this season against the Blue Wahoos. The Suns are 22-6 when scoring the first run of the game, while the Blue Wahoos dropped to 4-20 when they allow the first strike.
In the fifth inning, Webb connected for his second home run of the season to increase the lead to 2-0. The Suns have hit 13 home runs in the last 22 games. Both of Webb’s round trippers this season have come against Blue Wahoos pitcher Daniel Corcino. Webb finished the series 6-19 and drove in four runs in the five games.
Pensacola scored a run in the eighth inning when Ryan LaMarre came home on a sacrifice fly by Josh Fellhauer to cut the lead to 2-1, but that would be the last run of the night. The Suns improved to 12-8 against the Blue Wahoos this season, and close calls have been the norm between the in-state rivals, with 11 of the 20 meetings decided by only one run.
Jacksonville improved to 17-13 on the road this season, with nine of the wins by just a single run. The Suns moved into sole possession of third place in the South Division, one game ahead of Pensacola. The Suns denied the Blue Whoos their first three-game win streak since they won three in a row against Montgomery in the first series of the season.
The Suns won for just the second time this season when scoring two runs or less (2-23). Their previous win was 2-0 on Opening Night against Huntsville April 5th at the Baseball Grounds.
The center fielders stole the show at the plate. For the Suns, Donnie Webb finished 3-for-4 and scored both runs. For the Blue Wahoos, Ryan LaMarre went 3-for-4 with three singles and scored Pensacola’s lone run. All six of the Blue Wahoos hits in the game were singles.
Suns starter Matthew Neil made his Double-A debut against the Blue Wahoos May 20th, and on Wednesday he earned his first career Double-A win against Pensacola. Neil allowed five singles and struck out a season-high six batters over six innings. Evan Reed closed out the game for his 12th save of the year, and is now tied for the league lead. In his fourth start against Jacksonville this season, Daniel Corcino suffered his third straight loss and fell to 2-4 on the season. He allowed two runs on five hits in five innings of work.
The Suns return home on Thursday to face the top team in the Southern League, with the 37-23 Jackson Generals making their lone visit of the season to the Baseball Grounds.