Tag Archives: Alan Oaks

Stars Power Past The Suns

Huntsville first baseman(above)drove in three runs and scored twice to lead the Stars over the Jacksonville Suns 7-4 at Joe Davis Stadium. Morris is third in the Southern League in batting, second in RBI’s, and first in extra-base hits. Photo Courtesy: Huntsville Stars

By Steve Kolbe

 
The Huntsville Stars hit three home runs to take game one of the three game series against the Suns, with a 7-4 win Saturday night at Joe Davis Stadium.  The Stars are third in the Southern League with a team batting average of .262, behind Montgomery and Birmingham.
 
The Stars jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning when Suns starter Alan Oaks struggled with his control.  Oaks walked three batters in the inning, and Hunter Morris hit his team leading twelfth home run of the season, a two-run blast to straight away center.  Oaks started two games for Jupiter this season, Saturday was his first start with the Suns.  Jacksonville fell to 9-33 when allowing the first run of the game.
 
Huntsville used the long ball again in the second inning to tack on another run, with Kentrail Davis going deep for the second time this season, to increase the lead to 3-0.  After the Davis home run, Oaks retired seven of the next eight batters he faced, five by strikeout.
 
The Suns got on the scoreboard in the top of the third, when Shawn Bowman belted his eighth home run of the season off of Stars starter Evan Anundsen to cut the lead to 3-1.  Bowman is second on the team in homers behind Kyle Jensen (10).
 
Suns lefty Bobby Bramhall had his toughest outing of the season.  With Bramhall taking over in the fifth inning, Stars catcher Anderson De La Rosa led off with his fourth home run of the season to add to the lead at 4-1.  Huntsville pitcher Evan Anundsen helped his own cause with a double off the wall in right field, and Lee Haydel then singled to put runners on the corners with no outs.  Josh Prince drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to put the Stars up 5-1, with Anundsen scoring on the play.  Hunter Morris then tripled to right field with two outs to drive in Haydel from first for a 6-1 Stars advantage.  Hanley Statia knocked in a run with a double to cap the scoring, with the Stars sending eight men to the plate and building a 7-1 lead.
 
Paul Gran hit a solo home run for the Suns in the sixth to make the score 7-2 Stars. Gran has hit a home run in back-to-back games, and has three round trippers in his last five games in the starting lineup.  The Suns have hit seven home runs in their seven games against the Stars this season.
 
Jacksonville added two more runs in the eighth inning against reliever Kyle Heckathorn.  Jose Duarte led off with a single, and pinch hitter Curt Smith doubled behind him to put runners on second and third with no outs.  Paul Gran drove in a run with a ground out, and Chris Gutierrez plated a run with a single to make the score 7-4 Stars.
 
Jose Duarte went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles.  Shawn Bowman and Paul Gran each hit home runs.  The Suns have hit 59 home runs this season, seven against Huntsville.  Hunter Morris finished 2-for-4, scored two runs, and drove in three.  He now has 62 RBI’s, just one behind Tennessee’s Justin Bour for the league lead.  Morris hit a two-run home run and added a triple against the Suns.  He leads the Southern League with 42 extra-base hits. 
 
Alan Oaks (1-2) allowed three runs on three hits over four innings in his first start for the Suns.  He walked three in the first inning, after entering the game having walked a total of three batters in his first three appearances.  Evan Anundsen (5-4) allowed two runs on three hits in six innings for the win.  Brandon Kintzler retired the Suns in order in the ninth to earn his third save of the season.
 
Game two of the series is Sunday from Joe Davis Stadium in Huntsville, with the first pitch scheduled for 4:05 p.m.  RHP Bryan Evans (2-5, 3.61) will take the mound for the Suns.  RHP Johnnie Lowe (4-0, 3.55 ERA in Triple-A) will start for the Stars.

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Cingrani Shuts Down Suns

Blue Wahoos starter Tony Cingrani (above) combined with reliever Justin Freeman on a two hitter in a 2-0 win over the Suns July 2, 2012 at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. Photo Courtesy: Pensacola Blue Wahoos

By Steve Kolbe

 
After scoring 31 runs in their previous three home games, the Suns were shut down by Pensacola lefty Tony Cingrani on Monday night in a 2-0 Pensacola victory.  Cingrani and reliever Justin Freeman combined on a two-hitter, and the Suns had just six base runners in the game.
 
In a match up of Southern League Pitchers of the Week, Jose Alvarez for the Suns and Tony Cingrani for the Blue Wahoos, both needed just 20 pitches to breeze through the first two innings at the Baseball Grounds.  Cingrani retired the first 10 batters he faced until Paul Gran singled in the fourth inning.  Alvarez kept the Wahoos off balance and allowed just a single through four innings before leaving the game with an injury.
 
Pensacola scored the only runs of the game in the sixth inning against Suns reliever Alan Oaks.  Pensacola pitcher Tony Cingrani helped his own cause when he led off with a single to left.  Brodie Greene was then hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second with no outs.  Didi Gregorius ripped a single to right field, with Cingrani racing around from second to score and give the Blue Wahoos a 1-0 lead.  Brian Peacock then drove in Gregorius with and infield single, and the 2-0 advantage was more than enough for Cingrani.  Pensacola improved to 30-0 this season when leading after the eighth inning.
 
Jose Alvarez left the game with an injury after pitching four innings of one-hit ball.  Alan Oaks (1-1) allowed two runs on three hits over three innings in the loss.  Tony Cingrani (3-1) allowed just two singles in six and two-thirds innings and struck out nine.  He set a team record with 15 strikeouts in his last start against the Jackson Generals.  Justin Freeman closed out the game, fanning four batters in his two and a-third innings to earn his fifth save of the season.  For the Suns it was unlucky 13, with Jacksonville hitter striking out 13 times in the game, 12 times swinging.  Donnie Webb was the only player called out on strikes, and that ended the game. 
 
The Suns were shut out for the eighth time this year, with six of the white washes coming at the Baseball Grounds.  The Suns have been blanked five times in the last 21 games.  It was the first shutout for Pensacola in the season series.  This season the Suns have been on the wrong side of three dominant pitching performances.  Including Pensacola’s Tony Cingrani of the Blue Wahoos, three teams have tossed a two-hitter or a one-hitter at the Baseball Grounds.  Chattanooga’s Aaron Miller and two relievers combined on a one-hitter April 12 in a 1-0 Lookouts win.  Jackson’s Danny Hultzen and Carter Capps pitched a two-hitter June 8 in a 2-0 Generals victory.
 
Chris Gutierrez and Paul Gran were the only players with hits for Jacksonville.  The Blue Wahoos had five players with a single each in the game.  The Suns lead the season series 13-9 (6-6 at home, 7-3 on the road).  The Suns have won three of the four series this season against the Blue Wahoos.
 
The Suns will look to win the season series by taking the finale of the three game set on Tuesday night.  RHP Bryan Evans (2-5, 3.38) will take the mound for the Suns.  RHP Kyle Lotzkar (4-3, 4.21) gets the start for the Blue Wahoos.  The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. EST.

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Biscuits Stay Hot With Win Over Suns

Ty Morrison finished a single shy of the cycle, drove in three runs and scored four others in the Biscuits 8-6 win over the Jacksonville Suns on June 29, 2012 at Riverwalk Stadium. Photo Courtesy: Montgomery Biscuits

By Steve Kolbe

 
The Jacksonville Suns scored three runs in the first inning, but the Montgomery Biscuits tied their season high with 14 hits on the way to an 8-6 win at Riverwalk Stadium on Friday night.  The Biscuits have reached double-digit hits in all four games of the series, and have out hit the Suns by a total 49-35.
 
The Suns started quickly when Biscuits starter Joe Cruz struggled with his control, allowing the first four batters to reach base in the opening inning.  Donnie Webb walked on four pitches, Chris Guierrez singled, and Jake Smolinski walked to load the bases before Cruz recorded an out.  Kyle Jensen drew a walk on four straight pitches, forcing in Webb to put the Suns up 1-0.  Jensen increased his team-leading RBI total to 38, with 10 of them coming with the bases loaded.  Kyle Skipworth knocked in Gutierrez from third with a ground out to the right side to make the score 2-0.  After Paul Gran popped out, Jake Jefferies hit a ground ball to first baseman Michael Sheridan that went under his glove and into right field, with Smolinski scoring on the error to build the Suns lead to 3-0.  The Suns have scored first in all four games of the series but have just one win.
 
Montgomery countered in the bottom of the first against Suns starter Graham Taylor.  Leadoff man Hak-Ju Lee singled to center on a two strike pitch and Ty Morrison doubled down the third base line, also on a two strike pitch, to put runners on second and third with no outs.  Ryan Garko drove in Lee from third with a sacrifice fly, and Tyler Bortnick plated Morrison with a single up the middle and the Suns lead was cut to 3-2.  Hak-Ju Lee has had a lead off hit in all four games in the series for the Biscuits.
 
Cruz entered the game with the second-most walks in the league, and struggled to find the plate again in the second when he walked Jeff Dominguez and Donnie Web.  Cruz then threw a wild pitch, and catcher Mark Thomas added to the trouble when his throw to third base went into left field, with Dominguez scoring to increase the Suns advantage to 4-2.  In the first two innings, Jacksonville scored four runs on just one hit, five walks, a wild pitch, and an error.
 
The Biscuits began their comeback in the third inning when Ty Morrison led off with a walk and Omar Luna doubled down the third base line, with Morrison motoring all the way around from first to cut the lead to 4-3. 
 
In the fourth inning, Montgomery took the lead for good by scoring three runs on four hits against Taylor, all with two outs.  Brett Nommensen singled and went to second on a ground out.  Hak-Ju Lee then drove in Nommensen with a single to right field to tie the game 4-4.  Ty Morrison continued his big night when he hit a two-run home run over the right field fence to give Montgomery a 6-4 edge.  It was Morrison’s second round tripper of the season, and the Biscuits third home run in the last three games.
 
With Suns reliever Alan Oaks on the mound in the sixth the Biscuits scored two important runs, again with two outs.  Lee singled and scored when Morrison tripled into the gap in left-center and it was 7-4 Biscuits.  Omar Luna came through with a two-out single, with Morrison coasting across the plate to make the score 8-4.  Montgomery has rallied to tie or take the lead after falling behind in all four games in this series.
 
With Biscuits closer Adam Liberatore on the hill in the ninth, Paul Gran singled and Curt Smith hit a two-run home run to make it 8-6, but that’s as close as the Suns would get.  Smith has hit three home runs in his last five games.  The Suns as a team have hit 14 round trippers in the last 13 games.
 
Montgomery has won five of the last six games, while the Suns have dropped seven of their last 11 contests.  Friday night’s not alright, with Jacksonville just 3-10 in games played on Friday.
 
Curt Smith finished 3-for-5 with two RBI and Jake Smolinski was 2-for-4.  The Suns finished with seven hits, six of them singles, and until the ninth didn’t have more than one hit in any of the first eight innings of the game.  The Suns tied their season high by walking 10 times, with Donnie Webb and Kyle Jensen each issued three free passes. 

The top three batters in the Biscuits lineup combined for nine of the 14 hits on the night.  Hak-Ju Lee, Ty Morrison, and Omar Luna each finished with three hits apiece.   Lee extended his hit streak to 10 games.  Morrison had a double, triple, and a home run to finish a single away from the cycle.  Morrison accounted for seven of the Biscuits eight runs, scoring four times and driving in three others.  Tyler Bortnick singled in the first inning to extend his hit streak to 15 games, one away from tying for the longest streak in the Southern League this season (Chris Gutierrez and Henry Rodriguez).  Every player except left fielder Kyeong Kang    (0-for-4) reached base at least once in the game for Montgomery. 

Graham Taylor (4-7) allowed six runs on 10 hits over five innings and has lost three of his last four decisions.  Montgomery had been tough on lefties, with a record of 17-7 against southpaws this season.  Taylor fell to 1-4 in eight road starts this season, with his lone win April 23 at Mobile.  Friday’s game was the fourth time this season that Taylor has surrendered six or more runs in an outing.  Biscuits starter Joe Cruz (6-6) allowed four runs on four hits and earned the win despite walking seven batters in five innings.  Cruz improved to 4-1 at home, and has won four straight decisions overall after winning just twice in his first 10 starts of the season.

The series finale is Saturday night from Riverwalk Stadium with the first pitch set for 8:05 p.m.  RHP Matthew Neil (1-2, 5.05) gets the nod for the Suns.  RHP Nick Barnese (0-0, 4.50) will make his second start of the season for the Biscuits. 

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Suns Win Series Against Smokies

 

The Suns take two from the Tennessee Smokies, 11-3 and 10-3, on a stormy day June 25, 2012 at the Baseball Grounds. Photo Courtesy: Jacksonville Suns

By Steve Kolbe

The Jacksonville Suns won both games against the Tennessee Smokies on Monday at the Baseball Grounds to take three of the five games in the series.  Jacksonville claimed the first game 11-3, and then won the regularly scheduled game 10-3. 
 
When the rain suspended game four of the series Sunday, the Suns were trailing 2-1 in the third inning.  When play resumed on Monday morning at 11:00 a.m., Suns reliever Zach Neal took over on the mound for Graham Taylor.  Taylor allowed two runs on five hits over two and a-third innings before the game was suspended.
 
The Suns took the lead in the bottom of the third.  Jake Smolinski led off with a walk, and came around to score on Paul Gran’s second triple of the season to tie the game 2-2.  Kyle Skipworth then hit a ground ball to shortstop Junior Lake, who committed the first of his two errors in the inning, with Gran crossing the plate to put the Suns in front 3-2.
 
With Alan Oaks on the mound for the Suns, Tennessee tied the game in the sixth inning.  Jim Adduci beat out an infield single, and Mike Burgess drove him in with a double to tie the game at 3-3.
 
The Suns took the lead for good in the sixth inning against Smokies pitcher Eric Jokisch.  Jeff Dominguez led off with a double down the third base line, and Jose Duarte singled to right to put runners on the corners.  After a sacrifice bunt by Zach Neal moved Duarte over to second, Donnie Webb drove in two runs with a single to give the Suns a 5-3 lead.
 
In the seventh inning, Kyle Skipworth was awarded first base on catchers interference, and Curt Smith then walked.  With two outs, Jeff Dominguez smashed his third home run of the season to increase the Suns lead to 8-3.  Dominguez has hit two three-run home runs this season, both at the Baseball Grounds.
 
The Suns padded the lead in the eighth inning with a two out rally.  Jake Smolinski was hit by a pitch, Paul Gran singled, and Kyle Skipworth walked to load the bases.  Shawn Bowman then cleared the bases with a double to left-center field to make the score 11-3.  Bowman is 3-for-6 with nine RBI this season with the bases loaded. 
 
Paul Gran went 3-for-5 with a RBI and scored two runs.  Donnie Webb, Shawn Bowman, and Jeff Dominguez each had two hits in the first game.  Bowman leads the Suns with 36 RBI.
 
Pitcher Alan Oaks arrived at the ballpark on Monday morning after being transferred from Jupiter of the Florida State League to Jacksonville.  He earned the win, allowing a run on three hits.  Smokies pitcher Eric Jokisch (3-1) allowed 10 runs on eight hits and lost for the first time this season.
 
In the regularly scheduled game, Suns starter Matthew Neil retired the first nine batters that he faced before running into trouble in the fourth.  Jim Adduci walked to lead off the inning, but was erased when Jae-Hoon Ha grounded into a double play.  With two outs, the Smokies collected four straight hits to start the scoring.  Junior Lake singled and scored when Justin Bour doubled to right field to give Tennessee a 1-0 advantage.  Bour leads the Southern League with 55 runs batted in.  Nelson Perez followed by hitting his first triple of the season, with Bour scoring to build a 2-0 lead.  Nate Samson made it 3-0 when he singled up the middle, with Perez cruising across the plate.
 
The Suns began the comeback in the home half of the fourth against Smokies starter Dallas Beeler.  Kyle Jensen doubled with one out, and scored when Aaron Dudley collected his first hit and first RBI with the Suns to cut the lead to 3-1.  Jacksonville drew even in the fifth, with Jake Smolinski and Kyle Jensen each driving in a run to tie the score 3-3. 
 
The Suns broke the game open in the sixth when they batted around, and tied their season-high for runs in a inning by scoring seven times, all with two outs.  Paul Gran led off with a double, and Jeff Dominguez walked with one out to put runners on first and second.  After pinch hitter Kyle Skipworth struck out, Donnie Webb drew a walk to load the bases with two away.  Chris Gutierrez snapped an 0-for-6 stretch with a clutch single to drive in two runs and put the Suns ahead 5-3.  After Jake Smolinski was hit by a pitch, the bases were full of Suns again.  Kyle Jensen delivered with a single to center, with Webb and Gutierrez scoring on the play to make the score 7-3.  Jensen is 3-for-6 with nine RBI with the bases loaded this season.
 
Already with a hit and RBI, Suns first baseman Aaron Dudley cleared the bases with one swing of the bat when he blasted a home run into the right field seats and the Suns had a 10-3 lead.  The Suns scored seven runs in an inning for the second time this season.  In a 7-0 win in Mobile on April 23rd, the Suns scored all seven of their runs in the eighth inning.
 
Kyle Jensen finished 3-for-3, drove in three runs and scored twice.  He is second on the team with 35 RBI.  Aaron Dudley went 2-for-4 with four RBI.  Donnie Webb, Jake Smolinski, and Kyle Jensen each scored twice.
 
Kyle Kaminska (5-3) pitched a scoreless sixth inning for the win.  His last victory was May 2nd at Birmingham.  Kevin Rhoderick (1-3) allowed five runs on five hits.  
 
The Suns hit seven home runs against the Smokies, with Donnie Webb hitting two of the long balls.  It’s the first time this season that Jacksonville has hit a home run in every game of a series.   Jacksonville has now scored 10 or more runs in a game four times this season.
 
The Suns begin a five game series in Montgomery on Tuesday night with the first pitch scheduled for 8:05 p.m. EST.  The Biscuits took three of five from the Suns at Riverwalk Stadium May 11-15.

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