Tag Archives: Joey O’Gara

Lookouts Claim Series Opener With 4-3 Win

The Suns drop 4-3 decision to Chattanooga. Photo Courtesy: Jacksonville Suns

By Steve Kolbe

The Chattanooga Lookouts jumped out to an early lead with three runs in the second inning and edged the Suns 4-3 in the first of a five-game set on Tuesday night. 

The Lookouts entered the game after losing four-of-five at home to Tennessee in the first week of the season.  In those games Chattanooga scored 17 runs, with most of them coming in a 10-2 win.  On Tuesday, the Lookouts struck first at the Baseball Grounds.   After leaving the bases loaded in the first inning against Jacksonville starter Joey O’Gara, the Lookouts jumped out in front in the second inning when they loaded the bases again.  That set the table for J.T. Wise, who drove in two runs with an infield single to make it 2-0.  Kyle Russell followed with and RBI single to center to make the score 3-0. 

Donnie Webb led off the Suns half of the third inning with a walk, and eventually came around to score on a Jeff Dominguez single to cut the Lookouts lead to 3-1.  The Suns threatened later in the inning, but Jake Smolinski was thrown out at the plate trying to score after a Shawn Bowman single, and that ended the rally. 

In the fourth inning, the Suns made it 3-2 when Kyle Skipworth scored on an infield hit by O’Gara.  It was the first hit by a Suns pitcher this season.  Smolinski singled to right later in the inning to drive in Donnie Webb and that tied the score 3-3.  Skipworth and Smolinski were both 2-for-4 in the game.  Smolinski drove in his first run of the season. 

But that would be all for the Suns offensively.  Chattanooga took a 4-3 lead in the top of the fifth when Pedro Baez doubled to left field, and Blake Smith drove him home with a double of his own to right field. 

The winning pitcher was Allen Webster.  He went six innings to improve to 1-1 on the season.  Webster allowed nine hits and three runs, he also struck out three.  Shawn Tolleson earned his first save of the season sitting the Suns down in order in the ninth. 

Suns starter Joey O’Gara suffered the loss and is now 1-1 on the season.  O’Gara pitched five innings allowing six hits and four runs, only one of which was earned.  He walked only two batters while striking out seven.  The trio of Josh Schmidt, Wade Korpi, and A.J. Ramos combined to pitch four innings and struck out a total of seven more Chattanooga hitters.  For the game, the Suns pitching staff struck out 14. 

Game two of the series between Chattanooga and Jacksonville is Wednesday afternoon, with the first pitch scheduled for 1:05 PM.  Ethan Martin will take the mound for the Lookouts with Bryan Evans making a spot start for the Suns.

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Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News

Suns Shine Bright In Opening Night Win

Suns pitcher Joey O'Gara. Photo Courtesy: Jacksonville Suns

By Steve Kolbe

The 50th Anniversary season of Jacksonville Suns Baseball began with 2-0 victory over the Huntsville Stars on Thurdsday night.  Pitching was the story of the first game of the 2012 season.  Joey O’Gara had a solid outing as the Opening Day starter, going six and two-thirds of an inning to record the win allowing only three hits and striking out two batters. 
 
The Suns were able to get to Huntsville starter Dan Merklinger in the first inning.  After walks to Jake Smolinski and Kyle Jensen, Shawn Bowman reached base on an infield single to load the bases and bring Kyle Skipworth to the plate.  Jacksonville’s catcher would lift a sacrifice fly to right field with Smolinski scoring the first run of the night.  Merklinger would settle down and retire the next 12 batters he faced and the hard-throwing lefty finished with eight strikeouts on the night, but a base on balls would cost him again in the sixth.  Jose Duarte drew a leadoff walk, and scored on Kyle Jensen’s RBI single to center off of relief pitcher Jesus Sanchez to make the score 2-0. The biggest concern of the night for the Suns was an apparent injury to pitcher Peter Andrelczyk in the eighth inning.
 
There were only seven hits between the two teams.  Jeff Bianchi and Brock Kjeldgaard were the only Huntsville players with hits in the game, each going 2-for-4 with a double.  The Suns had only three hits in the game with Jake Smolinski, Kyle Jensen, and Shawn Bowman each with singles. 
 
The Suns had seven shutouts last season, with with Joey O’Gara involved in two of them.  O’Gara was at it again on Opening Day 2012 as four Suns pitchers combine to blank the Stars.  Peter Andrelczyk pitched one inning and struck out two of the batters he faced, and A.J Ramos retired the only batter he faced.  Evan Reed pitched the ninth to record the save. 
 
Game two of the five-game series is Friday with Jacksonville sending lefty Jose Alvarez to the mound, and Huntsville turning to right-hander Tyler Thornburg.  First pitch at 7:05PM at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.  

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Filed under Ahead Of The Curve