Tag Archives: Maritime Park

Suns Win Series Finale Over Blue Wahoos

Suns win their season-high fourth straight game to close out series in Pensacola. Photo Courtesy: Pensacola Blue Wahoos

By Steve Kolbe

The Jacksonville Suns won their season-high fourth straight game with a 4-3 victory over the Blue Wahoos on Thursday night.  The Suns won four of the five games in their first-ever trip to Pensacola. 

The Suns jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning against the Wahoos.  Pensacola starter J.C. Sulbaran didn’t have his control early on.  He hit Paul Gran in the back with the first pitch of the game, followed by singles from Chris Gutierrez and Shawn Bowman to load the bases with no outs.   Kyle Jensen drove in a run with a ground out, and the second run scored on a throwing error by second baseman Brodie Greene.  The Suns have now scored the first run in eight of their last 10 games and are 8-1 this season when crossing the plate before their opponent.  Last season Jacksonville finished 47-23 when they scored the game’s first run..

Pensacola scored a run in the bottom of the inning to cut the lead into the lead to make it 2-1 when Didi Gregorius extended his hit streak to eight games with a leadoff single.  He was driven in by a sacrifice fly by Henry Rodriguez.  The leadoff batter for the Blue Wahoos reached base six times in the game and came in to score all three of their runs on the night. 

The Blue Wahoos tied the game 2-2 in the bottom of the second against Suns starter Omar Poveda.  Brodie Greene led off with a single, and scored when Yordanys Perez doubled to right field to drive in his fifth run of the season.  Perez was thrown out at third trying to stretch play into a triple. 

In the top of the third, Kyle Skipworth sent a ball sailing to the beach.  He hit a towering solo home run that went over the center field lawn and seats to give the Suns a 3-2 lead.  It was estimated that the home run went about 430 feet.  It was Skipworth’s third homer of the year and second in as many nights.  However, it’s the first home run that the Sun’s catcher has ever hit into a bay.   Ryan Patterson added solo home run in the fourth and the Suns had doubled the lead to 4-2.  Skipworth now has a five game hitting streak.  Patterson now has two home runs this year. 

The Wahoos inched closer by scoring a single run in the bottom of the fourth to make it 4-3.  Joel Guzman lined a single into center and took second on a wild pitch by Poveda.  Mark Fleury then drove him in with a single.  Pensacola would threaten in the eighth and ninth but came away empty.  In the game, the Blue Wahoos had at least one runner on base in every inning except the sixth.  

After being forced to leave his last start after just three innings when he was hit in the ankle by a line drive, Omar Poveda earned his second win of the season.  He pitched five innings, allowing eight hits and three runs.  The losing pitcher was J.C. Sulbaran.  He pitched six innings and allowed four runs while striking out 11.  Sulbaran recorded 155 strikeouts during the 2011 season with Bakersfield, a total that was fourth-most in the Reds system.  Bobby Bramhall and Josh Schmidt combined to pitch three scoreless innings while striking out four Wahoos hitters.  With his eighth appearance, Schmidt is now tied for the league lead among pitchers.  A.J. Ramos pitched the ninth for his first save of the year.  He’s given up just one hit to the 26 batters that he has faced this season.  

Jacksonville travels to Mobile for the first of a five game series against the defending Southern League Champions starting Friday night

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Suns Hang On For Win In Pensacola

Blue Wahoos shortstop DiDi Gregorius extends hit streak to seven games in loss to the Suns. Photo Courtesy: Pensacola Blue Wahoos

By Steve Kolbe

In a game that featured five home runs, the Suns jumped out to a big lead and hung on to win their season-high third straight game, an 8-7 victory over Pensacola on Wednesday night. 

In the second inning, Kyle Jensen put Jacksonville on top 1-0 with his second home run of the season, a solo shot to right field off of Blue Wahoos starter Tim Crabbe.  After Chris Gutierrez and Donnie Webb drew walks in the inning, Paul Gran jumped on the first pitch he saw from Crabbe and drove in two runs with a double to left and the Suns led 3-0.  Gran finished 1-for-3 with a pair of walks and drove in two runs. 

Kyle Skipworth increased the lead to 4-0 in the third with the Suns second solo home run in as many innings.  Skipworth has now hit safely in his last four games in the starting lineup.  It was his second home run of the season.  

Suns starting pitcher Graham Taylor was cruising along in his third start of the season.  Through the first four innings, he allowed just three hits and the Blue Wahoos had stranded six runners on base.  In the fifth inning, the Pensacola bats came to life.  After a single by Didi Gregorius and a double by Henry Rodriguez, Brodie Greene hit a three-run home run to left-center to cut the Suns lead to 4-3.  Greene double his RBI total with one swing of the bat.  Since scoring four runs in the first inning in the second game of the series, the Blue Wahoos had gone 24 innings without scoring run before Greene’s homer.  

Jacksonville padded the lead in the top of the sixth, when Kyle Jensen walked to lead off the inning and Curt Smith followed with a double.  Gutierrez drove in the first of his two runs in the game with a single to center to make the score 5-3 Suns.  A batter later, Donnie Webb’s sacrifice fly drove in Smith to make it 6-3. 

Pensacola scored three more runs in the seventh off of Suns reliever Garrett Parcell.  Ryan LaMarre led off the inning with a solo home run, and Joel Guzman hit a two-run blast and the game was tied 6-6.  It’s the second time this season that the Suns have surrendered three home runs in a game. 

The Suns took the lead for good in the eighth inning off losing pitcher Drew Hayes, when Jensen led off again with a walk and Gutierrez drove him in with a double down the right field line.  One batter later, pinch-hitter Jose Duarte drove in Gutierrez with a line drive single up the middle and Jacksonville led 8-6.  Gutierrez finished 2-for-3 with two runs batted in and two runs scored.  Jensen walked twice and scored both times to go along with his home run.  In the game, half of the Suns eight runs were scored by players that reached base with a walk.  Six different Suns player drove in a run. 

In the ninth, Pensacola collected three hits and scored a run but left the tying run on base when Evan Reed struck out pinch-hitter Mark Fleury. 

For Pensacola, Didi Gregorius was 4-for-5 to increase his hitting streak to seven games.  He also scored three of the Wahoos six runs.  The trio of Joel Guzman, Ryan LaMarre, and Brodie Greene each finished with two hits and combined to drive in all seven Pensacola runs. 

Suns starter Graham Taylor pitched five innings, allowing six hits and three runs and didn’t figure in the decision.  Garrett Parcell went one-and-a-third innings, allowing four hits and three runs.  Josh Schmidt retired the only two hitters he faced in the seventh inning to earn his first win on the season.  Evan Reed pitched the eighth and ninth for his fourth save of the season.  

The Suns are 7-1 when they score the game’s first run, 0-7 when they don’t.  In the first four games of the series the Suns have a total of 30 hits and have scored 21 runs.  Jacksonville has hit five home runs in the last four games with four of them solo shots. 

The series finale is Thursday with the first pitch scheduled for 8:00PM eastern time.  It’s a matchup of right handers with Omar Poveda back on the mound for Jacksonville looking for his second win of the season.  He left his last start after being hit in the ankle with a line drive.  J.C. Sulbaran gets the call for the Blue Wahoos.

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Suns Blank Blue Wahoos

Suns blank the Blue Wahoos for their second shutout of the season. Photo Courtesy: Jacksonville Suns

 By Steve Kolbe

 
The Jacksonville Suns shutout the Blue Wahoos 7-0 in a rain-shortened game on Tuesday to win their second straight in Pensacola.
 
Zack Neal started his second game for Jacksonville and once again turned in a solid performance to earn his first win a of the season, and he did it with rain falling throughout the night.  Neal pitched seven innings and scattered six hits without allowing a run.  He struck out seven and walked only one.  In his two starts this season he has allowed only one run in 13 innings.  Kyle Kaminska sat down the Wahoos in order in the eighth just before the heavy rain started to fall.  The game was called at 10:15PM local time after eight innings.
 
In the first three games of the series the Blue Wahoos have scored only six runs, and they haven’t crossed the plate since the first inning of the second game of the series, a stretch of 20 innings without a run.  In the last 18 innings, Suns pitchers have allowed only nine hits while striking out 18 and walking just six.
 
Shawn Bowman led the way at the plate collecting three of the Jacksonville’s five hits.  Bowman was 3-for-4 and drove in four runs, including hitting a solo home run in the seventh inning.  It was his second home run in as many days, and the tenth this season for the Suns.  Bowman is the only player to hit more than one home run so far.  Chris Gutierrez, Ryan Patterson, and Jaime Ortiz each drove in a run.  Seven different players scored for Jacksonville in the team’s most lopsided with of the season.  The Suns are 6-1 this season when they score the game’s first run.
 
Pensacola pitchers walked seven Jacksonville hitters in the game, including three to start off an inning.  Kyle Jensen, Jake Jefferies, and Chris Gutierrez all earned leadoff walks and all three came around to score later in those innings.  Through 13 games this season Suns batters have been issued 55 bases on balls, and 11 of them have scored.
 
Zach Neal was the winning pitcher, he’s now 1-1.  Blue Wahoos hitters were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.  The losing pitcher was Daniel Corcino, he’s now 0-1.  Corcino is listed as having the best fastball in the Cincinnati Reds organization.  Jacksonville improves to 6-7 with the win, and one game behind Pensacola for second place in the South Division. 
 
Game four of the series is Wednesday at Maritime Park, weather permitting.  Left-hander Graham Taylor takes the hill for the Suns looking to extend the team’s winning streak to a season-high three games.  Righty Tim Crabbe is scheduled to be on the mound for the Blue Wahoos.  Pensacola has lost two straight at home after winning four of their first five games in the new ballpark

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Suns Reel In Blue Wahoos In Extra Innings

The Jacksonville Suns win an extra inning thriller at Maritime Park in Pensacola. Photo Courtesy: Pensacola Blue Wahoos

By Steve Kolbe

 
In a game that lasted nearly four and a half hours, the Jacksonville Suns downed the Pensacola Blue Wahoos 5-4 in 13 innings in first-ever extra inning game at Maritime Park.
 
Jacksonville jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first when Jake Smolinski led off the game with a single, and with two outs was driven in by Kyle Skipworth who doubled off the wall in right field.  Skipworth finished the game 1-for-6, and now has at least one hit in each of his last four games when in the starting lineup.  It was his seventh run batted in this season.  Smolinski led off the game with a hit for the third straight game and also went 1-for-6.
 
The Suns have scored the game’s first run in six of the last eight games, and improved their record to 5-1 when they cross the plate first.
 
The Blue Wahoos entered the game ranked second in the Southern League with a batting average of .271, and in the bottom of the first inning the first five batters to face Suns starter Bryan Evans collected a hit.  Singles by Didi Gregorius, Ryan LaMarre, and Brodie Greene and doubles by Henry Rodriguez and Mike Costanzo put Pansacola in front 4-1.  The Suns had given up a total of three runs in the first inning in their first 11 games of the season. 
 
Pensacola wouldn’t score again for the rest of the night.  In the sixth inning the Suns would cut the Wahoos lead to 4-3.   Already with two hits in the game, second baseman Paul Gran continued his big night when he hit a two-run home run off of Blue Wahoos starter Curtis Partch to make it a one-run game.  For Gran, it was his first home run and first two runs batted in this season, and his near record-setting night was far from over.
 
In the seventh, Shawn Bowman dialed up his first home run of the season, a solo shot to left, and the score was tied 4-4.  The Suns have hit nine home runs in the first dozen games of the season, by nine different players and all against right handed pitchers.
 
Venturing into extra innings for the first time this season, Jose Duarte led off the 13th with an infield single.  Jaime Ortiz followed with a single and Jake Smolinski drew a walk against Luis Atilano to load the bases with no outs.  It appeared that Atilano was going to pitch his way out of the jam, getting pinch-hitter Jake Jefferies to pop out and striking out Bowman.  But with two outs, he threw a wild pitch that went all the way to the backstop and Duarte hustled home to give the Suns a 5-4 lead.  It was one of five wild pitches thrown by Pensacola pitchers in the game.
 
Chris Squires entered the game in the 13th, and after allowing a leadoff double to pinch-hitter Brian Peacock retired the next three Blue Wahoos batters to record his first save of the season and seal the 5-4 win.
 
The two teams combined to use 13 pitchers, six by Jacksonville.  Bryan Evans went five innings and allowed seven hits and four runs.  The Suns bullpen was perfect, scattering three hits over eight innings.  On the same day he arrived in Penascola from New Orleans, Garrett Parcell pitched an inning of hitless ball.  Josh Schmidt tossed two innings and allowed just one hit.  A.J. Ramos rebounded from walking in the game-winning run a night ago to pitch three innings without allowing a hit.  Wade Korpi earned his first win of the year by pitching the 12th inning and striking out two of the four batters he faced.  Suns hurlers combined for 15 strikeouts in the win, and have now fanned at least 10 batters in four of the last six games.  The only players not to appear in the game for the Suns were pitchers Kyle Kaminska, Evan Reed, and Bobby Bramhall and outfielder Ryan Patterson.
 
Paul Gran went 5-for-6 and had a hit in his first five plate appearances in the game.  He finished with three singles, a double, and a home run.  Gran’s five hits in the game fell just one shy of tying the Southern League record for most hits in a game by a single player.  The record is six, a feat that’s been accomplished 11 times and last by Chattanooga’s Luis Bolivar April 7, 2008.
 
Kyle Jensen had two hits, and Jeff Dominguez and Jose Duarte each had one hit on the night.  Jacksonville finished with 13 hits in the game, Pensacola had 10.
 
During the 2011 season the Suns were involved in 19 extra-inning games, most in the league.  They finished 10-9 in those games.  Jacksonville improved to 5-7 with the win.  Pensacola missed a chance to tie Mobile for the top spot in the South Division.
 
Game three of the series is Tuesday and once again features a match up of right handed pitchers. Daniel Corcino takes the mound for Pensacola and Zach Neal is scheduled to start his second game for the Suns. 
 

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Blue Wahoos Walk Away With 2-1 Win Over Suns

Joel Guzman walks with the bases loaded in the 9th inning to give the Blus Wahoos a 2-1 win. Photo Courtesy: Pensacola Blue Wahoos

By Steve Kolbe

In the first-ever meeting between Jacksonville and Pensacola, the game was decided in the ninth inning with the Blue Wahoos winning 2-1 over the Suns
 
With the bases loaded in the home half of the ninth and two outs, clean up hitter Joel Guzman stepped to the plate to face Suns relief pitcher A.J. Ramos.   Guzman played in Jacksonville and was part of the 2005 Championship and led the Suns in home runs and RBI’s that year, but on Sunday with the game on the line he never swung the bat and walked on four pitches to force in the game-winning run. 
 
In the fifth inning the Blue Wahoos took a 1-0 lead when Henry Rodriguez hit a home run over the left field wall off of Suns pitcher Bobby Bramhall.  A blast that left the park in spite of a strong wind blowing in from that direction.  Rodriguez hit the first-ever home run in Pensacola history on Opening Day against Montgomery.
 
The Suns tied the game 1-1 in the top of the sixth when Kyle Skipworth led off the inning with a double to the wall in right field.  After advancing to third on a wild pitch, Skipworth came in to score on a single by Jeff Dominguez.  Skipworth finished the day 1-for-3 and now has a hit in each of his last three games in the starting lineup.  Dominguez went 1-for-4 and Jake Smolinski finished 2-for-4.  Smolinski led off the game with a double for the second straight day.
 
Last season Jacksonville won 36 road games, fourth-most in the Southern League.  Only Chattanooga(41), Tennessee(39), and Mobile(37) had more wins away from home.
 
The three combined runs were the fewest in a game in the brief history of Maritime Park.  With the loss Jacksonville drops to 4-7, while Pensacola improves to 7-4 with the victory.  The Blue Wahoos have been outscored 25-24 in their six home games this season, but have won five times.
 
Pedro Villarreal started for Pensacola and pitched six innings, allowing five hits and just one run.  It was the second straight start that Villarreal allowed just one run and didn’t record the win.  Donnie Joseph earned his second win of the season, pitching two innings of scoreless baseball.  He hasn’t allowed a run in five appearance this season.  Edgar Olmos made his Double-A debut for the Suns.  He pitched four innings and allowed just one hit.  Olmos struck out one and walked eight Blue Wahoos batters.  Wade Korpi suffered his first loss of the season.  He pitched one and two-thirds innings, allowing three singles, and left the game with the bases loaded in the ninth. 
 
The Suns are 0-6 this season when they allow the first run, the Blue Wahoos are 5-1 when they cross the plate first.  Both teams combined to go 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position, and also combined to strand 19 base runners with Pensacola leaving a dozen on base.
 
Game two of the series is Monday with a match up of right-handers. Bryan Evans is scheduled to take the mound for Jacksonville against Pensacola’s Curtis Partch.

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