Tag Archives: Nick Struck

Suns Top Smokies; Win Third Straight Series

 

The Suns defeated the Smokies 8-5 at the Baseball Grounds to take three of five games in the series. Jacksonville won all three series against Tennessee during the season. Photo Courtesy: Tennessee Smokies

By Steve Kolbe

After losing the first two games against Tennessee, the Suns won their third straight over the Smokies 8-5 on Saturday night at the Baseball Grounds.  The Suns took eight of the 13 games against the Smokies during the season, and won all three series.
 
The Suns took the lead in the first when Jake Smolinski led off with a double and Chris Gutierrez singled behind him to put runners on first and third before Smokies starter Nick Struck could record an out.  Paul Gran then lifted a sacrifice fly to right scoring Smolinski to put the Suns up 1-0.  Jacksonville improved to 23-9 when scoring a run in the first inning.
 
Gutierrez and Gran each drove in a run in the third to increase the Suns lead to 3-0, and in the fourth Alfredo Lopez hit a RBI-single to make the score 4-0.  It was the second straight game that the Suns jumped out to a 4-0 advantage.
 
Smokies first baseman Justin Bour drove in a run in the fifth against Suns starter Graham Taylor with a single to cut the lead to 4-1.  But the Suns scored three more times in the sixth inning against reliever Trey McNutt to pad the lead to 7-1.
 
In the top of the seventh, Bour smashed the Smokies first grand slam of the season off of Suns reliever Kyle Kaminska to edge Tennessee closer at 7-5.  Bour drove in all five of the Smokies runs in the game.  The Suns added a run in the home half of the seventh for the 8-5 final.
 
Graham Taylor (6-8) allowed one run on five hits in six innings for the win.  James Leverton pitched the ninth for his first save of the season.
 
Jake Smolinski went 3-for-5 with two RBI’s and scored three runs.  It’s the third time this season that Smolinski has hit three doubles in a game.  Chris Gutierrez and Donnie Webb each collected three hits.  The first three batters in the Suns lineup combined to drive in six of the Suns eight runs on the night.
 
The Suns open a five-game series against the Mobile BayBears at Hank Aaron Stadium on Sunday with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

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Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News

Smokies Down Suns To Start Second Half

Suns left fielder Jake Smolinski provided the only offense for the Suns when he hit hit his first home run of the season in the first inning against the Tennessee Smokies June 21, 2012 at the Baseball Grounds. Photo Courtesy: Jacksonville Suns

 By Steve Kolbe

The Jacksonville Suns finished the first half of the season 14-21 at home, and began the second half of the season falling to the Tennessee Smokies 3-1 on Thursday night at the Baseball Grounds.
 
The Suns scored their only run of the night in the first inning, when Jake Smolinski hit his first home run of the season off Smokies starter Nick Struck to put Jacksonville in front 1-0.  The Suns have scored at least one run in the first inning 19 times this season, and now have a record of 15-4 when crossing the plate in the first. 
 
The Smokies grabbed the lead in the third inning against Suns starter Omar Poveda.  Logan Watkins led off with a single, and Junior Lake singled behind him.  With one out, Justin Bour singled to right field with Watkins scoring to tie the game 1-1.  Bour leads the Southern League with 53 runs batted in.  Nelson Perez then put the Smokies in front with a sacrifice fly to center field, with Lake cruising home to give the Smokies a 2-1 edge.
 
Tennessee added another run in the fourth inning when Matthew Cerda led off with a single, and later scored on a Logan Watkins RBI single to increase the advantage to 3-1.
 
For the Suns, shortstop Chris Gutierrez went 0-for-4 and his hit streak came to an end at 16 games.  It’s the first time since May 30th that Gutierrez has been held without a hit.  For the Smokies, Junior Lake went 4-for-5 with three singles and a double.  It was his first four-hit game of the season. 
 
Suns starter Omar Poveda (6-3) pitched six innings, allowing three runs on nine hits.  The Smokies had at least one in every inning in the game except the sixth.  Nick Struck (8-6) tossed six innings in the win, and is one of just three Souther League pitchers this season with eight victories.  He allowed just two hits, a single and the solo home run to Smolinski.  Marcus Hatley earned his third save of the season.
 
Game two of the series is set for Friday with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m.  LHP Jose Alvarez (1-4, 4.66) takes the mound for the Suns.  RHP Dae-Eun Rhee (4-2, 5.29) will get the start for the Smokies.
 

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Filed under Ahead Of The Curve, Southern League News