Tag Archives: Paul Gran

Suns Even Series With BayBears

 

Danny Pertusati and Kyle Skipworth each hit a home run in the Suns 9-1 win over the Mobile BayBears at Hank Aaron Stadium August 1, 2012. Photo Courtesy: Jacksonville Suns

By Steve Kolbe

The Jacksonville Suns evened their series with the Mobile BayBears at two wins apiece, with a 9-1 win Wednesday night at Hank Aaron Stadium.   The win, combined with Pensacola dropping both games of a doubleheader to Tennessee, has the Suns tied with the Blue Wahoos for second place in the South Division.
 
The Suns took the lead in the top of the second inning against BayBears starter Chase Anderson.  Kyle Skipworth and Kyle Jensen were both hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second with no outs.  Jensen was hit on the hand and would later leave the game with Donnie Webb taking his place in the outfield.  With one out in the inning, Danny Pertusati hit his second home run in as many nights to put the Suns up 3-0.  The Suns improved to 41-18 when scoring the first run of the game.  Jacksonville has outscored opponents 114-77 in the first two innings this season.
 
The long ball continued to play a roll for the Suns in the fourth inning, when Kyle Skipworth belted his 14th home run of the season to increase the lead to 4-0.  The Suns have hit nine home runs (against seven different pitchers) in the four games of this series, after hitting just four in the first 15 meetings of the year against the BayBears. 
 
Brent Clevlen accounted for the lone BayBears run with a solo home run in the home half of the fourth inning of off Suns starter Brian Flynn. 
 
With reliever Eric Smith on the mound for the BayBears in the eighth, the Suns batted around to double the lead.  Chris Gutierrez led off with a double, Paul Gran singled, and Kyle Skipworth walked to load the bases.  Donnie Webb cashed in with a double to the gap in left-center, driving in both Gutierrez and Gran to pad the lead to 6-1.  Webb is now 2-for-4 this season with the bases loaded.  Ben Lasater followed with a single to drive in two more runs to make the score 8-1.  The Suns added a run in the ninth when Kyle Skipworth hit a flyball to left field, Wladimir Sutil was unable to make the catch, allowing Gran to score from second base for the 9-1 final.
 
Paul Gran went 2-for-5 and scored two runs.  Ben Lasater  finished with two hits and drove in two runs.  Kyle Skipworth reached base four times and scored three runs.  He hit a home run, was hit by a pitch, walked, and reached on an error.
 
The Suns have won five of their last seven games, and 12 of the last 17.  The BayBears had their first sub-.500 month of the season by finishing 10-18 in July.  Mobile has just three wins in the last 14 games, a stretch that includes a season-high seven game losing streak.  In the series, the BayBears are 7-for-34 with runners in scoring position, and have left the bases loaded four times.
 
Suns lefty Brian Flynn (1-0) allowed one run on three hits over six innings to earn his first win with the Suns.  Two of the three hits he surrendered were infield singles.  Chase Anderson (3-3) gave up four runs on two hits in his five innings of work in the loss.  Anderson, a Southern League All-Star, entered the game with only three home runs allowed in his previous 15 starts, but both of the hits he surrendered to the Suns on Wednesday were home runs.
 
The Suns look to win the series on Thursday with the first pitch scheduled for 8:05 PM from Hank Aaron Stadium.  LHP Jose Alvarez (4-5, 3.95) will take the mound for the Suns.  LHP David Holmberg (2-4, 4.63) will start for the BayBears.

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Suns Split Marathon Doubleheader With BayBears

 

The Suns and BayBears began a double header on July 31st at 6:05PM central time. The final out of game two was recorded August 1st at 1:05AM central time. Photo Courtesy: Mobile BayBears

By Steve Kolbe

The Jacksonville Suns and Mobile BayBears split a doubleheader at Hank Aaron Stadium, with the BayBears claiming game one in 10 innings 3-2, and the Suns winning the night cap 15-3.  During the twin bill the calendar changed from July to August, with first game starting at 6:06 PM on July 31st, and the final out of game two secured in the books at 1:05 AM August 1st.
 
The Suns took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning in game one when Jake Smolinski hit his fourth home run of the season, a solo blast off of BayBears starter Brett Lorin.  Smolinski has hit all four of his home runs in the second half.
 
The BayBears edged in front in the bottom of the fifth against Suns starter Bryan Evans.  Mobile third baseman Matt Davidson doubled to right-center to drive in Chris Owings to tie the score 1-1.  Brent Clevlen then drew a walk and Ryan Strieby reached on a error to load the bases.   David Nick forced in the go-ahead run with a walk to give the BayBears a 2-1 lead.
 
Kyle Skipworth hit a solo home run in the top of the sixth inning off of Mobile reliever Eury De La Rosa to tie the game 2-2.  Skipworth has six home runs and 10 runs batted in over his last 11 games.
 
The game went into extra innings, and the BayBears ended the contest in the tenth inning.  Rossmel Perez and Wladimir Sutil each singled to start the rally against Suns reliever Bobby Bramhall.  Chris Owings then walked to load the bases.  Matt Davidson walked on a full count to force in pitcher Bo Schultz with the winning run in the 3-2 victory.  The Suns have played seven extra-inning games this season(4-3), with all of them on the road.
 
Curt Smith, Ben Lasater, and Jake Smolinski each finished with two hits for the Suns.  Matt Davidson had two hits and drove in two of the BayBears runs in the game.  The BayBears were 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position, and left 16 men on base.
 
Bobby Bramhall (1-2) allowed one run on two hits in the loss.  Suns pitchers combined to walk 11 batters in the game.  Bo Schultz (1-2) pitched the tenth inning for the win.
 
In game two, the Suns started quick and never looked back in the 15-3 win.  Curt Smith and Paul Gran each drove in a run in the first inning to put the Suns up 2-0.  Jacksonville has scored at least one run in the first inning 33 times this season (24-9).
 
Mobile countered in the home half of the first against Suns starting pitcher James Leverton, scoring three times to take a 3-2 lead.  David Nick drove in two runs with a single, and Brent Clevlen drove in a run with an infield hit.  The Suns would go on to score 13 unanswered runs the rest of the night.
 
In the top of the second, after Shawn Bowman was hit by a pitch, Danny Pertusati put the Suns in front to stay with his first Double-A home run.  His blast to left-center gave the Suns a 4-3 lead.  The Suns have hit at least two home runs in the first three games of the series at Hank Aaron Stadium
 
In the fifth inning, Curt Smith hit his eighth home run of the season and Jake Jefferies drove in a run with a single to increase the lead to 7-3.  Smith finished the game with four RBI’s.  Jacksonville exploded for a season-high seven runs in the seventh inning, capped by a three-run home run by Kyle Jensen.
 
Seven different Suns players scored a run in the game, with six players crossing the plate at least twice.  Jake Smolinski, Chris Gutierrez, Curt Smith, Kyle Jensen, and Shawn Bowman each scored two times.  Danny Pertusati scored three runs for Jacksonville.  Seven different Suns drove in at least one run.  Curt Smith drove in four runs, Kyle Jensen drove in three, and Danny Pertusati and Jake Smolinski each had two RBI’s.
 
Game four of the series is Wednesday with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM from Hank Aaron Stadium.  LHP Jose Alvarez (4-5, 3.95) takes the hill for the Suns.  LHP David Holmberg (2-4, 4.63) will start for the BayBears.
 

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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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Smokies Defeat Suns 9-2

Tennessee third baseman Greg Rohan(above)hits one of the Smokies three home runs in a 9-2 win over the Jacksonville Suns July 24, 2012. Photo Courtesy: Tennessee Smokies

 By Steve Kolbe

The Tennessee Smokies hit three home runs in a 9-2 win over the Suns on Tuesday night in the first of a five game series at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.
 
The Suns jumped in front 1-0 in the second inning against Smokies starter Eric Jokisch.  Paul Gran led off with his third triple of the season, and scored when Donnie Webb bunted for a base hit to drive in his 32nd run of the year.  The Suns fell to 37-16 when scoring the first run of the game. 
 
The Smokies tied the game 1-1 in the top of the third against Suns starter Matthew Neil, when Junior Lake belted his fifth home run of the season.  Tennessee added a run in the fifth when Nelson Perez led off with a single, and scored on Lake’s double to right-center to put the Smokies ahead for good at 2-1. 
 
Suns reliever James Leverton entered the game in the sixth inning, and after Mike Burgess was hit by a pitch, Mike Brenly hit a two-run blast to increase the Smokies lead to 4-1.  Leverton has allowed four home runs in his last two appearances.
 
The Smokies doubled the lead in the eighth inning when they batted around and scored four more runs against Suns relief pitcher Jon Link.  Justin Bour singled and Greg Rohan doubled to put runners on second and third.  Mike Burgess was intentionally walked to load the bases with no outs.  With the infield in, Mike Brenly hit the ball hard to shortstop Chris Gutierrez, with the ball going into the outfield and two runs crossing the plate on the error to pad the Smokies lead to 6-1.  Nelson Perez drove in a run with a double, and Logan Watkins added an RBI-single and the score was 8-1 Tennessee.  The first five batters in the inning reached base. 
 
Jeff Dominguez led off the eighth inning with a walk, and scored on a throwing error by second baseman Logan Watkins for the Suns final run of the night to make the score 8-2.  Greg Rohan launched a solo home run in the ninth inning for the Smokies to make the final 9-2.  The nine runs are the most that the Smokies have scored in a game this season against the Suns.
 
Suns starter Matthew Neil (1-6) allowed two runs on six hits in his five innings of work and has now lost six straight decisions.  Eric Jokisch (6-2) surrendered one run on four hits over five innings for the win.  The Smokies have won two straight games after a season-high six game losing streak.
 
Game two of the series is Wednesday afternoon with the first pitch scheduled for 1:05 p.m.  RHP Bryan Evans (3-6, 3.99) will start for the Suns.  RHP Dallas Beeler (4-6, 4.11) takes the mound for the Smokies.
 

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Suns Slip Past Braves In Ninth

 

Catcher Kyle Skipworth(left)and second baseman Paul Gran each collected three hits in the Suns 8-7 walk-off win over the Mississippi Braves July 19, 2012 at the Baseball Grounds. Photo Courtesy: Jacksonville Suns

By Steve Kolbe

New faces help the Jacksonville Suns come back to win a walk-off thriller 8-7 over the Mississippi Braves on Thursday night at the Baseball Grounds.  The Suns won for just the second time this season when trailing going into the ninth inning (2-43).  Jacksonville also came back to beat Montgomery 5-4 on May 15 when Jake Jefferies hit a three-run home run in the top of the ninth at Riverwalk Stadium.
 
The Braves used the long ball to take the lead against Suns starter James Leverton, who hadn’t surrendered a home run in his previous 10 appearances.  Tim Smith and Christian Marrero each hit solo home runs in the second inning to put the Braves up 2-0.  For Smith it was just his second of the season, for Morrero it was his first home run of the year but he made it count.  Morrero’s blast cleared the right field stands and headed toward the street.   In the third inning, Christian Bethancourth hit his first home run of the year to extend the lead to 3-0. 
 
The Suns broke through in the home half of the third against Mississippi starting pitcher David Hale.  With one out, Chris Gutierrez doubled to the wall in left field to extend his hitting streak to 14 games.  Paul Gran then drove in his 21st run of the season with a single to center, with Gutierrez motoring around from second to cut the Braves lead to 3-1.  With two outs, Kyle Skipworth smashed a two-run home run to tie the game 3-3.  Skipworth has hit four round trippers in the last three games, and his 11 home runs this season match his total last year’s campaign.
 
In the fifth inning, Phil Gosselin led off with his second triple of the season and scored on Jason Christian’s RBI-single to center to give the Braves a 4-3 edge.  In the seesaw affair, the Suns stormed back in the bottom of the fifth.  Chris Gutierrez walked to lead off the inning, but Hale retired both Paul Gran and Kyle Jensen on fly balls.  With two outs, Kyle Skipworth doubled to drive in Gutierrez to tie the game 4-4.  Ben Lasater then followed with a double for his first RBI of the season, with Skipworth rumbling home to vault the Suns back into the lead 5-4. 
 
The Braves jumped ahead in the sixth against Suns reliever Mike Ojala.  Joe Terdoslavich led off with a double into the left field corner, and scored when Joe Leonard singled to knot the game 5-5.  After a single by Marrero put runners on the corners, Phil Gosselin hit a sacrifice fly to center with Leonard tagging from third for a 6-5 Mississippi advantage.
 
The Suns used three singles in the seventh inning to tie the score 6-6.  Paul Gran led off the inning with a base knock, and scored on Shawn Bowman’s two-out RBI-single.  In a game where no lead was safe, the Braves went back in front in the eighth inning against Kyle Kaminska.  After Joe Leonard doubled and Christian Marrero singled, pinch hitter Alden Carrithers swung at the first pitch he saw and sent a fly ball into center field, with Marrero scoring on the sacrifice to give the Braves a 7-6 lead going into the ninth.
 
Mississippi turned to their closer Mark Lamm, who entered the night with 10 saves.  Paul Gran led off the ninth inning with a single to left field to start the rally.  After Kyle Jensen went down on strikes, Kyle Skipwroth and Ben Lasater each walked to load the bases with one out.  Lamm then retired Shawn Bowman with one pitch on a foul pop to the catcher.  With two outs, center fielder Danny Pertusati took center stage and stole the spotlight in his first Double-A game.  Pertusati singled to right field past the diving second baseman, with both Gran and pinch runner Donnie Webb scoring to give the Suns the walk-off win 8-7.  Pertusati was mobbed in the infield by his new teammates to celebrate the win.  The Suns scored seven of their eight runs in the game after there were two outs in an inning.
 
Kyle Skipworth and Paul Gran each had three hits.  Skipworth finished 3-for-4 with three RBI’s and two runs scored.  He has hit four home runs and driven in seven over the last three games.  Gran collected three singles, drove in a run, and scored three of the Suns eight runs.  Chris Gutierrez extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a double in the third inning.  It’s his second streak this season of at least 14 games.  The last time that Gutierrez was held without a hit was July 1st against Pensacola. 
 
Suns starter James Leverton allowed four runs on five hits in five innings of work, including three home runs.  He struck out a season-high seven batters.  After being acquired by the Marlins on July 9, Jon Link pitched the ninth to earn the win in his first game with Jacksonville.  Suns pitchers did not issue a walk for the eleventh time this season.  Braves closer Mark Lamm took the loss to drop to 0-4 this season.
 
The Suns have won three straight games for the first time since April 28 to May 2 when they won four in a row.  Overall, Jacksonville has won five of the last six games..  This season 35 of the Suns 97 games have been decided by a single run (17-18).  The Braves have dropped six of their last seven games, and have been outscored 49-29 in those games.  Mississippi lost for just the second time this season when taking a lead into the ninth (29-2). 
 
Game two of the series is Friday with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m.  RHP Bryan Evans (3-6, 3.97) will take the mound for the Suns.  Evans allowed just one run in five and a-third innings and earned the victory as the Suns topped the Blue Wahoos 6-1 in Pensacola last week.  LHP Brent Leach (0-2, 1.59) is set to start his second game of the season for the Braves. 
 

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Suns Edge Blue Wahoos

 

Jake Smolinski(left)walked three times in the Suns 2-1 win over the Blue Wahoos July 16, 2012 at Bayfront Stadium. Photo Courtesy: Pensacola Blue Wahoos

By Steve Kolbe

Klye Skipworth hit a solo home run in the sixth inning to lead the Jacksonville Suns past the Pensacola Blue Wahoos 2-1 on Monday night at Bayfront Stadium.
 
The Suns took the lead in the third inning against Blue Wahoos starter J.C. Sulbaran.  After retiring the first eight batters of the game, Sulbaran surrendered a single to Suns pitcher Graham Taylor with two outs in the third.  Jake Smolinski then walked, and Chris Gutierrez beat out an infield single to load the bases.  Paul Gran walked on a full count to force in Taylor to give the Suns a 1-0 lead.  Jacksonville improved to 35-14 when scoring the first run of the game.
 
Kyle Skipworth increased the lead to 2-0 when he led of the sixth inning by smashing his eighth home run of the season off of reliever Wilkin De La Rosa.  Skipworth has hit four of his eight home runs off of Blue Wahoos pitching, with three of them at Bayfront Stadium.  The Suns have hit 21 of their 62 round trippers this season off Blue Wahoos pitching, the most against any team.
 
Graham Taylor pitched six scoreless innings, allowing just three singles.  The Suns went to the bullpen with Kyle Kaminska entering the game in the seventh.  Pensacola first baseman Beau Mills greeted Kaminska with a solo home run to right field to cut the Suns lead to 2-1, but that would be all the offense the Wahoos could generate in the game.   Kaminska has given up a long ball in the seventh inning in each of his last two outings.
 
The win was just the fourth this season for the Suns when they have been held to three runs or less (4-33), with two of the four wins against the Blue Wahoos.
 
The Suns collected just five hits in the game, and have a total of 19 in the first three games of the series.  Chris Gutierrez finished 2-for-4, and pitcher Graham Taylor went 2-for-2 and scored a run.  With a pair of singles, Taylor is the first Suns pitcher with a multi-hit game this season.  Jake Smolinski and Paul Gran each had three of the Suns nine walks in the game. 
 
Jacksonville is 15-11 overall this season against Pensacola, and 9-4 at Bayfront Stadium with one game left to play.  A win in the series finale on Tuesday would give the Suns their fourth series win over the Blue Wahoos this season.  Pensacola hasn’t lost two straight games in nearly a month (June 25 and 26).
 
Graham Taylor (5-8) snapped a four game road losing streak, winning for the first time since April 23.    In his last two starts overall, Taylor has allowed just one run over 11 innings of work.  Josh Schmidt pitched the eighth for the Suns, striking out two of the four batters he faced.  A.J. Ramos entered the game in the ninth inning and retired the side in order, including a strike out of David Vidal to end the game.  Ramos earned his 11th save of the season, and has a save in each of the Suns last five wins.  J.C. Sulbaran (6-7) allowed one run on three hits in four and two-thirds innings.  He entered the game second in strikeouts in the Southern League, with 33 of his 94 strikeouts against the Suns over four games.  Sulbaran had just four strikeouts Monday night  and also walked four batters.
 
The final game of the season between the the Suns and Blue Wahoos is Tuesday night, with the first pitch slated for 8:00 p.m.  RHP Matthew Neil (1-5, 5.72) takes the hill for the Suns.  He has lost his last five decisions.  RHP Wirfin Obispo (1-0, 2.28) is scheduled to make his first start of the season from the Blue Wahoos.

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Wahoos Shortstop Billy Hamilton Hits Inside The Park Home Run

Daniel Corcino(above)allowed just one run and struck out six in the Blue Wahoos 6-2 win over the Suns. Photo Courtesy: Pensacola Blue Wahoos

By Steve Kolbe

Pensacola shortstop Billy Hamilton hit the first inside-the-park home run in team history, and the Blue Wahoos evened the series against the Suns with a 6-2 win on Sunday afternoon at Bayfront Stadium.

Suns lefty Jose Alvarez came off the disabled list to make his first start since July 2nd, when he was forced to leave a game against Pensacola with a groin injury. The Blue Wahoos jumped out to the lead in the second inning against Alvarez. Bill Rhinehart led off with a double, but Alvarez was able to retire the next two Blue Wahoos batters. Miguel Rojas drew a two-out walk to put runners on second and third, and Mark Fleury then doubled down the right field line with both Rhinehart and Rojas scoring to give Pensacola a 2-0 advantage. Fleury entered the game batting just .143 against left handed pitchers. Blue Wahoos starting pitcher Daniel Corcino helped his own cause by driving in Fleury with a RBI-single to make the score 3-0. The Blue Wahoos improved to 38-14 when scoring the first run of the game, the Suns dropped to 10-37 when allowing the first run.

The Suns scored their first run of the day in the second inning when Paul Gran drove in his 19th run of the season, with Jake Smolinski scoring to cut the Blue Wahoos lead to 3-1.

Pensacola tacked on a run in the fourth when Beau Mills doubled and went to third on a single by Miguel Rojas. With runners on the corners, Fleury drove in his third run of the game when he grounded into a double play, with Mills scoring to pad the lead to 4-1.

Shortstop Billy Hamilton made Pensacola history in the seventh, when he hit a ball to right-center field off of Suns reliever Mike Ojala. Right fielder Kyle Jensen made a diving attempt only to have the ball deflect off his glove, hit center fielder Donnie Webb, and roll all the way to the warning track. Hamilton was given the green light, rounded third, and scored standing up to put Bayfront Stadium’s first inside-the-park home run in the books.

Beau Mills hit a solo home run in the eighth to increase the Blue Wahoos lead to 6-1. Kyle Jensen hit a solo home run in the ninth for the Suns to make it 6-2. It was Jensen’s 12th homer of the season.

Daniel Corcin0 (7-4) allowed one run on five hits over six and a -third innings for the win. Jose Alvarez (2-5) took the loss surrendering four runs on six hits in his four innings of work.

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Suns Beat Blue Wahoos; Win I-10 Panhandle Challenge

 

Catcher Kyle Skipworth drove in a pair of runs to lead the Suns past the Blue Wahoos 6-1. Jacksonville improved to 14-10 this season against Pensacola to clinch the season series. Photo Courtesy: Jacksonville Suns

 By Steve Kolbe

The Jacksonville Suns scored three times in the first inning and cruised to a 6-1 win over the Blue Wahoos on Saturday night at Bayfront Stadium.  The Suns improved to 14-10 overall (8-3 on the road) against the Blue Wahoos, and clinched the season series.
 
The Suns jumped out to the lead in the first inning against Wahoos starter Kyle Lotzkar.  Jake Smolinski was hit by a pitch and Chris Gutierrez walked.  With one out, Curt Smith hit a ground ball to shortstop Billy Hamilton who committed an error, with Smolinski scoring from second to put the Suns up 1-0.  Kyle Skipworth then drove in two runs with a double to left-center field to increase the lead to 3-0. 
 
The Blue Wahoos scored their lone run in the third inning.  Billy Hamilton walked, stole second base, and went to third on a throwing error.  Josh Fellhauer then drove in Hamilton with a RBI single to cut the Suns lead to 3-1.
 
Jacksonville loaded the bases in the fifth inning with no outs, when Chris Gutierrez and Curt Smith were each hit by a pitch and Paul Gran singled.  Kyle Jensen singled to center with Gran scoring on the play for a 4-1 Suns advantage.  Jensen leads the Suns with 44 runs batted in this season.  Shawn Bowman then drove in his 43rd run of the season with a ground out to make the score 5-1. 
 
Jake Smolinski walked to lead of the sixth inning and went to third when Gutierrez singled.  Paul Gran drove in the final run of the game when he grounded into a double play, with Smolinski scoring and the Suns led 6-1.  Four of the Suns six runs in the game were scored by base runners that had walked, were hit by a pitch, or reached on an error.
 
Kyle Skipworth went 1-for-2 with two RBI’s and had the only extra base hit for the Suns.  Miguel Rojas and Bryson Smith each had two hits for the Blue Wahoos.
 
Bryan Evans (3-6) allowed one run on six hits in five and a-third innings to earn his first win against Pensacola this season.  Jordan Conley and Josh Schmidt combined to pitch three and two-thirds scoreless innings.  Kyle Lotzkar (4-4) surrendered five runs on just two hits in the loss.  He hit three batters and walked four.
 
The Suns have won the season series against the Blue Wahoos to claim the first I-10 Panhandle Series, and will bring the “Golden Skillet” back to the Baseball Grounds. Game two of the series is Sunday afternoon with the first pitch scheduled for 5:00 p.m. EST. 
 

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Suns Single Their Way Past Stars

 

The Suns beat the Stars 3-1 at Joe Davis Stadium in game one of a three-game series. Jacksonville finished with six hits, all singles. Photo Courtesy: Huntsville Stars

By Steve Kolbe

The Jacksonville Suns avoided being swept in a series for the first time this season, with a 3-1 win over the Huntsville Stars Monday night at Joe Davis Stadium.  The season series between the two teams ends with each side winning four of the eight games.
 
The Stars scored their lone run in the third inning against starter Zach Neal.  Josh Prince hit an infield single and took second on a throwing error by third baseman Curt Smith.  When Prince attempted to steal third, Neal’s throw went past Smith with Prince scoring on the Suns second error of the inning.
 
Huntsville starter Hiram Burgos retired the first 12 Suns batters of the game until Curt Smith singled in the fifth inning. 
 
Jake Jefferies led off the sixth inning with a walk, and went to second when Donnie Webb reached on an error.  After a ground out by Jose Duarte moved the runners over a base, Paul Gran drove in Jefferies with a sacrifice fly to tie the game 1-1.  Gran drove in three runs in the three game series.
 
The Suns took a 2-1 lead in the eighth when Kyle Jensen led off with a walk, and pinch hitter Shawn Bowman drove him in with a single to right.  Bowman had at least one hit in all three games against the Stars.
 
 Jacksonville added an insurance run in the ninth.  Jeff Dominguez reached on an error by third baseman T.L. Mittelstaedt, and Jensen drove him in with a RBI single to make the score 3-1.  The win improved the Suns record to 10-33 when they allow the first run of the game. 
 
The Suns had the leadoff man in an inning reach base three times in the last three innings, and all three times he came around to score.  The Suns scored all three of their runs in the game with two outs.  Jacksonville won for just the third time in the last nine road games. 
 
Curt Smith, Kyle Jensen, and Shawn Bowman each had a single in the game.  Jensen and Bowman drove in a run and are tied for the team lead with 42 RBI’s.  Hunter Morris went 2-for-4 on Monday, and in the series finished with three home runs, two triples, five RBI’s, and scored four runs.  Morris leads the Southern League in hits (104), RBI’s (67), doubles (27), and extra-base hits (46).  He’s second in the league in batting average (.314) behind Jackson’s Nick Franklin.
 
In his second straight solid outing, Suns starter Zach Neal allowed five hits and one unearned run over five innings.  Jordan Conley (1-1) allowed one hit in his two innings of work for the win.  A.J. Ramos again showed why he’s the most dominant closer in the league, breezing through the final two innings for his ninth save of the season.  Ramos earned the save in all three of the Suns wins on the road trip.
 
The Suns begin a three game series against the Montgomery Biscuits on Wednesday with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.

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Stars Hit Six Home Runs In 10-5 Win Over Suns

Stars first baseman Hunter Morris(above)hits one of his two solo home runs in 10-5 win over the Jacksonville Suns at Joe Davis Stadium. Photo Courtesy: Huntsville Stars

By Steve Kolbe

 
The Jacksonville Suns surrendered a season-high six home runs to the Huntsville Stars in a 10-5 loss on Sunday afternoon at Joe Davis Stadium.  The Stars have hit a total 47 home runs this season, with seven of them coming in the last two games against Suns pitching.
 
After a 10 minute delay due to rain, Huntsville got right to work in the bottom of the first by sending eight men to the plate against Suns starter Bryan Evans.  The first two batters reached base, when Lee Haydel led off with a single and Josh Prince walked.  With one out, Hunter Morris blistered a triple to right field with both runners scoring to put the Stars in front 2-0.  Morris drove in three runs and scored twice in the Stars win in game one of the series, and he would be a factor again throughout the day.  Hainley Statia added a run when he jumped on the first pitch that he saw from Evans, hitting a double to right field, with Morris cruising home to make the score 3-0. 
 
The Suns scored their first run of the game in the second inning against Stars pitcher Johnnie Lowe. Curt Smith hit the first of his three singles on the day, and moved to second base on a fielders choice.  After a Shawn Bowman walk put runners on first and second, Jose Duarte drove in his fifth run of the season with a single to right field, with Smith scoring from second to cut the lead to 3-1.  Duarte had gone without an RBI since April 20 (72 games).
 
In the third inning, Paul Gran and Chris Gutierrez both singled against Lowe to start a rally, and with two outs Curt Smith singled to drive in two runs to even the score 3-3.  The Suns scored all five of their runs in the game after there were two outs in an inning.
 
In the home half of the third, leadoff man T.J. Mittelstaedt hit his first Double-A home run off of Evans to put the Stars back in front 4-3.  It was also Mittelstaedt’s first Double-A RBI, and it gave Huntsville a lead they wouldn’t give up.
 
In the sixth inning the Stars sent eight men to the plate for the second time in the game.  Hunter Morris led off the inning with a solo home run to increase the lead to 5-3.  Morris has homered and tripled in two straight games, and his day was far from over.  After an infield single by Hainley Statia, Kentrail Davis added his name to the long ball list by smashing a two-run home run deep to right field to pad the Stars advantage to 7-3.  It was the third home run that Bryan Evans allowed in the game.
 
The Suns summoned Kyle Kaminska from the bullpen, and he was given a rude reception when pinch hitter Domnit Bolivar hit his first home run of the season to pad the lead at 8-3.  The Stars hit three home runs in the sixth inning.
 
In the seventh, Kyle Jensen crushed a two-run home run to the deepest part of Joe Davis Stadium to get the Suns to within two runs at 8-5.  Jensen leads the Suns with 11 home runs this season, and he’s tied for the team lead with 41 RBI’s with Shawn Bowman.
 
Huntsville belted two more home runs in the seventh inning off of Kaminska.  The first two batters of the inning, T.J Mittelstaedt and Hunter Morris, hit back-to-back solo home runs and the Stars led 10-5.  It’s the first time this season that a team has hit back-to-back home runs against the Suns.  Jacksonville has allowed double-digit runs against four times this season.
 
The Stars hit six home runs in the game, one shy of tying the Southern League record for the most home runs in a single game.  Seven is the record, set by six different teams over a 31 year span from 1961 through 1997.  Knoxville hit seven against Jacksonville July 28, 1997, and Huntsville hit seven against Chattanooga July 18, 1997.  Six round trippers are the most that the Suns have allowed in a game this season, and the most that the Stars have hit in a single game this year.  Three of the home runs in Sunday’s game were hit by the leadoff man in an inning.
 
Curt Smith went 3-for-5 with three singles, and he’s now 8-for-14 this season against Huntsville.  Smith had a hand in four of the Suns five runs, with two RBI’s and two runs scored.  Shawn Bowman had a multi-hit game, going 2-for-3.  Hunter Morris, Hainley Statia, and Kentrail Davis each collected three hits for the Stars.  Morris had a hand in seven of the 10 runs, with 4 RBI and three runs scored.  In the series, Morris has had a hand in 12 of the Stars 17 runs (7 RBI and 5 runs scored).  Lee Haydel and T.J. Mittelstaedt finished with two hits each.  Eight of the Stars 15 hits in the game went for extra-bases.  Seven different Stars players scored at least one run.
 
Bryan Evans (2-6) pitched five and a-third innings allowing seven runs on nine hits, both season highs.  Evans has allowed seven home runs in his last four starts, after giving up just two in his first 13 starts of the season.  Kyle Kaminska pitched an inning and two-thirds giving up three runs on six hits.  Kaminska was tagged for three home runs in the game.  He had allowed two home runs total in his previous 24 outings.  Stars starting pitcher Johnnie Lowe allowed three runs on six hits over his four innings of work and didn’t figure in the decision.  Dan Merklinger (2-7) pitched two innings of hitless baseball to earn the win.
 
The series finale is Monday night from Joe Davis Stadium with the first pitch scheduled for 6:43 p.m. local time.  RHP Zach Neal (4-6, 4.26) will start his tenth game of the season for the Suns.  Neal earned the win last week at Tennessee after getting the start when Rob Rasmussen was traded to the Houston Astros just prior to the game July 4 at Smokies Park.  RHP Hiram Burgos (4-1, 2.05) will take the mound for the eleventh time this season for the Huntsville Stars.   The Suns have not been swept in a series this season.
 
 
 

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