Jacksonville Sports Day

SUNS: Jacksonville Knocks Shuckers Out of First-Half Race

Six Jacksonville Suns will be on the South Division roster for the 2016 Southern League All-Star Game on Tuesday in Pearl, Miss. The Suns eliminated the Biloxi Shuckers from the Southern League South Division first-half race with a 2-1, seven-inning win in Game 1 of a doubleheader, before the visitors took Game 2 by the same score in seven innings in front of 4,729 at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville Sunday afternoon.

In Game 1, following a perfect first inning by Suns right-hander Asher Wojciechowski, Jacksonville (30-40) took the lead against Shuckers right-hander Brandon Woodruff (2-4). All-Star right fielder Moises Sierra drew a two-out walk, and third baseman Brian Anderson hit an RBI double to the right-center field gap for a 1-0 Suns lead. The Suns added a fourth-inning run, as All-Star shortstop Peter Mooney walked with one out, advanced two bases on a single wild pitch by Woodruff, and scored on left fielder Ronnie Mitchell’s RBI single to right field for his first hit as a Sun.

The Shuckers (39-30) trimmed the lead in the top of the fifth inning. With one out, Wojciechowski hit and walked consecutive batters. After a strikeout, left fielder Tyrone Taylor hit a two-out, wind-and-sun-aided infield popup that allowed Noriega to score. It was the only run against Wojciechowski in his Southern League debut, which lasted 4 2/3 innings with two hits, one walk and five strikeouts. Right-hander Sean Donatello (2-1) got a groundout to strand the tying run at third base in a 2-1 game. He pitched 1 1/3 innings before right-hander Ryan Chaffee pitched a perfect seventh inning for his first save as a Sun. Jacksonville’s win gave Pensacola the first-half South Division title via Biloxi’s elimination.

In Game 2, Biloxi got consecutive second-inning doubles by first baseman Garrett Cooper and right fielder Tyrone Taylor to take a 1-0 lead against Suns right-hander Patrick Johnson (3-3). A two-out walk by catcher Parker Berberet preceded Shuckers pitcher Jorge Ortega’s RBI single to center field for a 2-0 lead. The Suns answered with a run in the bottom of the inning, as third baseman James Roberts had a two-out bunt single and later scored an unearned run on catcher Cam Maron’s RBI single. Ortega (1-6) completed six innings, allowing four hits and one walk with two strikeouts. In the bottom of the seventh inning, Shuckers right-hander Stephen Kohlscheen worked around a one-out double to record his sixth save.

The Suns will also open the second half at Trustmark Park on Thursday at 8 p.m.

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