JACKSONVILLE, FL – The Jacksonville Suns (1-1, 37-35) erased a one-run deficit in the bottom ninth by walking off as 5-4 winners over the Birmingham Barons (1-1, 30-42) on Austin Nola’s two-out, two-run triple Friday night from Bragan Field.
Jay Rogers did not factor into the decision as he allowed three runs (all earned) on three hits in 5.0 innings of work, striking out three Barons while issuing a pair of walks. After giving up all three of his runs in the first inning, Rogers settled in nicely by holding the Barons scoreless on just one hit through his final four innings of work.
James Leverton worked a 1-2-3 top of the sixth inning in his 2014 Suns debut, striking out one batter in his outing.
Matt Montgomery allowed one run (earned) on five hits in his 1.1 innings of work. He’d record one strikeout and the lone walk he gave up came with the bases loaded to give Birmingham the lead in the eighth inning.
Nick Wittgren (W, 3-3) earned the win after holding Birmingham off the scoreboard in his 1.2 innings of work, allowing a lone hit while striking out a pair of Barons.
Barons starter Chris Beck left in line for the win but took a no decision after allowing three runs (all earned) on six hits in seven innings of work, while walking three batters and tallying seven strikeouts. He only allowed one hit over his final six innings of work and his seven strikeouts gave him a new season-high.
Brandon Hardin (L, 0-2; BS, 1) took the loss for Birmingham after allowing two runs (both earned) on two hits, while walking a batter and striking out one Sun in the loss.
The Barons wasted no time hopping on the scoreboard on Friday night, receiving a bases-clearing double from Kevan Smith to put Birmingham up 3-0 after the first half inning of play.
Jacksonville countered with three runs of their own in the bottom of the first inning as they batted around to tie up the ballgame, receiving a sacrifice fly from Brady Shoemaker as well as back-to-back two-out RBI singles from Alex Burg and Alfredo Silverio.
After neither team scored over the next six innings, Birmingham broke through to take a 4-3 lead in the top of the eighth inning. The Barons added their run as Rangel Ravelo came down to score when Jaime Pedroza drew a bases loaded walk from Matt Montgomery.
But Birmingham’s eighth inning run didn’t rattle the Suns one bit. Following a Danny Black single and a two-out walk to Brent Keys, Austin Nola gave the Suns a 5-4 walk-off win with a game-winning two-run triple down the right field line.
The Suns and Barons will be back at it on Saturday night, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. The Suns will send out left-hander Justin Nicolino (6-2, 3.38) while the Barons will counter with right-hander Myles Jaye (0-6, 6.32).