By Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns
The Jacksonville Suns have won their first series of the season, taking three of the first four games against the Birmingham Barons at the Baseball Grounds.
Yesterday the Suns clinched a series win with an 8-3 victory, getting offense thanks to a renewed effort stealing bases.
Our Marco LaNave caught up with Austin Dean following the game, as he was our Navy Mutual MVP of the Game.
Now the Suns will finish their series with tonight’s contest against the Barons at 7:05 p.m. at the Baseball Grounds. Jacksonville turns to left-handed pitcher Tim Berry, who will make his Marlins organization debut tonight on the mound. He’ll be opposed by Barons right-hander Brandon Brennan, who is a member of the White Sox 40-man roster.
Here are more notes on tonight’s contest from the official Suns game notes:
Pineda Guilty of Stealing: Jeremias Pineda was a bandit on the base paths yesterday for the Suns. He stole four bases during the contest, more than any stolen bags in a game by a Sun during all of last season. Yefri Perez and Moises Sierra also had a steal each, so the Suns as a team stole six bases, which set a Marlins era (2009-present) record for stolen bases in a game. The last time the Suns stole six bases in a game was in 2008 as a Los Angeles Dodgers affiliate. Jacksonville leads the Southern League with nine stolen bases through the first four games. Pineda is tied with teammate Yefri Perez for the most stolen bases in the league with four.
Bye Barons: Today the Suns and Barons wrap up their series at the Baseball Grounds. This is Birmingham’s only trip to Jacksonville this season, and the Suns will only play once at Regions Field in Birmingham, from July 9-13. Last season the Suns and Barons played 20 times, with the Barons winning the series 12-8.
People Will Come: Thursday night 8,367 fans made their way to the Baseball Grounds for Opening Night between the Suns and the Barons. The crowd topped any attendance figure the Suns had in 2015, and was the best attendance the Suns have had since July 4, 2014 when 9,246 attended. The crowd was also the best the Suns have had in the past nine seasons on Opening Night, dating back to 2007 when 10,417 was the announced attendance, and last night’s crowd was the first Opening Night crowd to top 8,000 fans since 2007. The Suns also had the top attendance in the league Friday night with 6,371, and the 5,754 was also the best around the Southern League on Saturday. The first Baptist Health Sunday Family FunDay saw 4,016 make it to the Baseball Grounds, once again the largest Southern League crowd. The Suns have welcomed 24,508 fans to the Baseball Grounds for the first four games, nearly double the next closest team, and the 6,127 average attendance is also the league’s best.
Tonight gates open at 6 p.m., and dogs get in free with a paying human companion for Bark in the Park. Dogs can run the bases after the game. Select dog-free zones will be around the ballpark. The first Charity Begins at Home partner is Pit Sisters Inc., which will be raising funds through ticket sales and the Launch-A-Ball promotion. On Marlins Monday, fans can enter to win Miami Marlins tickets!
Fans can listen to the game live on the Suns Baseball Network, with Roger Hoover and Marco LaNave providing play by play. Hoover, LaNave, and Andrew Gibson will host the pregame show Suns On Deck beginning at 6:50 p.m. ET, the game can be heard locally on FM 102.3 The Beach, on the TuneIn Radio app, as well as online by clicking the link below:
ABOUT THE SUNS: The Jacksonville Suns are beginning a new era of affordable family fun under new ownership in 2016. With a FUNdamentally Different promotional schedule and a new lineup of ticket packages for the upcoming season, there is a reason for everyone to get part of the action by calling the Suns at (904) 358-2846 or visiting http://www.jaxsuns.com.