By Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville Suns right-handed starting pitcher Austin Brice has been named the Southern League Pitcher of the Week for April 7-18, announced by the league office on Monday.
Brice hasn’t allowed a run in his first two starts of the year, and in 11 innings pitched has limited opponents to five hits, four walks, and he has struck out eight batters. His 0.00 ERA is tied with Montgomery pitcher Chih-Wei Hu for the lowest in the league among qualifying pitchers.
“I’ve felt pretty good on the mound,” said Brice. “I feel like all of my stuff is starting to pull together a little bit. I felt pretty fresh coming out of Spring Training and the extra baseball at the end of the year last year I think help carried more into this season so I feel pretty good.”
In Brice’s first 2016 start on Saturday April 9 against the Birmingham Barons he took a no decision. Brice turned in six scoreless innings where he only allowed three hits, no walks, and he struck out six batters. In Brice’s last start on Thursday April 14 at Pensacola, Brice once again had a no decision. The right-hander limited the Blue Wahoos to two hits during his five scoreless innings with four walks and two strikeouts.
Brice also has the fourth-lowest batting average against in the Southern League, with opponents only hitting .143 off the right-hander.
Brice spent all of 2015 in a Suns uniform, going 6-9 with a 4.67 ERA in a career-high 25 starts. Brice is the No. 14 Marlins prospect for 2016 according to Baseball America, and he was originally selected in the ninth round of the 2010 draft out of Northwood High School in Pittsboro, North Carolina. This is the first time Brice has been named a Southern League Pitcher of the Week, but he was the South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week on June 24, 2013 when he pitched for the Greensboro Grasshoppers.
Brice is scheduled to start tomorrow night for the Suns against the Mobile BayBears at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville at 7:05 p.m.
The Suns continue their series with Mobile at 7:05 p.m. Monday, when Suns left-hander Jarlin Garcia (0-0) is scheduled to face BayBears left-hander Anthony Banda (0-1). Through the brand-new VyStar Credit Union Charity Begins at Home program, Launch-A-Ball will benefit the Jacksonville Public Library, and library card holders can purchase buy-one-get-one free tickets at the box office. First Coast News Night will give kids the chance to give their own weather forecasts. Fans can enter to win Marlins tickets on Marlins Monday and hear the in-game soundtrack with a 38 Special theme as part of the Jax Jams Series.