The Huntsville Stars found themselves on the wrong side of a nail biter with the Jacksonville Suns on Sunday afternoon, losing by a score of 6-5.
In a game that featured three lead changes, the Suns got the scoring started with three runs off Stars' starting pitcher Kyle Heckathorn in the bottom of the first inning. Heckathorn, however, would settle down. The 23-year-old righty didn't give up a run the rest of his outing, in which he earned a no-decision by going 5.2 innings and striking out eight Suns hitters in the process.
As Heckathorn calmed down, the Stars offense was just warming up. Huntsville scored a run in the second off a Khris Davis solo-home run, one in the fifth on an RBI double by Domnit Bolivar, and again in the seventh thanks to an error on Suns catcher Jake Jefferies to tie the game. After Jacksonville plated a run in the bottom of the seventh, the Stars took their first lead of the game in the top of the eighth inning after an RBI single by catcher Jason Jaramillo.
Unfortunately, Huntsville would lose that lead for good in the bottom of the frame as Jose Duarte crushed a pinch-hit two-run home run off of RHP Santo Manzanillo. Manzanillo, who notched a save in game two of this series, earned the loss for the Stars, falling to 0-1 on the season.
For Jacksonville, reliever A.J. Ramos earned his first win of the season and RHP Kyle Kamiska held the Stars scoreless in the ninth inning for his first save of the season.
On offense, right fielder Kentrail Davis led the way for the Stars with three singles. Davis also reached base four out of his five plate appearances and scored a run. First basemen Hunter Morris, who was mired in a 0-for-11 slump through the first three games of the series, went 2-for-4 on Sunday with two doubles.
The final game of the Stars five-game, season-opening series with the Suns will begin at 12:05 ET on Monday with RHP R.J Seidel taking the mound for the Stars opposing Suns RHP Aaron Poveda.