JACKSONVILLE, FL- Another potential Huntsville comeback fell a bit short on Monday afternoon, as the Stars fell to the Jacksonville Suns by a score of 7-4 in the rubber match of a five-game, season-opening series.
Jacksonville got the scoring started in the third inning, as shortstop Jeff Dominguez snapped an 0-for-12 slump to start the season with a 3-run home run off of Huntsville starting pitcher R.J. Seidel to give the Suns an early lead.
After the Suns plated two more runs in the fifth to make the score 5-0, the Stars offense finally woke up. In the sixth inning, catcher Anderson De La Rosa and center fielder Lee Haydel singled to start off the frame. They were eventually brought home by back-to-back RBI singles by left fielder Khris Davis and right fielder Kentrail Davis to cut the Suns lead to three.
In the seventh, the Stars diminished the Suns' lead to one as De La Rosa and Haydel struck again with an RBI single and an RBI triple respectively.
Unfortunately, that is as close as Huntsville would get though. A RBI single by Suns catcher Kyle Skipworth in the seventh inning and then a solo home run from first basemen Curt Smith in the eighth inning would add needed insurance runs for the Suns to roll to their second consecutive victory.
For Jacksonville, Omar Poveda earned his first win of the year after giving up just two runs over 5.2 innings. Evan Reed notched his second save of the season with a final two scoreless innings. Huntsville starter Seidel fell to 0-1 on the season after giving up three runs in 2.2 innings pitched.
In terms of offense, the Stars pounded out 14 hits, including three apiece from De La Rosa and Haydel. Kentrail Davis, second basemen Scooter Gennett, and shortstop Jeff Bianchi each added two hits. Huntsville also left 11 runners on base.
The Stars will travel to Birmingham to start a five-game series with the Barons, AA-Affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, on Tuesday starting at 7:05 CT. Huntsville will look to LHP Dan Merklinger (0-1, 3.38 ERA) while the Barons counter with RHP Nestor Molina (0-1, 4.50 ERA).
The Stars return to "The Joe" on Sunday, April 15 at 4:03 p.m. to play the Tennessee Smokies, AA-Affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, for a five-game series immediately followed by five games against the Jackson Generals, AA-Affiliate of the Seattle Mariners! For more information on the Huntsville Stars, visit huntsvillestars.com or call (256) 882-2562. Don't forget to keep up with the Stars on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and their official newsletter!