With a 4-0 shutout in game one and a 6-5 walkoff win in game two, the Huntsville Stars swept a doubleheader from the Mississippi Braves on Sunday at Joe Davis Stadium.
For the Stars, the story of game one was starting pitcher Evan Anundsen. The 24-year-old righty absolutely silenced the Braves bats, pitching a complete-game, two-hit shutout to improve to 4-2 on the season. The complete game from a starting pitcher and the shutout of an opposing team were both firsts for the Stars this season.
On offense, the Stars got all of the run support Anundsen needed in the first two innings of the ballgame. In the first inning, a two-run double by Tommy Manzella gave Huntsville an initial 2-0 lead.
In the second inning, following a solo-home run by catcher Anderson De La Rosa to begin the frame, centerfielder Josh Prince virtually manufactured a run all by himself. After reaching base on a fielder's choice, Prince stole second. Then, while attempting to steal third, a throwing error by catcher Christian Bethancourt helped plate Prince to give the Stars a 4-0 lead that they would not relinquish.
In game two, down 5-4 in the bottom of the seventh, the Stars came through with their third walk-off win of the year in the most dramatic of fashions. After two singles from pinch-hitter Lee Haydel and centerfielder Josh Prince, a throwing error by Braves pitcher Mark Lamm on a Tommy Manzella bunt allowed both runs to score.
Aside from the seventh inning, both Manzella and first baseman Hunter Morris contributed with two-run homeruns in the fourth inning for the only other scoring for the Stars.
On the pitching side, RHP Darren Byrd improved to 1-2 on the season by earning the win in 1.2 innings of work in relief duty. Starting pitcher Dan Merklinger earned a no-decision after giving up three runs on four hits in three innings pitched.
The sweep helped Huntsville improve to 4-2 on the season during doubleheaders. The two wins also give the Stars a 3-game winning streak.
Game four of a six-game series will begin on Monday as the Stars will send RHP Tyler Thornburg (7-0, 2.52 ERA) to the mound to face off against LHP Luis Avilan (1-4, 3.06 ERA). First pitch is at 6:43 PM.