In the opener of a three-game series, the Huntsville Stars beat the Jacksonville Suns by a score of 7-4 on Saturday night at Joe Davis Stadium.
Building off the momentum from a win on Friday night, the Stars offense struck first on Saturday night against Suns starting pitcher Alan Oaks. In the first inning, a two-run home run from first baseman Hunter Morris gave the Stars a 2-0 lead. One inning later, another home run, this one a solo shot from right fielder Kentrail Davis, put Huntsville up by a score of 3-0.
After retiring the side in order through his first two innings, Stars starting pitching Evan Anundsen made one of his only mistakes of the night in the third inning. To begin the frame, third baseman Shawn Bowman connected on a solo home run, cutting the Stars lead to two.
However, the Stars offense was able to put the game out of reach and secure the win for Anundsen in the fifth inning. With former Stars pitcher Bobby Bramhall coming into the game, catcher Anderson De La Rosa greeted him with a solo home run. Bramhall then gave up double to Anundsen and a bloop single to left fielder Lee Haydel to put runners on first and third with no outs. The next at-bat, a sacrifice fly by center fielder Josh Prince plated Haydel to make the score 5-1. Then, with two outs, a RBI triple from Morris and a RBI double from Hainley Statia gave the Stars a 7-1 lead.
The six-run advantage was plenty for the 2012 Southern League All-Star. Anundsen improved to 5-4 on the season after giving up just two runs on six hits through six innings. The victory was his first in four starts over the second half of the season.
Following a solo home run by second baseman Paul Gran in the sixth inning, Jacksonville scored their final two runs in the eighth inning off of Stars reliever Kyle Heckathorn. In the ninth, reliever Brandon Kintzler sent down the Suns in order for his second save in as many nights.
On offense, the Stars were paced again by Morris, who went 3-for-4 with three runs batted in. His first inning round tripper was his second homer in as many nights. The three long balls on the night for Huntsville was the most they've had in any game this season.
Game two of a three-game series will begin on Sunday as the Stars will send RHP Johnnie Lowe (first game with Stars) out to the mound to square off against Suns RHP Bryan Evans (2-5, 3.61 ERA). First pitch is at 4:03 PM.