HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – A grand slam in the first inning off of Huntsville Stars starter Ariel Pena put the Montgomery Biscuits in the lead and they never looked back.
Pena, making his fourth start for the Stars this season, started the game on shaky ground. He gave up back-to-back singles to center fielder Ty Morrison and third baseman Omar Luna to get the Biscuits in scoring position. He struck out the next batter then hit Derek Dietrich to load the bases with two outs. The 23-year-old Pena had a tough time finding the strike zone, walking the next two batters, giving Montgomery a 2-0 lead. With the bases still loaded, left fielder Brett Nommensen hit a grand slam to right field on a 3-1 pitch. Pena finally got the next batter to ground out to end the inning.
Pena took the mound to start the second inning and gave up a lead-off single to Shawn O'Malley. He stole second and scored on a single by Dietrich, chasing Pena from the game after just 1.2 innings. He allowed all seven earned runs on five hits while walking three and striking out two. This was Pena's shortest outing since joining the Stars back in July.
The Stars avoided a shutout thanks to a solo home run by designated hitter Domint Bolivar in the third inning. Left fielder Brock Kjeldgaard (1-for-5) made it a ballgame in the next inning, thanks to a three-run bomb that might still be stuck in the trees over the outfield fence.
The Biscuits extended their lead with two more unanswered runs in the sixth and eighth innings off of reliever Dan Meadows.
After the fourth inning homer, the Stars offense only managed three more hits. Offensively, Hunter Morris went 3-for-5 with one run and one RBI. Angel Gonzalez went 2-for-3 with a run scored, a RBI and drew two walks.