Suns Send Six to SL All-Star Game

(HUNTSVILLE) - The Jacksonville Suns finished well out of contention for the first-half crown, but they dominated their division in balloting for the All-Star Team.

Jacksonville placed six players to represent the South team in the 2008 Southern League All-Star Game, to take place July 14 at Five County Stadium, home of the Carolina Mudcats. Four are position players, headed by catcher Lucas May, who leads South Division catchers in RBIs.

Also joining the South Division catching corps is Montgomery's John Jaso, who finished 2nd in the Southern League batting race last year.

Mobile dominates the South's infield with three of the four players coming from the Baybears. They send 2nd baseman Rusty Ryal, 1st baseman Bryan Byrne, and shortstop Yunesky Sanchez, who leads the South Division in RBIs.

Third baseman Russell Mitchell of Jacksonville takes the final infield spot. Mitchell is hitting .270 on the year with 8 HRs and 38 RBIs.

The South Division outfield consists of Montgomery's Rashad Eldridge, Jacksonville's Jamie Hoffmann, Mississippi's Matt Young, and Birmingham's Ricardo Nanita, the utility outfielder.

The Birmingham Barons, who won the first-half title with the best team ERA in the league, sends three pitchers to the South team: Jon Link (4-1, 1.45 ERA), the league leader in saves (21), Carlos Torres, who shares the league lead in wins with Huntsville's David Welch, and Justin Cassel (7-3, 3.29 ERA).

Montgomery sends two pitchers to Zebulon: Wade Davis and James Houser.

From Jacksonville comes another pair of pitching teammates: Jesus Castillo and James McDonald, the Southern League's strikeout leader with 93.

Rounding out the South Division staff are Mississippi's Luis Valdez and Todd Redmond and Mobile's closer Reid Mahon.

Four other players were selected to the team but cannot participate. Jacksonville shortstop Ivan DeJesus will be playing in the 2008 All-Star Futures Game in Yankee Stadium, Montgomery pitcher Jake McGee is injured, Birmingham outfielder David Cook, who was promoted to Triple-A Charlotte and Mobile right-hander Matt Torra, who was promoted to Triple-A Tucson.