Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

SOUTHERN LEAGUE: SUNS 5, MUDCATS 2; Suns Win after Staff Gets Break Front-Office Group Eases Up during the Team's 10-Day Trip

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

SOUTHERN LEAGUE: SUNS 5, MUDCATS 2; Suns Win after Staff Gets Break Front-Office Group Eases Up during the Team's 10-Day Trip

Article excerpt

Byline: JEFF ELLIOTT

When the Jacksonville Suns' team bus rolled up to the Baseball Grounds on Friday morning around 8 a.m., it was greeted by several front-office staff members who were arriving for the start of a long day.

It was a contrast in appearance. The Suns players and coaching staff had just completed a seven-hour bus ride from Montgomery, where they had lost 3-0 the night before to the Biscuits.

But for the Suns' administrative staff, it was a group that had a break with the team having spent the last 10 days playing away from home.

Jacksonville started a five-game homestand Friday night on a positive note with a 5-2 victory over Carolina (30-25) in front of 5,839, as Suns starter Nic Ungs allowed three hits and one run over seven innings in his first win of the season.

Chris Hatcher and newcomer Mike Stanton provided the offense for the Suns, who broke Carolina's eight-game winning streak.

Hatcher hit two solo home runs and Stanton, a 6-foot-5, 240-pound outfielder who was promoted to the Suns earlier in the day, added two singles and drove in a pair of runs.

It took the Suns (27-29) less than 2 1/2 hours to get the win, and nobody appreciates a fast game more than the front-office staff members, most of whom work between 12 and 15 hours on days the Suns play at home. That is why Suns president and general manager Peter Bragan Jr. eases up on the staff's workload and hours when the team is gone for an extended period of time.

"When the team goes out of town for these 10-day trips, I try to give everyone a three-day weekend," Bragan said. "Half of the staff was here last Friday, half on Monday. I know they appreciate it because there are times when they may work three weekends in a month.

"This was also a time that we could get some things done that we might not have been able to on just a five-day trip. We had a chance to paint some of our newly constructed booths that we'll have outside the stadium for ticket sales and for use by groups on the mezzanine level. …

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