Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Stars Withstand Suns' Rally

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Stars Withstand Suns' Rally

Article excerpt

Maybe the Jacksonville Suns are hoping for a little deja vu.

Perhaps the players returning from last year's team that posted the best record in minor league baseball during the first half of the season were hoping to follow the same script this season. If so, they're on the right track.

Last year's Suns lost their first two games of the season before rattling off 10 wins in a row en route to running away with the Southern League's East Division title.

Last night, the Suns tried to make a dramatic comeback with seven runs in the last three innings but came up short, dropping their second consecutive game, a 13-11 decision to the Huntsville Stars in front of 3,847 at Wolfson Park.

"We made some mistakes early, but just couldn't make up for our mistakes early in the ball game," Suns manager Dave Anderson said. "I think we're going to go through some growing pains. We're going to keep doing our work, and we're going to get better.

"But it was a good thing to see we were five runs down and in the last inning, we've got the tying run at the plate. That's all you can ask for in that situation is that they battle hard. If we continue those things, we're going to win some of those games."

Ironically, last year's team squandered leads in their first two season-opening losses, just as this year's Suns have done. After taking a 3-0 lead Thursday night, the Suns lost 7-5 in 12 innings. The Suns took a 3-0 lead last night in the first inning off Huntsville pitcher Allen Levrault.

Those runs came from the first three hitters as Kurt Airoso singled, Pedro Santana doubled and Chris Wakeland homered over the right-field wall.

After his shaky start, Levrault settled down and pitched masterfully over the next four innings, retiring 17 of the next 19 batters he faced. Levrault (1-0) finished the game giving up four runs on five hits, striking out seven with no walks. …

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