Stars Drop Series-Opener To Barons

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Huntsville, Ala. - Playing their first game in three days, the Huntsville Stars opened up a five-game series at Joe Davis Stadium with a 5-1 loss against the Birmingham Barons on Sunday evening.

On offense, the Stars were held to just one run and six hits by four Barons pitchers, led by starter Nick McCully. The former reliever improved to 5-1 on the year after giving up a run on four hits through five innings pitched.

The only blemish for McCully and the Birmingham pitching staff was a solo homer by Stars outfielder Brock Kjeldgaard in the second inning to give Huntsville an initial 1-0 lead. For Kjeldgaard, the blast put him in a tie with fellow Stars player Jason Rogers for the most homers in the Southern League with ten.

As McCully exited the game before the sixth inning, Barons relievers Kevin Vance, Salvador Sanchez and Daniel Webb shut down the Stars offense through the final four innings to ensure the victory.

After Huntsville took the early lead, the Barons scored the final five unanswered runs to finish the ballgame. Birmingham began their scoring in the third inning as a sacrifice fly from outfielder Trayce Thompson tied things up at one.

The next inning, a solo homer from designated hitter Dan Black off of Stars starter Jimmy Nelson put the Barons up for good.

From an insurance standpoint, Birmingham got a three-run homer from first baseman Andy Wilkins in the seventh inning off of Stars lefty Brian Garman to make the score 5-1.

En route to the hard-pressed loss, Nelson pitched 6.2 innings while giving up four runs (one earned) and striking out seven batters. The Brewers 8th ranked prospect fell to 5-4 on the year while dropped his ERA in the process to 2.74.

Aside from Nelson, Stars righties Arcenio Leon and Eric Marzec each pitched a scoreless inning in relief. Despite the relief appearance, Leon is still set to start game four of this series.

On offense, the Stars were paced by outfielder Rene Tosoni and catcher Adam Weisenburger with two hits apiece. Besides from Kjeldgaard's homer, second basemen Nick Shaw added the only other hit for the Stars on the night.

On Friday, the Stars and Barons will play game two of a five-game series at Joe Davis Stadium. Huntsville will to even the series at one game apiece by sending RHP Ariel Pena (5-3, 2.63 ERA) to the bump as Birmingham will counter with RHP Stephen McCray (5-3, 3.31 ERA). First pitch is at 6:43 CT.

Courtesy Huntsville Stars Media Relations