Pensacola Fl – A night after recording their fourth shutout in the month of July, the Huntsville Stars hung on the beat the Pensacola BlueWahoos by a score of 3-2 on Friday night at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium.
Much like the previous night, the Stars broke out to an early lead that they would not relinquish.
In the second inning, the Stars led off the frame against BlueWahoos starting pitcher Carlos Contreras with back-to-back singles from third basemen Mike Walker and catcher Shawn Zarraga. After a sacrifice bunt from shortstop Hector Gomez moved both runners into scoring position with one out, Stars starting pitcher Brooks Hall helped out his own cause with an RBI single that plated Walker to put Huntsville on the board.
Unlike Thursday night, the Stars bats were able to have a second offensive breakthrough against the Pensacola pitching staff. Following back-to-back singles from first basemen Jason Rogers and outfielder Rene Tosoni, a RBI groundout from Walker and a RBI single by Zarraga put the Stars up 3-0.
With Hall tossing the last of his inning-mandated four frames, the BlueWahoos began to chip away at the Stars lead. After the 23-year-old righty retired the first two batters, Pensacola catcher Chris Berset came through with a two-out double. One batter later, a RBI single from first basemen Travis Mattair put the BlueWahoos on the board.
Two innings later, another two-out rally put Pensacola in striking distance. After shortstop Devin Lohman was hit by a pitch from Stars righty Casey Medlen (W, 3-4), a pinch-hit RBI double from Mike Costanzo scored Lohman to bring the BlueWahoos deficit to within a run.
Fortunately for the Stars, that was the closest the game would get. Righty Frankie De La Cruz pitched two scoreless innings for Huntsville while reliever Kevin Shackelford sent the BlueWahoos down in order during the ninth inning for his second save of the season.
Despite stranding 12 runners on base, the Stars offense cranked out 10 hits, led by three singles from Zarraga. Outfielder Chadwin Stang also chipped in with two hits.
For Huntsville, the victory was their second in a row by one run. The Stars are now 9-6 in the month of July, already eclipsing their win total for the entire month of June (8).
On Saturday, the Stars will play game three of a five-game series at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium against the Pensacola BlueWahoos. Huntsville will send RHP Taylor Jungmann (9-6, 3.56 ERA) to the bump to try to clinch the series victory while Pensacola will counter with RHP Josh Smith (7-8, 3.72). First pitch is at 6:30 PM.
Courtesy: Stars Media Relations