HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The Huntsville Stars dropped a nail biter to the Birmingham Barons on Saturday night, falling by a score of 5-4 at Joe Davis Stadium.
After getting pummeled 10-2 on Friday night, the Barons offense broke out in a big way early against Stars starting pitcher Ariel Pena.
Following a leadoff walk by Barons right fielder Jose Martinez in the second inning, a RBI double by catcher Luis Sierra put Birmingham on the board. The next at-bat, a single by second baseman Greg Paiml made the score 2-0.
One inning later, the Barons doubled their lead. After a solo home run by right fielder Trayce Thompson gave Birmingham a three-run lead, a RBI single from third baseman Eric Morrison put the Barons up 4-0 by the end of the inning.
However, that lead was short-lived. In the bottom half of the third, the Stars were able to make it a whole new ballgame. With lefty Matt Wickswat in the ballgame to relieve starter Simon Castro, the Stars offense greeted him by loading the bases. Then, with shortstop Hainley Statia up to bat, an error by Thompson in centerfield on a sinking liner cleared the bases to cut the Stars deficit to one. Later in the inning, a RBI triple from right fielder Kentrail Davis plated Statia to tie the game up at 4-4.
The score stayed that way until the top half of the sixth inning. With Stars reliever Dan Meadows in for his second inning of work, the Barons began the frame with back-to-back singles by designated hitter Seth Loman and third baseman Eric Morrison. With runners on first and third and nobody out, a groundout by Luis Sierra scored Loman to give the Barons the final run of the ballgame.
With the score 5-4, the Barons bullpen shut the Stars out for the final four innings of the ballgame to clinch the victory. With the win, Wickswat improved to 2-7 on the season after giving up four runs (none earned) on two hits in 3.1 innings of work. Aside from Wickswat, RHP Dan Remenowski pitched 1.2 innings without giving up a run and closer Ryan Kussmaul notched his 13th save of the year with a final scoreless two frames.
On the pitching side for the Stars, Meadows fell to 1-5 on the year with the loss. Relievers R.J Seidel, Brian Garman and Darren Byrd combined to throw three scoreless innings for Huntsville.
From an offense perspective, second baseman Scooter Gennett led the way for the Stars with a 3-for-5 night at the plate.
Game three of a five-game series will take place on Sunday as the Stars will send RHP Josh Stinson (11-7, 3.06 ERA) to the mound. First pitch is at 4:03 PM.
Courtesy: Stars Media Relations