Huntsville Al, - Fresh off of two consecutive losses, the Huntsville Stars evened up their series at two games apiece against the Mobile BayBears with a 4-2 victory on Friday night at Joe Davis Stadium.
While the pitching was much of the story for Huntsville, the Stars bats starting things off early in the top of the first inning against BayBears starting pitcher David Holmberg.
After second basemen Nick Shaw drew a walk and first basemen Jason Rogers hit a single with one out, catcher Shawn Zarraga brought them both home on a two-run double to make the score 2-0. For Zarraga, the double was in his first at-bats since spending 10 days on the disabled list.
While he gave up two runs in the fourth inning that tied up the ballgame, Stars starting pitcher Ariel Pena built off his last outing where he tossed five scoreless innings to earn his first victory in two months. Pena gave up just two runs on three hits in six innings to improve to 7-8 on the year.
Huntsville was able to break that tie and put Pena in position for the sixth inning with one swing of the bat. With BayBears righty Bryan Woodall in the game, Stars outfielder Brock Kjeldgaard took his first pitch on the night over the centerfield wall to put the Stars back up by a score of 3-2.
For Kjeldgaard, the homer ties him with Rogers for the team lead and Southern League lead with 20 roundtrippers this year. Huntsville tacked on an insurance run in the eighth inning with an RBI single by third basemen Shea Vucinich.
While the offense ultimately put the Stars back on top for good, the win for Pena was ensured by a dominant bullpen effort for the Stars.
In the seventh and eighth inning respectively, righties Greg Holle and Kevin Shackelford sent down the Baybears in order, recording one strikeout apiece.
To finish up the game, righty David Goforth notched his third save of the sending when he sent down the heart of the Mobile order in the ninth inning.
On Saturday, the Stars will play the rubbermatch of a five-game series against the Mobile BayBears at Joe Davis Stadium. Huntsville will send RHP Brooks Hall (1-4, 5.06 ERA) while Mobile will counter with RHP Bo Schultz (5-2, 2.76 ERA).
This will be the final meeting between the Stars and BayBears in the regular season this year. Huntsville is 4-5 against the first half Southern League South champs this year.
First pitch on Saturday is 6:43 CT.
Courtesy: Stars Media Relations