JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Suns used a three-run seventh and a two-run eighth to create some separation from the Mobile BayBears as the Suns earned a berth in the Southern League Championship Series with a 9-1 victory in game four of the South Division Championship Series on Monday from Bragan Field.
The Suns have won 13 of their last 14 games heading into the championship series. Suns Manager Andy Barkett isn't surprised at his team success.
"They're a comeback team," Barkett said. 'They're a resilient team. They play hard for 27 outs. They're playing with a will to win that I haven't seen as manager. It's been fun to watch."
The game remained scoreless until the top of the fourth when Mobile hopped on the board with a single run. Brandon Drury scored from second base on Todd Glaesmann's RBI single to give the BayBears a 1-0 lead after three and a half innings of play.
But the Suns struck right back to tie the game and then take the lead with a four-run bottom of the fourth. RBI singles from Joe Benson and Isaac Galloway, a Jay Rogers RBI and a bases-loaded walk to Austin Nola gave the Suns a 4-1 lead with four innings complete.
A lengthy rain delay with Viosergy Rosa on second base and Joe Benson at the plate with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning forced Sunday's game four to be suspended and resumed on Monday beginning at noon.
Well after game four had resumed play on Monday afternoon, Jacksonville added to its lead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh. Austin Nola and J.T. Realmuto came around to score on Viosergy Rosa's two-run double to extend the Suns' lead to 6-1 after seven innings.
The Suns furthered their advantage by scoring three more times in the eighth inning. The Suns got their first run of the inning on Tom Belza's fielding error on a ball put in play by Danny Black and added two more on a two-run double by Austin Nola to expand the lead to 9-1 in favor of the Suns and cap off the scoring in game four.
In total, game four featured two hours and eight minutes of two separate rain delays.
With the victory, the Jacksonville Suns are headed back to the Southern League Championship Series for the first time since 2010, when the defeated the Tennessee Smokies in four games to be named Southern League champions.
The Suns will begin the Southern League Championship Series on the road on Wednesday at Chattanooga.