JACKSONVILLE, FL - The Mobile BayBears won in Jacksonville for the first time in 2013 on Saturday night, downing the Suns 4-2 with a pair of runs in the top of the 9th inning.
The night began as a pitchers duel between Zeke Spruill and Matt Neil, and evolved into a battle of the bullpens late.
Spruill and Neil kept the game scoreless into the 5th, when both offenses were finally able to break through. Mobile started the scoring in the top of the inning on a sacrifice fly from Rossmel Perez, and made it 2-0 when Spruill poked a single into right.
The Suns responded in the bottom of the inning, scoring a run on a pair of doubles, but Spruill was able to avoid further damage by inducing a 4-6-3 double play off the bat of Christian Yellich with one out and the bases loaded. That would be Spruill's last pitch, as he departed the game with the lead for the first time all season. He finished with four strikeouts, and allowed the one run on three hits and three walks.
The game remained 2-1 into the bottom of the 8th, when the Suns tied it up with more late inning drama. Derek Dietrich did it again. Less than 24 hours after his pinch-hit walk-off home run, he sent a Steve Garrison curveball out of Bragan Field with two outs, and the two teams headed to the 9th tied 2-2.
The BayBears didn't waste any time grabbing the lead back. Jon Griffin led off with a double down the line in right and Brent Clevlen brought him home with a triple to straight away center field. Raywilly Gomez scored Clevlen on a sacrifice fly in his first plate appearance at the AA level, and the two run lead was enough for Derek Eitel in the 9th.
Eitel, who had recorded the final out of the 8th inning, retired the Suns in order in the 9th, and earned the victory to improve to 2-0.
Game four of the series will get underway at 2:05 CT on Sunday afternoon, with Anthony Meo (0-0, 3.38) squaring off against Robert Moorey (0-1, 4.15).