JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jake Marisnick crushed a two-run, walk off home run to give the Jacksonville Suns (9-5, 43-38) a 6-5, come from behind victory over the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (7-7, 32-51) at Bragan Field.
The Suns trailed 5-2 after seven innings and 5-4 after eight, but Marisnick stepped to the plate with one on and one out in the ninth and hit a no-doubt shot to left, giving Jacksonville a series victory in front of 2,137 fans at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.
"Jake can hit one out of the ballpark at any time," said Suns manager Andy Barkett following the walk off win. "I was hoping [someone] could get on base…so we'd have a chance to at least tie the game."
Pensacola built its 5-2 lead against Suns starter Anthony DeSclafani, dealing the young right-hander his least successful outing since joining Jacksonville from High-A Jupiter. After Ryan Fisher put the Suns ahead 2-1 with a two-run homer, DeSclafani endured a four-run fourth from the Blue Wahoos, one that included a two-run triple from Travis Mattair.
DeSclafani was spared the loss when Marisnick hit his dramatic ninth inning blast, but still surrendered the most runs of any start in his minor league career. The right-hander went four and two thirds innings, allowing five earned runs on five hits, striking out three and walking two.
"He was up [in the strike zone]," Barkett said of his starter. "He grinded through it as best he could but he got hurt a couple of times."
Trailing 5-2, the Suns could not rally against Pensacola starter Daniel Renken but were able to break through against their division rival's bullpen in the eighth. Zack Cox drove in J.T. Realmuto with a run-scoring single to cut the lead to 5-3. Cox later came in to score on Fisher's RBI groundout to lessen the deficit to one.
Noah Perio singled against Drew Hayes (2-2) to start the bottom of the ninth, and Marisnick hit his tenth home run of the season two batters later to send his team and the crowd home happy.
Having earned a series victory with the triumph, the Suns will try to make it four out of five against Pensacola in the series finale on Wednesday. Right-hander Jay Jackson (2-5, 3.33) is scheduled to make the start for the home squad, while Pensacola turns to right-hander Josh Smith (5-6, 3.65) in an attempt to salvage the final game of the five-game set. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. ET.
Suns fans can listen to Wednesday's game on the Suns Baseball Network, 94.1 WSOS-FM or through jaxsuns.com, MiLB.com or the Suns iPhone or Android app, beginning at 6:50 p.m. ET with Suns Sunday on the UF Health Suns Pre-Game Show. The game will also be televised locally in Jacksonville on The CW 17 in high definition, with coverage beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET.
Fans can celebrate Independence Day early on Wednesday Night with the Suns' giant pre-4th of July Fireworks Spectacular, Military Appreciation Night with Red, White & Blue Jersey Auction, Mr. Bragan's Birthday Commemoration and Blood Drive. The Suns will salute the Military by wearing special patriotic Red, White & Blue Jerseys that will be available for silent auction during the game with proceeds going to the USO. Fans can win the jersey off of their favorite players back, sponsored by Northrop Grumman, CW17 & 99.1 WQIK.
After the game is the biggest fireworks show of the year to celebrate the Holiday, courtesy of the Brumos Companies. Also the Geico Bike from "American Chopper" will be on display. The Blood Alliance Bloodmobile will be at Bragan Field and the Suns encourage all fans to donate blood. The first 25 donors receive 2 tickets to the game, a hot dog and soda voucher and a special Suns gift.