HUNTSVILLE, ALA. (JULY 7, 2014) - Starter Tyler Pike (1-1, 3.68) struggled in his fourth start for the Generals (6-13, 37-51) as the Huntsville Stars (9-10, 55-34) even the series with Jackson with a 6-2 victory Monday night in Huntsville. Pike went 2.1 innings and allowed five runs in his second shortest outing of the season. The Generals lose despite the first four-hit performance from Monday's leadoff hitter Jack Marder since July 11, 2012.
Huntsville scored first for the second game in a row as they plated two runs in the first inning. With the bases loaded and nobody out Nick Ramirez grounded into a force out that scored Josh Prince and Joey Paciorek followed with the same fate as his ground ball could not induce a double play and Adam Weisenburger scored the game's second run for the 2-0 Stars lead.
Jackson quickly leveled the score in the second as Dan Paolini (1x4, R) singled and John Hicks (2x3, R, HR, 2 RBI) followed with his third home run of the season, his first since May 23 at Jacksonville. But the score would not stay tied 2-2 for long.
After taking it easy on Pike in the second inning, Huntsville ramped up the pressure again as D'Vontrey Richardson doubled with two on and one out to bring home Ramirez and Paciorek. Brandon Macias followed with an RBI single that Richardson scored on and the lead was three runs for the Stars, 5-2.
Pike threw 28 pitches in the first inning, which foreshadowed his outing. He allowed five runs on four hits in his 2.1 innings, walked four and suffered his first Double-A loss. Matt Brazis (0-0, 2.45) came in, basically right off the plane from Adelonto, Calif. and did not seem jet lagged at all. He was impressive in 3.2 innings and allowed just one run on one hit as he struck out three and retired 11 of the 12 batters he faced in his Double-A debut.
Greg Hopkins led off the sixth inning for Huntsville with his sixth home run of the season to push the advantage out to 6-2. It was the only mistake made by Brazis in his outing.
Brent Suter picked up the win for the Stars with 6.0 innings of seven-hit ball in which he allowed just two runs on the homer by Hicks. Suter did not allow much offense from the Generals, but Jack Marder (4x4) did have a particularly nice day as he had four hits for the first time in a Jackson uniform. Hicks also added a base hit to his home run for a two-hit night.
The Generals and Stars will meet in the rubber game of the series Tuesday at Joe Davis Stadium. Jackson will send Matt Anderson (3-3, 4.37) to the mound as they attempt to win their first series in the second half. Andy Moye (4-1, 3.96) will oppose Anderson and the hill for Huntsville. The game will begin at 6:30 p.m. and can be heard on 96.5 ESPN, TuneIn Radio and jacksongeneralsbaseball.com.