The Birmingham Barons blew a 4-3 lead in the ninth, surrendering a walk-off two-run double to Austin Nola in a 5-4 loss to the Jacksonville Suns at the Baseball Grounds in Jacksonville.
The Barons jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning thanks to a bases-loaded double by Kevan Smith against starter Jay Rogers. Smith finished 2-for-4 and has six RBI in two gams since the All-Star Break.
The Suns answered right back in the bottom half of the inning getting a sacrifice fly from former Baron Brady Shoemaker and RBI singles by Alex Burg and Alfredo Silverio against starter Chris Beck.
Beck settled down after the first inning, allowing just two hits over the next 6.0 IP and striking out a season-high seven batters over 7.0 IP.
The score remained tied at 3-3 until the 8th inning. The Barons loaded the bases against reliever Matt Montgomery on singles by Rangel Ravelo, Smith and Josh Richmond setting the stage for Jamie Pedroza. Pedroza worked a five-pitch walk against Montgomery, forcing home Ravelo and giving the Barons a 4-3 lead.
The Barons carried the 4-3 lead into the ninth but a one-out single by Danny Black and a walk to Isaac Galloway against reliever Brandon Hardin (0-2, 6.48) set the stage for Austin Nola's two-out two-run double, giving the Suns a 5-4 walkoff win.
Jared Mitchell finished 2-for-4 and is now 4-for-10 since returning to the Barons after the all-star break.
The loss dropped the Barons to 1-1 in the second half and 30-42 on the season while the win gave the Suns a 1-1 record in the second half and a 37-35 record on the season. The Barons will look to rebound tomorrow night as RHP Myles Jaye (0-6, 6.32) takes the hill agains LHP Justin Nicolino (6-2, 3.38). First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 PM CDT.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.