JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Mobile BayBears hit three home runs and posted five runs in both the sixth and ninth innings in a 13-3 win that halted the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp's three-game winning streak before 10,254 saw the season's first Saturday Fireworks - a series that will continue through June 16 - at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.
After the first 2,000 fans received a T-shirt designed by Jumbo Shrimp fan Josh Reavis, Mobile (4-5) began the scoring in the first inning against Jacksonville right-hander Merandy Gonzalez (0-1). With two outs, BayBears third baseman Taylor Ward walked, and designated hitter Hutton Moyer hit his Southern League-leading fourth home run for a 2-0 Mobile lead.
BayBears right-hander Jose Rodriguez held Jacksonville (4-5) scoreless until the bottom of the fourth inning. Jumbo Shrimp designated hitter Eric Jagielo grounded an infield single down the third-base line, and left fielder Austin Dean singled to left field. Both runners advanced on first baseman Colby Lusignan's groundout to first base, before third baseman Brian Schales hit a two-out, two-run double to right-center field for the only runs in Rodriguez's 4 2/3 innings.
The Jumbo Shrimp took their only lead in the fifth inning against Mobile right-hander Jake Jewell (1-0). Center fielder Monte Harrison bounced a double over Ward at third base and scored when BayBears second baseman Connor Justus made a throwing error on right fielder John Norwood's infield single. Jewell did not allow a run for the rest of his 2 1/3 innings.
In the pivotal sixth inning, Gonzalez allowed first baseman Matt Thaiss's single, Ward's two-run home run to left field, and Moyer's single before being removed for right-hander Esmerling De La Rosa. The BayBears drew three more walks, and center fielder Brennon Lund's two-run single capped the five-run frame. Left-hander Jose Quijada allowed a seventh-inning run, and right-hander Jorgan Cavanerio surrendered Thaiss's three-run home run in a five-run ninth inning to make it 13-3.
UP NEXT: The Jumbo Shrimp conclude their home-opening series with Mobile at 3:05 p.m. Sunday, when Jacksonville right-hander Max Duval (0-0) is scheduled to face BayBears right-hander Dylan Unsworth (0-1). Gates open at 2 p.m., when families can play catch on the field, followed by Jumbo Shrimp player autographs as part of Baptist Health Sunday Family FUNday, presented by Baptist Beaches. Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo will throw a ceremonial first pitch. Free face painting, balloon animals, and kids crafts activities will be available in the Wolfson Children's Hospital Kids Zone. Minions characters will be roaming the ballpark, and following the game, kids 12 and under can run the bases. Making Strides for Autism, Inc., will have a sensory tent in the Legends of Jacksonville Baseball Wall of Fame hall (street-level, third-base side of the stadium), provided at no cost to ballpark guests. The game is presented by Easy 102.9.
ABOUT THE JUMBO SHRIMP: The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp offer affordable family fun at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. Their inaugural season garnered the Southern League's Don Mincher Organization of the Year, Promotional Trophy, and Jimmy Bragan Executive of the Year, won by General Manager Harold Craw. To experience the excitement with the terrific value of ticket and group options, call the Jumbo Shrimp at (904) 358-2846 or visit www.jaxshrimp.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.