JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp outfielder Austin Dean went 4-for-4, while catcher Rodrigo Vigil had a two-run home run and three RBIs to lead a 9-5 win over the Mobile BayBears before 6,960 watched the fireworks on Opening Day presented by Firehouse Subs.
After a ceremonial first pitch by Bette Bolivar, Commander Navy Region Southeast, JJ Grey performing the national anthem and a flyover by HSM-74, Jumbo Shrimp right-hander Cody Poteet kept Mobile (3-3) scoreless for four innings.
Jacksonville (2-4) opened the scoring against BayBears right-hander Jesus Castillo (1-1) in the third inning, when Vigil hit a leadoff infield single to shortstop Connor Justus and went to second base on Justus' errant throw. Designated hitter Kyle Barrett lined an RBI single to left field for a 1-0 lead.
Dean began the fourth inning with a single to shallow right field and went to third base on center fielder Monte Harrison's single to left field. Harrison stole second base before walks to third baseman Brian Schales and Vigil. Shortstop Chris Diaz grounded a two-run single to left field, and Barrett reached on a ground ball that Justus threw past his catcher at home plate. Once Castillo departed for right-hander Jeremy Rhoades, Jacksonville first baseman Eric Jagielo plated a run with a fielder's choice, and Dean's second hit of the inning - an infield single - to Justus, scored the last of six runs in the inning.
With a 7-0 lead, Poteet allowed a hit batter, walk and two hits to score two runs in the top of the fifth inning before leaving after 4 2/3 innings, allowing two earned runs on three hits and four walks with seven strikeouts. Right-hander Kolton Mahoney (1-2) came in for 2 1/3 innings, yielding three runs - one earned - on three hits.
Vigil's fifth-inning, two-run home run to left field - his first since July 27, 2014, with short-season Batavia - extended a 9-2 lead. After Mahoney, right-hander Esmerling De La Rosa pitched the final two scoreless innings of the 9-5 triumph.
UP NEXT: The Jumbo Shrimp continue their home-opening series with Mobile at 7:05 p.m. Thursday, when Jacksonville right-hander Nick Neidert (0-0) is schedule to face BayBears right-hander Luis Pena (0-0). Gates open at 6 p.m. for Budweiser Thirsty Thursday, when fans can purchase $1 12-oz. and $2 24-oz. beers adjacent to the Budweiser Tiki Terrace, on the left-field berm, along the right-field bleachers, and at the Oasis concession stand behind section 115. $1 small sodas are sold at the concession stands. Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack will throw a ceremonial first pitch. The game is presented by Power 106.1.
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.