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33rd Sellout Sees Stars Edge Fish 3-2

7th Inning Suicide Squeeze Bunt Gives Stars 5th Straight Win
July 26, 2012
Huntsville center fielder Josh Prince dropped down a suicide squeeze bunt in the seventh inning for what turned out to be the game-winning play, while left fielder Khris Davis launched his seventh homer of the season to lead the Stars to a 3-2 victory over the Pensacola Blue Wahoos in front of a capacity crowd of 5,038 on Thursday evening at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium.

It was the fifth straight win for Huntsville, who also clinched a series victory and improved to 16-17 in the second half, while the Fish fell to 18-15 mark since the league's All-Star Break. The sellout was the 33rd of the year for the Blue Wahoos in their 52nd home opening this year.

For the third straight night, Pensacola scored the game's first run, with LF Donald Lutz leading off the second frame by launching a longball to right center. The homer was the second since the left-handed slugger joined to Wahoos and gave the Fish the early 1-0 advantage.

Huntsville however answered back with single tallies in the third and fourth frames to take a 2-1 lead. Prince reached with a one-out double, before eventually coming plateward on SS Tommy Manzella's RBI single to right. The Stars subsequently scored in the next inning when Davis drove a solo homer to left, his seventh of 2012.

The Blue Wahoos would then even the count at 2-2 in the bottom of the fourth. 3B David Vidal doubled to deep center and moved to third on Lutz's single prior to a Stars fielding miscue, which brought home Vidal. Lutz later attempted to score on a fly out to right, but was gunned down by RF Kentrail Davis after Lutz ran into C Adam Weisenburger, who held on to the throw at the plate.

Huntsville would then break the draw in the seventh to grab the lead for good. 3B Hainly Statia led off with a base knock, took second on Kentrail Davis' single and third on an error, before Prince put down the suicide squeeze bunt to bring across Statia.

Manzella (2-5, 1 RBI) and Statia (2-4,1 R) each recorded two base knocks to pace the Stars, while Lutz (3-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI) led the Blue Wahoos with his three hits. 1B Beau Mills collected a hit in the sixth frame to extend his team-record on-base streak to 29 contests.

Huntsville starting pitcher Josh Stinson (6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 5 BB, 2 SO) earned the win to up his record to 11-5, while right-handers Darren Byrd (2.0 IP, 1 SO) and Brandon Kintzler (1.0 IP) combined for three perfect innings in support of Stinson. Byrd recorded his ninth hold of the season, while Kitzler notched his fifth save of 2012.

Pensacola starter Daniel Corcino (6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO) did not factor in the decision despite yielding just two earned runs on five hits in his six innings, while LHP Wilkin De La Rosa (0.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 SO) suffered the loss for the Blue Wahoos.

The Blue Wahoos and Stars are slated to meet again on Friday night, with first pitch scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at the bayfront stadium. Pensacola is expected to give the nod to RHP J.C. Sulbaran, while RHP Evan Anundensen is slated to toe the rubber for Huntsville.

As part of Fan Appreciation Friday, the first 2,000 fans to enter the gates on Friday evening will receive a giveaway courtesy of PayDay Human Resources. The club will also hold their own Blue Wahoos Olympics during the game in honor of the Summer Olympics beginning in London, England tomorrow, with off-beat Olympic competitions taking place.

Fans can also take advantage of Blue Wahoos Happy Hour, with drink and food specials taking place for the first hour after gates open. The stadium will be offering $2 small drinks and $5 burger baskets, which include fries. Blue Wahoos owner Quint Studer will also join fans on Saturday morning at 11:00 a.m. for the next installment of "Coffee with Quint" in the Hancock Bank Club, located on the third base side of the stadium.