The Jacksonville Suns are BACK to BACK Southern League Champions!! They had one hell of a season all the boys deserved it, not saying the Tennessee Smokies didn't.
The game was won in dramatic fashion, walk of home run in the bottom of the 9th by Chris Hatcher, hitting .071 in the playoffs. Hatcher was sent up to the Marlins during the end of the regular season, the Marlins optioned him back to the Suns to help them out during the playoffs. At first I wondered why did he get promoted, then it was really how is he suppose to help us?, then during the games he did barely anything offensively which then made him an automatic out in my mind, but then he did the unexpected walk off home run to give the Suns the win, the championship!
The MVP award of the Southern League playoffs went to Jeff Corsaletti, an obvious and very appropriate choice. Corsaletti had two games where he won the games with a home run. Corsaletti has offically hit for .450 in the playoffs. Corsaletti was signed as a free agent just recently by the Marlins, he played with the Suns toward the end of the season then was sent down to GCL Marlins to be sent back for the playoffs, and thank God he was!
Like I said in yesterdays post this game was going to be exciting, but it was all in the first pitch of the 9th inning that Hatcher rocked out of the stadium. I am so proud of the Suns players, this is the first team that I got to know players personally, so it's all the much better. I'm very glad I was able to say good bye to most of the ones I had talked to regulary. I wish them all the best of luck with their careers, I'm sure all of them will have a great future, and have a great offseason. I'd love to see them all in the majors, and of course I will be one of those people that brag about knowing them.
Anyhow the game win went to Sandy Rosario who pitched in the 9th inning for the Suns allowing 1 hit and 1 strike out. Luke Sommer of the Tennessee Smokies got the lose only pitching 0.2 innings (1 out in the 8th and one batter in the 9th) allowing 1 hit, 1 earned run, 1 strike out (in the 8th), and of course allowed that game winning home run.
Tomorrow when the pictures are posted I'll put a link up. I really didn't think of bringing my camera. I really should of but I don't tend to watch the game as much when I do.
Also if anyone thinks Minor League Baseball isn't real baseball, they have never seen a Southern League game, specially a play off game. Every player plays with heart, they all want to win, they all play for a shot in the bigs, and it's just a great atmosphere!
Link to the box score: http://bit.ly/bxKe45
Jacksonville Suns article "Hatcher Walk-Off Home Run Sends suns to Fifth Southern League Championship" by J.P. Shadrick, Sun's radio broadcaster and writer: http://bit.ly/dzoVXC
MiLB article "Suns walk off with second straight title" by Robert Emrich: http://bit.ly/9RWAhZ
Jacksonville.com article "Jacksonville Suns repeat as Southern League champions" by Jeff Elliott: http://bit.ly/aqELTK
PHOTOS: by Jacksonville.com, photographer Don Burk: http://bit.ly/bEoEa5