Jacksonville Suns Win 2009 Southern League Championship

September 21, 2009 - Southern League (SL)

News Release

MARIETTA, GA - The Jacksonville Suns capped a dominant postseason run by closing out the Tennessee Smokies in Game 4 of the Southern League Championship Series, clinching their first league title since 2005 with a 7-3 win Saturday night at Smokies Park.

Jacksonville won six of seven postseason games and swept the Birmingham Barons, who posted the third-best record in professional baseball this season, in the Southern League Division Series. It is the fourth league title for Jacksonville and first as a Marlins affiliate. The Suns also hold league records for most division titles (12) and most postseason appearances (17).

Suns outfielder and leadoff man Bryan Petersen was named Most Valuable Player of the Southern League Championship Series, batting .421 (8-19) at the plate. Petersen launched a game-tying two-run homer in the second inning of Game 3. He also led the league in postseason batting with a .400 average (14-35) through seven games.

Jacksonville\'s pitching staff also deserves some credit, as the Suns led all playoff teams with a 2.56 ERA. In particular, Game 4 starter Elih Villanueva provided a big spark. In his first postseason start, Villanueva allowed three runs on five hits through five innings and belted a three-run homer that gave the Suns a lead they would never relinquish in the series-clinching game.

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