Jacksonville Meets Montgomery Tonight

The Jacksonville Suns will defend its Southern League Championship tonight in the Southern League's South Division Playoffs tonight at the Baseball Grounds against the Montgomery Biscuits. It is the fourth time the Suns are in the playoffs in their six-year affiliation with the Dodgers.

Jacksonville won the first half of the season, while the Biscuits edged out the Suns for the second-half title to earn their spot in the postseason. The best-of-five series will begin with two games in Jacksonville followed by as many as three games in Montgomery to determine who will advance to the league finals against either Chattanooga or Huntsville from the North Division.

Should the Suns advance to the Southern League Finals, games three, four and five of the best-of-five series would be played in Jacksonville. The official schedule for the games will be released after the first round is complete.

Suns Sign New Agreement-- The Jacksonville Suns will remain the Double-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers through the 2008 season, thanks to a two-year agreement signed by both organizations this week.

The Suns and Dodgers have shared a mutually beneficial partnership that began in the 2001 season and has seen the Suns win two Southern League titles and countless players advance to the Major Leagues during that six year span. Last season, the Dodgers placed a bevy of prospects in Jacksonville en route to the league championship and Baseball America's Minor League Team of the Year honors.

"We couldn't be happier to have the Dodgers back on board for two more years," said Suns President Peter Bragan, Jr. "In addition to the tradition and prestige that comes with the Los Angeles Dodgers franchise, we've had some incredible teams and amazing talent come through here and we know the fans are looking forward to at least two more years of top Dodger prospects playing in Jacksonville."

"It's a tremendous situation for us to be in Jacksonville and play at the Baseball Grounds and the working relationship we have with the Bragans and the entire Suns front office is as good as any in all of baseball," added Terry Collins, Director of Player Development for the Dodgers. "We are excited to return to Jacksonville and will continue to try and give the quality of team the Suns fans so richly deserve."

Ogden Stops Chukars-- Ogden edged Idaho Falls 4-3 to assure the Raptors a second-place finish in the Pioneer League South's second half but that won't be enough to carry them to the playoffs. The losing Chukars, on the other hand, are in the post-season.

Orem won the South title in both halves so the team behind them with the best overall record will meet them in the first round and Idaho Falls did enough in the first half to make sure of that so all the Raptors can do now is pad their record.

That they did Wednesday , using good pitching and the long ball to come from behind for the win that took them to 19-18 for this half. Steve Johnson (5-5) won for the third straight time, pitching five innings in which he gave up nine hits but only three runs. He struck out six while walking four.

Rick Taloa ripped a two-run blast in the fourth , his 11th, and John Martin followed with a solo shot, his first as a pro, to pull Ogden back to a 3-3 tie. Carlos Santana then singled home the deciding run in the next inning. Both Santana and Josh Bell collected two hits.

Garret White followed Johnson with two innings in which he allowed only one hit, then Miguel Sanfler and Miguel Ramirez held the Chukars without a hit in the final two innings, Ramirez gaining his eighth save.

The two teams meet on more time today to conclude the regular season. The Chukars will go on to meet Orem in round one of the playoffs while the Raptors will be going home regardless of the outcome of the finale. --Bill Shelley

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