Wahoos Top Braves

July 15, 2017

Pensacola Blue Wahoos left fielder Tyler Goeddel smacked a double into the left field corner to score shortstop Blake Trahan for the first walk-off hit in his six-year professional career.

The run gave Pensacola a 2-1 victory Friday over the Mississippi Braves in front of 4,221 at Blue Wahoos Stadium. The five-game series is tied, 1-1.

“That was nice,” Goeddel admitted, as his teammates mobbed him at second base. ”My previous at bat, he attacked me with a lot of fastballs. I wanted to be aggressive early in the count.”

Goeddel ripped the ball into the left field corner where Mississippi’s Tyler Neslony picked it up and rocketed it to the cutoff man who dropped the ball allowing Trahan to score from first base. It was the Blue Wahoos fourth walk-off this season.

Goeddel has been the batter Pensacola wants at the plate with the game on the line. He drilled a double to center field Tuesday against the Chattanooga Lookouts that propelled the Blue Wahoos to victory. The next day the 24-year-old smoked a line drive over the left field wall to tie the score, 3-3, to lead off the seventh inning. It was his fifth homer of the season.

He has seen his batting average plummet from a high of .292 to a low of .247 in the opener of the five-game series Thursday against Mississippi. Despite going 9-45 in July and 5-33 in his last 10 games, Goeddel said he feels comfortable at the plate. That would explain his two home runs and seven RBIs this month.

“This is the first slump in my life where I still feel good at the plate,” Goeddel said. “I’m just missing pitches. I hope to get a nice streak to finish (the season) off.”

Pensacola manager Pat Kelly said Goeddel was one of the best hitters in the Southern League two years ago when he played for the Montgomery Biscuits, hitting 12 homers, driving in 72 RBIs and batting .279. Last year, Goeddel played 92 games with the Philadelphia Phillies and hit .192 in 213 at bats.

“Tyler is a good hitter,” Kelly said. “He’s been going through a tough stretch…but got that big hit tonight.”

Pensacola right-hander Jesus Reyes also came through for the Blue Wahoos Friday in his first Double-A start. The 24-year-old Dominican worked five scoreless innings, allowed two hits, walked two and struck out five.

In 15 starts this season for the High-A Daytona Tortugas, he compiled a 6-5 record and 3.78 ERA. This month, Reyes was 0-2 for the Tortugas but posted a 2.13 ERA.

“I was really impressed,” Kelly said. “His first time out in Double-A, I thought he would be a little anxious and nervous. But he had a good three-pitch mix.”

Mississippi threatened to blow the game wide open in the eighth inning when it loaded the bases with no outs against Pensacola middle reliever Robert Stock. However, Stock got Braves third baseman Austin Riley to ground out into a double play. Mississippi center fielder Steven Gaylor, who lead off the inning with a ground ball past the second baseman into center field, scored to knot the game, 1-1. Stock then struck out first baseman Joey Meneses, who entered the game hitting .298, to end the inning.

“To get out with one run, that was super,” Kelly said.

Pensacola went ahead, 1-0, in the fifth inning when catcher Joe Hudson scored on third baseman Nick Senzel’s chopper to third base that didn’t draw a throw and was ruled a single. Senzel, that MLBPipeline.com ranks as the Cincinnati Reds top prospect, extended his hitting streak to 14 games.

Although Mississippi left-handed starter Tyler Pike walked seven batters, he had not allowed a base hit until Trahan laced a single to left field in the fifth inning. Pike walked a career-high eight in 2.1 innings against the Chattanooga Lookouts in his June 28 start.

Trahan went 3-4 in the game and scored the winning run. Kelly said Trahan has worked hard on his hitting with Cincinnati Reds roving instructors Hall of Famer Barry Larkin and Eric Davis. The 23-year-old is batting a career-low .218.

“Blake did a really good job,” Kelly said. “I’m pleased he took what he learned into the game.”

Pensacola evened its record at 11-11 in the second half. The South Division first half champions are 51-41 overall. Mississippi is 5-16 in the second half and 39-52 overall.


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