Conine Homers Twice, Sets RBI Record In Wahoos 9-6 Win

June 9, 2023

Griffin Conine learned the night earlier that he was going to be moved up to second in the Blue Wahoos batting order.

“Pretty shocked. I was nervous to be honest,” he said. “I haven’t hit in the first inning all year. You have to be ready right away.”

He was ready, all right, producing in a big way to forever remember in Pensacola’s 9-6 slugfest win against the Montgomery Biscuits on Mullet Thursday at Blue Wahoos Stadium.

Conine, the franchise home run leader, blasted a pair of two-run homers, including the first pitch he saw in the first inning, then drew a bases-loaded walk for a fifth RBI that made him the team’s all-time leader in runs batted in. He passed Travis Mattair in that category with 128 in his three seasons in Pensacola.

“I think you want to be a clutch player and drive in runs,” said Conine, who reached base four times and scored three runs. “That’s what it’s all about. There are a lot of different things to measure a good hitter and RBI isn’t really one of them, but that’s what it’s all about so definitely a good one to have.”

Amid a crowd of 4,321, the team took on its Thursday alternate identity as the Pensacola Mullets and used a big start to take a second win in the series.

Conine’s two-run homer in the first inning came on a first-pitch fastball, exited at 114 mph and traveled 447 feet over the right-center berm.

“I was looking to pull something. I wanted to get in the (batters) box and be ready to go right away,” Conine said. “Can’t let one go by.”

The Blue Wahoos then scored three runs in the third inning on a RBI double from Norel González, run-scoring single by José Devers and Cody Morissette’s sacrifice fly.

Conine followed in the fourth inning with an opposite-field homer to left to provide a 7-3 lead. In the eighth inning, Conine drew a bases-loaded walk for his fifth RBI, further padding the Blue Wahoos’ lead.

The Biscuits hit three homers, all solo shots in the game, including one in the ninth.

The Blue Wahoos had their top reliever, Sean Reynolds, and top hitter, Dane Myers, elevated Thursday to Triple-A Jacksonville.

Conine and teammates carried the night. It was his first multi-homer game of the season, fifth in his Blue Wahoos career, and gave him four homers in the past week.

“Our offense is really tough to face, top to bottom,” he said.

Blue Wahoos starter M.D. Johnson matched his longest start of the season. He worked six innings, allowing three runs on nine hits with two strikeouts and a walk.

He worked out of trouble in the second inning after a solo homer from Logan Driscoll, then a pair of two out singles with two outs. In the fifth inning, he stranded two runners with one out, then had a clean sixth inning.

The series now shifts to the weekend where the Blue Wahoos will have their top pitcher, Patrick Monteverde (6-1, 2.16 ERA), on Friday night against the Biscuits’ Victor Munoz (4-3, 6.68).

by Bill Vilona, photo Nino Mendez / Pensacola Blue Wahoos


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