Early Deficit Too Large As Wahoos Drop Game One Of SLCS

September 25, 2023

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos dug themselves an early hole in Game One of the best-of-three Southern League Championship Series on Sunday evening, falling 8-4 to the Tennessee Smokies.

The Blue Wahoos will return to Pensacola, needing a win in Game Two on Tuesday night to keep their season alive and force a Game Three on Wednesday.

Evan Fitterer (L, 0-1) didn’t have his best command in his start for Pensacola, allowing six runs over 2.1 innings in the loss. He allowed the leadoff man to reach and score in all three innings in which he pitched.

In the first, he hit leadoff batter Matt Shaw on an 0-2 pitch before allowing an RBI double to BJ Murray and an RBI single to Owen Caissie. In the second, a leadoff walk to Pablo Aliendo came in on an RBI double from Ezequiel Pagan.

The Blue Wahoos got on the board with two singles and a Nasim Nuñez sacrifice fly against Brandon Birdsell (W, 1-0) in the top of the third, but the Smokies answered back with five runs in the bottom of the inning to put the game out of reach. Another leadoff walk was followed by an RBI double from Haydn McGeary before Fitterer departed.

Breidy Encarnación, who had worked 6.1 scoreless innings in his first taste of Double-A in the final weeks of the regular season, struggled to find the strike zone. After a bases-loaded hit batsman forced in a run, he allowed a Pagan sacrifice fly and RBI singles to Kevin Alcantara and Andy Weber to give the Smokies an 8-1 lead.

The rest of the Pensacola bullpen kept the Smokies off the scoreboard from the fourth inning on, but the Blue Wahoos were unable to get much going at the plate. Paul McIntosh lined a sacrifice fly in the eighth and Cody Morissette hit a two-run homer in the ninth, but it wasn’t nearly enough to erase the deficit.

After an overnight bus ride back to Pensacola, the Blue Wahoos will have Monday off and prepare for a must-win Game Two at Blue Wahoos Stadium on Tuesday night.

written by Erik Bremer/Blue Wahoos; photo Nick Grant/Smokies


One Response to “Early Deficit Too Large As Wahoos Drop Game One Of SLCS”

  1. Lou on September 25th, 2023 4:49 pm

    Great season once again. Go wahoos