Hostetler’s Homers Lift Wahoos To 5-2 Championship Series Opening Win

September 20, 2023

Bennett Hostetler went 3-for-5 with a double and two home runs as the Pensacola Blue Wahoos opened up the Southern League Division Series with a 5-2 win over the Montgomery Biscuits on Tuesday night.

The Blue Wahoos return to Pensacola needing just one more win to advance to the Southern League Championship Series in their pursuit of back-to-back league titles. The Blue Wahoos will host Game Two on Thursday, and if necessary will host Game Three on Friday.

Every Blue Wahoos run came on home runs in an offensive attack reminiscent of their regular season success. Jake Thompson opened up the scoring with a two-run blast off Montgomery starter Patrick Wicklander (L, 0-1) in the second inning, and Hostetler added a solo shot in the third for an early 3-0 lead.

Luis Palacios (W, 1-0) was his own worst enemy in the bottom of the third, committing a fielding error on the mound that opened the door for a Tanner Murray RBI double. The Pensacola starter then allowed a Kenny Piper solo homer in the fourth, trimming the lead to 3-2.

Hostetler delivered the final jolt of the night in the fifth, launching a two-run homer out to left field to put the momentum back in Pensacola’s favor. It marked the first multi-homer game in Blue Wahoos postseason history.

Palacios pitched into the sixth, handing the ball off to Zach Willeman to strand a runner at second base. Luarbert Arias dazzled with four strikeouts over 2.0 scoreless innings of relief, and Dylan Bice (S, 1) worked a 1-2-3 ninth for the save.

Needing just one more win to advance, the Blue Wahoos will have an off day on Wednesday before the best-of-three series turns back to Pensacola on Thursday.

by Bill Vilona, photo Nino Mendez / Pensacola Blue Wahoos


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