Late Rally Not Enough As Wahoos Fall 5-4

September 16, 2023

Pregame rain returned Friday, continuing a week-long trend, thinning the crowd and delaying the Blue Wahoos game by nearly two hours on consecutive days.

The glum scenario has carried into a post-game feeling as well.

After trimming a 5-1 deficit with an eighth-inning rally, the Blue Wahoos fell short of ninth-inning heroics in a 5-4 loss against the Mississippi Braves at Blue Wahoos Stadium.

Once again, M-Braves closer Brooks Wilson locked the door with his second dominant performance in four nights. This time, his array of splitters led to a pair of ninth-inning strikeouts to seal the Blue Wahoos’ fate.

It was M-Braves’ third win in four games of this series.

What had been a sunny afternoon turned into a thunderstorm at 6:25 p.m. – 10 minutes before the scheduled start of Friday’s game. A one-hour, 50-minute delay. It was a similar scenario to Thursday’s game, which started well past the scheduled time.

The M-Braves produced three runs off Blue Wahoos starter Evan Fitterer in the fifth inning. The big hit was a two-run double by Bryson Horne.

The Blue Wahoos got a run back in the sixth on a two-out single from Norel González to score Nasim Nuñez, who had walked and stolen second base. At that point, it was Pensacola’s first hit since Paul McIntosh’s first inning single.

The M-Braves added a run in the seventh and another in the eighth against relievers Josan Méndez and Zach Willeman to open a 5-1 lead.

But in the bottom of the inning, the Blue Wahoos offense came to life. Nuñez reached on an error and scored on Will Banfield’s triple. Bennett Hostetler’s double scored a third run and Cody Morissette reached on a throwing error that scored Hostetler.

But Wilson retired the Blue Wahoos in order in the ninth for his second save in two days.

The Blue Wahoos will try to get back in the series on Saturday.

The M-Braves will be throwing former Florida Gators star Hurston Waldrep (0-0, 3.00 ERA) on Saturday. He was the Atlanta Braves’ No. 1 draft pick in July following a 2023 season with the Gators in which he helped Florida reach the College World Series.

The Blue Wahoos will have lefthander Jonathan Bermúdez on the mound (4-5, 4.94 ERA) for the fifth game of the homestand.

Pregame activities will begin at 5:45 p.m., including ceremonial first pitches and special guest introductions. The official first pitch of the game will be at 6:05 p.m.

by Bill Vilona, photo Nino Mendez / Pensacola Blue Wahoos


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