Blue Wahoos Complete Big Week With Special Mother’s Day Win

May 13, 2024

written by Bill Vilona

The Blue Wahoos wore their usual pink, floral jerseys, but many added pink-colored shoes, batting gloves and even pink bats to recognize Mother’s Day.

No matter the occasion, however, the ballclub has so far performed its Sunday best.

After spotting Birmingham a pair of first-inning runs, the Blue Wahoos responded with a pair of three-run innings and their pitching did the rest in a 6-4 victory against the Barons, thus putting a rose bouquet on with five wins against a first-place opponent at Blue Wahoos Stadium.

If this series against the Southern League’s hottest team were a gauge, the Blue Wahoos (20-13) figure to like this performance measurement heading into a new week. The Barons (20-12) entered the series with a 19-7 record that was by far the best in the league.

The Mother’s Day win, delighting a crowd of 4,302 that included many moms and their children, pushed the Blue Wahoos to a 5-1 record on Sundays this season. This one included a parade of area school children before the game, between-inning contests with mothers involved, and families on the field afterward playing catch in the outfield.

“We’re pumped. We’re awesome,” said Joe Mack, the Blue Wahoos catcher and designated hitter, who went 3-for-5 Sunday to cap a big for him, as the team now hits the road for a six-game series against Montgomery.

“We’re ready to go, ready to get that series going and get us started off hot,” Mack said in a post-game interview with Blue Wahoos broadcaster Carter Bainbridge.

Mack went 9-for-22 in the six-game series with two RBI. He reached base at least twice in each of the last four games.

“Just being more simple with it and believing in the process and believing in God and everything. That is the main factor of life,” said Mack, who grew up in Williamsville, New York, located near Buffalo, and was chosen in 2021 by the Miami Marlins in the competitive balance round of that draft.

“Just not trying to do too much and keeping my approach to the left side to the field and just put myself in a good position to help the team as best as possible,” Mack said, when reflecting on his approach Sunday.

After the Barons took a 2-0 lead against Blue Wahoos starter Paul Campbell, who then settled into a groove, the Blue Wahoos quickly answered in their half of the first inning.

The first five Blue Wahoos batters reached base against Barons righthander Drew Thorpe, the Chicago White Sox No. 3 overall ranked prospect, who was dominating in his earlier start this week. He carried a 5-1 record and 1.01 earned run average into the game.

It was different this time around. Thorpe did not survive the first inning.

With the bases loaded, Thorpe gave up an RBI single to Mack, followed by a two-run single to Paul McIntosh. After being lifted with two outs in the first, the Barons used five relievers.

The Blue Wahoos, meanwhile, countered with four relievers to follow Campbell, who earned his fourth win in working five innings, giving up five hits, recording five strikeouts and issuing just one walk.

After the Barons tied the game in the fourth inning, the Blue Wahoos answered with a 3-run fifth inning that became decisive.

Nathan Martorella led off with a single, went to third on Mack’s double, then McIntosh was intentionally walked to load the bases. Jacob Berry hit a ground ball that third baseman Jason Matthews bobbled for no play, thus scoring Martorella.

Cody Morissette had an RBI groundout and Harrison Spohn added an RBI single to make it a 6-3 lead.

The final four innings, the Blue Wahoos bullpen took over. In the ninth, however, the Barons made it suspenseful when by loading the bases with one out. Blue Wahoos reliever Matt Pushard induced a run-scoring groundout for the second out and then got dangerous clean-up hitter Tim Elko to fly out on a 1-2 curveball to end the game.

The Blue Wahoos will take Monday off, then leave on Tuesday morning for Montgomery and their second road series against the Biscuits. They lost five of six games to Montgomery in the second week of the season, but have since played well with a 13-3 record in their last three series.


WHO: Blue Wahoos vs. Montgomery Biscuits

WHEN: Tuesday Thru May 19th.

WHERE: Riverwalk Stadium, Montgomery, Alabama.


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