Fitterer Fantastic Again As Blue Wahoos Blank Barons

May 11, 2024

written by Bill Vilona

Evan Fitterer produced a special delivery.

Fitterer wove another gem, working six scoreless innings in near-flawless fashion, then got a pair of home runs from teammates in Pensacola’s 3-0 victory Friday night against the Birmingham Barons to wow a capacity crowd of 5,038 at Blue Wahoos Stadium.

Fitterer set a record for most scoreless innings (20.1) by a Blue Wahoos pitcher since becoming a Miami Marlins affiliate in 2021. In his past three starts, Fitterer, 23, a Mission Viejo, California native, has allowed just seven hits and had 15 strikeouts in the stretch.

“It’s really special for me. Obviously, it’s great to go out there and never give up runs,” said Fitterer, who threw 50 strikes in 85 pitches Friday. “To start the year and the ERA is in double digits, you want to see that go down. So, throwing 20 scoreless (innings) really helps that, so that feels good.”

The Blue Wahoos (18-13) have now opened a first-place divisional lead after taking three of the first four games from Birmingham (20-10), which entered this series as the Southern League’s top team and North Division leader.
“The mood is ecstatic,” Fitterer said. “It’s as good as you would expect. It’s a long season and everyone has their routines and that really doesn’t change whether you are winning or losing, but everyone has been happier.
“The pitchers, especially, have been happy that everyone has been throwing the ball really well.”

In a pitching duel against the Barons’ Mason Adams, the Blue Wahoos gave Fitterer a lead when shortstop Harrison Spohn hit a one-out homer in the fifth inning, his third of the season.

In the sixth inning, Joe Mack doubled home Nathan Martorella, who had reached on a swinging bunt that became a three-base throwing error. In the eighth, fellow newcomer Jakob Marsee joined with his impact – blasting a solo homer over the right field wall.

Fitterer faced his toughest situation when the Barons had runners on first and third the sixth inning. But he painted the edge of the plate with a perfectly located fastball to fan dangerous designated hitter Tim Elko, a former Ole Miss star, to end the inning.

“It was a big situation,” Fitterer said. “Sometimes, I feel like it’s a little bit easier to hit your spot when you know you have to hit it. Those are the situations I love. I love pitching in high pressure.”
The game was a sprint, completed in just two hours, eight minutes.

The Blue Wahoos will now try to clinch the series win on Saturday

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