Pensacola Captures Series Against Chattanooga With 8-1 Win

August 2, 2015

For 7.2 innings, Pensacola Blue Wahoos pitcher Barrett Astin gave up just two hits to the Chattanooga Lookouts — a team third in the Southern League in team hitting at .261.

Astin also struck out a season-high nine Lookouts as Pensacola pulled out an 8-1 win and captured the first series this season against Chattanooga, 3-2, Saturday at AT&T Field.

In the third inning, Pensacola would get all the runs they needed when first baseman Marquez Smith lined a double to score left fielder Jesse Winker and go up, 1-0. Right fielder Juan Duran then singled in Smith for a 2-0 lead.

Smith and Duran were the stars of Pensacola’s 15-hit attack on Saturday. Smith was 2-4 with two doubles, scoring three runs and driving in two more. He now has a team-leading 17 doubles on the year with a team-leading 37 RBIs and is batting .275.

Duran was 3-5 with four RBIs, including two RBIs. He has 22 RBIs and is batting .308 in 29 games for Pensacola.

Pensacola third baseman Seth Mejias-Brean got on base four times, going 2-3, with two walks, one run scored and also drove in his 37th run of the year. Meanwhile, DH Sean Buckley also reached base four times on three hits and a walk in five total at bats.

The team hit a season-high eight doubles in the game, the most since hitting seven against April 20th at Birmingham. Bryson Smith, Jesse Winker, Kyle Skipworth and Buckley each added a double a piece to the evening.

Astin cruised into the eighth and got the first two batters out before walking the next two batters and giving up a run scoring single to shortstop Jorge Palanco. In seven starts since June 29 with the Blue Wahoos, Astin is 3-2 with a 3.48 ERA. He has struck out 37 batters in 44 innings with the Double-A team.

The Blue Wahoos travel to take on the Jacksonville Suns beginning Sunday.

Blackwater Forest Home To First-Ever XTERRA Triathlon This Weekend

August 1, 2015

XTERRA, the global sport of off-road triathlon that has been contested world-wide for over 20 years, comes to the area this weekend.  One Sunday, a sold out field of 150 athletes will swim, bike, and run in and around Bear Lake in hopes of claiming the first ever XTERRA Blackwater title.

Staged in the beautiful Blackwater River State Forest at the Bear Lake Recreation Area, the race consists of an 800 yard swim, a 13 mile mountain bike and a 3.75 mile trail run.

Nine states will be represented once the start gun fires.  Included in the field is accomplished pro triathlete Sara McLarty.  The Clermont, FL, resident was the 2005 USA Triathlon Rookie of the Year, a member of Team USA in the 2007 and 2011 Pan-Am Games, and has numerous top 10 and top 5 finishes at premier triathlons around the world.

Hosted by SOML Racing (So Others May Live), a non-profit organization consisting of Naval Aviation Rescue Swimmers, families, and friends, it’s an organization that strives to be a formidable force in the lives of those whose seek to better themselves mentally and physically, as every Navy rescue swimmer knows, “So Others May Live!”

Wahoos Even Series With Win Over Chattanooga

August 1, 2015

Cody Reed (W, 1-0) was stellar in his organizational debut Friday night at AT&T Field in Chattanooga, leading the Blue Wahoos to a 4-1 win to even the series. Reed earned the win while matching his season-high with seven strong innings allowing just a first-inning run. He walked only one and struck out six.

The Lookouts took advantage of a leadoff double in the first inning by Shannon Wilkerson to take a 1-0 lead. The game stayed that way until Pensacola rallied in the seventh. With Juan Duran at second after a one-out double, Seth Mejias-Brean ripped a groundball right between the legs of the first baseman D.J. Hicks. Duran scored on the error to tie the game and snap Pensacola’s scoreless streak at 15 innings. Mejias-Brean scored the go-ahead run when Sean Buckley singled him home later in the inning.

The Wahoos added to their lead with a couple more runs in the eighth. Duran came through again with a two-run single scoring Ryan Wright and Jesse Winker to make it a 4-1 game. Duran led the offense with a 3-for-4 night including the two RBI and a run scored.

The bullpen finished strong for the Blue Wahoos. Kevin Shackelford pitched a scoreless eighth inning in his third outing since returning from the disabled list. Zack Weiss picked up his 13th save by striking out the side in order in the ninth.

Chattanooga’s Greg Peavey (6-3) took the loss after allowing two runs, one earned, on five hits over 6.1 innings.

Pensacola will look for their third series win of the second half tomorrow night. RHP Barrett Astin (2-2, 3.96) is expected to be activated prior to the game going up against LHP David Hurlbut (7-4, 3.77). First pitch is set for 6:15 CT from AT&T Field in Chattanooga, Tenn.

The Blue Wahoos are on a 10-day road trip against the Chattanooga Lookouts and Jacksonville Suns.

Ernest Ward Cheerleaders Attend Summer Camp; Five Named ‘All American’

July 30, 2015

The 2015-2016 Ernest Ward Middle School Cheerleaders attended a three-day Universal Cheerleaders Association camp at the school this week, learning new cheers, stunts, chants and dances for the upcoming year.

Five of the girls were chosen as UCA All-American and will have the opportunity to to cheer in the Thanksgiving Day Parade at Disney’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando.

Award presented included:

  • Anna Adams- All American and Most Improved
  • Lexi Broadhead- All American
  • Jada Crabtree- All American
  • Ashlan Harigel- All American, Dancing Diva and Camp MVP
  • Cloe Smith- All American and Best Attitude

Pictured: Ernest Ward Middle School UCA All-American cheerleaders (L-R, standing) Cloe Smith, Ashlan Harigel, Lexi Broadhead, Jada Crabtree, and (kneeling) Anna Adams. Submitted photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Blue Wahoos Win In Extra Innings

July 30, 2015

It took 10 runs, 16 hits and seven pitchers, but the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (18-14, 43-57) got back into the win column after a 10-9 win over the Chattanooga Lookouts (12-18, 55-43) at AT&T Field Wednesday night.

With multi-hits from four different players, Pensacola registered season-highs in runs, hits and RBIs in the extra-inning game. Both Juan Perez and Beau Amaral went 3-5 with a run and three RBIs while Juan Duran went 3-5 with two runs and a RBI. Seth Mejias-Brean went 2-3 with two runs, an RBI and a walk.

The Blue Wahoos started the game by scoring two runs on three hits in the first inning for an early lead. After a leadoff single, Ryan Wright scored off of Duran’s RBI single. Duran later scored off of Perez’s single to shallow left field.

Starting pitcher Tim Adleman left the game in the second inning with an elbow injury after giving up one hit in 1.2 innings. RHP Jacob Johnson came into relief and threw 3.1 innings of work allowing two runs on five hits in his first appearance for the Blue Wahoos since being transferred back from Louisville.

With two-outs in the second inning, Pensacola added two more runs to the scoreboard as Duran got his second single of the game and Seth Mejias-Brean notched his 12th double of the season. Perez knocked them in with a double to the right field wall. Perez’s three RBIs are a season-high and the most since July 20, 2014 for the Bakersfield Blaze.

The Lookouts got on the board in the fourth inning as Stuart Turner was walked by Johnson and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Levi Michael doubled on a line drive to right-center field to score Turner.

In the fifth inning, Marquez Smith was walked and advanced to third on a deep double to left field by Duran for his third hit of the night. Smith scored on a sacrifice fly by Mejias-Brean as the Blue Wahoos took a 5-1 lead.

Heiker Meneses scored for Chattanooga in the bottom of the fifth off of a RBI double by Max Kepler to make the game 5-2. LHP Joel Bender came into the game for the Wahoos in the sixth inning and gave up two runs on three hits to make it 5-4.

After a few quiet innings, the Lookouts went on a scoring rampage in the eighth. Meneses started the inning with a single. Patrick Shuster came in to replace Miguel Celestino on the mound. Celestino promptly gave up a home run to Kelpler. After a single, fielding error and two walks, Aderlin Mejia drove in two runs to take an 8-5 lead.

The Blue Wahoos began a comeback and tied the game 8-8 in the ninth inning. Beau Amaral hit a one-run single to score Ray Chang. Smith double to right field to drive in both Cam Maron and Amaral.

In the top of the 10th, the Blue Wahoos scored two runs on Amaral’s double to right field scoring both Mejias-Brean and Perez.

Zack Weiss, who came into the game in the ninth inning, registered his first career Double-A win going 2.0 innings recording three hits, one run, one walk and one strikeout.

The Blue Wahoos are on a 10-day road trip against the Chattanooga Lookouts and Jacksonville Suns.

Wahoos Fall To Lookouts

July 29, 2015

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos (17-14, 42-57) got off to a hot start but fell to the Chattanooga Lookouts (12-17, 55-42) at AT&T Field Tuesday night.

Wahoos starter Daniel Wright (7-8, 4.66) fell after three consecutive wins on a night in which he gave up seven runs on nine hits in 3.2 innings. Most of the damage came in the decisive fourth inning, when the Lookouts had seven runs on six hits and a pair of walks. He was relieved by Wandy Peralta, newly a member of the bullpen, who went 3.0 and gave up a run on four hits.

Chattanooga’s Brett Lee (1-4, 4.25) earned his first Double-A win in nine tries this season as he went 5.0 innings while allowing three runs (two earned) on three hits.

The Wahoos struck first in the second with a three-run inning keyed by a two-RBI double from Seth Mejias-Brean, who lead the Wahoos at the plate as he went 2-4. He would later score on a throwing error to make it 3-0.

After a few frames of quiet baseball, the Lookouts made some noise in the bottom of the fourth as they scored seven runs on six hits, taking a 7-3 lead and chasing Wright out of the game in the process.

The Wahoos attempted to cut into the lead in the top of the fifth as they loaded the bases without a hit, but they came up empty as Lee was able to hold strong.

The Lookouts added to their lead as Shannon Wilkerson drove in a run on a double to right field, making the score 8-3.

The Wahoos threatened again in the eighth as Juan Duran’s double and Mejias-Brean’s single put runners at the corners with nobody out. However, the Wahoos came up empty.

RHP Kevin Shackelford did not give up a hit in the eighth inning as he made his 20th appearance since April 25. Since then, he’s gone 1-3 with a 1.50 ERA (four earned runs in 24.0 innings of work) with nine walks and 12 strikeouts.

The Wahoos have now dropped four straight after reaching the top of the division last week at 17-10.

The Blue Wahoos are on a 10-day road trip against the Chattanooga Lookouts and Jacksonville Suns.

Northview Grad Weeks Inks With Jeff Davis Baseball

July 28, 2015

Northview High School graduate Brett Weeks has signed a full baseball scholarship with Jefferson Davis Community College in Brewton. Weeks was part of Northview’s district and regional championship teams and the’s first appearance in the state final four. Pictured: Brett Weeks (center), his mother Julie Weeks, father Ray Weeks (right) and Northview Coach Marty Lister (standing). Photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Wahoos Drop Series To Biloxi

July 27, 2015

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos started off the first inning by scoring a run against the Biloxi Shuckers for the fourth time in the five game series.

Shuckers pitcher Jorge Lopez allowed the run on a double by Blue Wahoos shortstop Zach Vincej and an RBI-single by Jesse Winker to start the game and tie it at 1-1.

However, Pensacola would not get another hit off Lopez until 14 batters later in the fifth when Blue Wahoos catcher Yovan Gonzalez singled to left field.

Biloxi would go on to pull out a, 10-2, victory on 14 hits and win the last three games of the series over Pensacola in front of 4,173 Sunday at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium.

The Shuckers improved its record to 11-4 in three series against the Pensacola Blue Wahoos—its best record against a Southern League team. The Shuckers are also 11-4 against the Jacksonville Suns.

Lopez, who entered the game 1-1 against Pensacola, improved to 9-4 with a 2.72 ERA after surviving the first inning. The 22-year-old righty retired 11 in a row through the fourth inning. The Milwaukee Brewers No. 15 prospect has not allowed more than three earned runs in his last nine starts dating back to June 2.

Pensacola Manager Pat Kelly said Biloxi’s starting rotation impressed him this series.

“It came down to starting pitching,” Kelly said. “We just got outpitched this series.”

Although Kelly said he likes his rotation and bullpen, he’s interested in seeing the pitchers the Cincinnati Reds may send Pensacola’s way following its trade of starter Johnny Cueto to the Kansas City Royals on Sunday.

The Shuckers improved to 14-15 (57-40) in the second half of the Southern League South Division. The loss dropped Pensacola to 17-13 (42-56) in the second half and they remained tied for second with the Mississippi Braves.

Zach Vincej led Pensacola at the plate, going 1-2 with a double to center field, earning two walks and scoring a run. He has hit .348 in July (23-66) — his best month this season — to raise his season average to .264.

Against Pensacola, Shuckers left fielder Victor Roache extended his on-base streak to 11 games. Roache tore up Pensacola pitching, hitting .474 (9-19), including a two-out, three-run homer Sunday in the third inning that put Biloxi up, 4-1.

“We didn’t pitch him very well,” Kelly said of Roache. “When we made a mistake, he didn’t miss, that’s for sure.”

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos start a five-game series against the Minnesota Twins Double-A affiliate the Chattanooga Lookouts, followed by a five-game series against the Miami Marlins Double-A affiliate the Jacksonville Suns. The Blue Wahoos next home game is scheduled at 6:35 p.m. Friday Aug. 7 with the Chicago White Sox Double-A affiliate Birmingham Barons.

Biloxi Beats The Wahoos

July 26, 2015

After being shut down for seven innings getting only one hit — a solo home run by left fielder Jesse Winker — the Pensacola Blue Wahoos lineup came alive in the eighth and ninth innings getting a double, two singles and a walk.

However, Pensacola’s hopes for a comeback against the Biloxi Shuckers fell short, 4-2, and the Shuckers evened the series at two games apiece in front of a sellout crowd of 5,038 at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium. It was the 19th sellout of the season in 47 home dates and 123 since Pensacola’s first season in 2012.

There were plenty of theatrics in the ninth inning and not just at bat.

Home plate umpire Alex Ziegler ejected Pensacola catcher Kyle Skipworth over an alleged argument on a foul tip. Skipworth, who was behind the plate, took his catcher’s gear off and threw it toward the umpire. Pensacola manager Pat Kelly came out in the middle of the argument and was ejected. Kelly threw his helmet and hat down, took off his jersey and threw it to the ground and then ejected each of the umpires on the field.

Kelly said afterward that he was mad because the home plate umpire wouldn’t admit any wrongdoing after both teams argued about his strike zone throughout the game.

“My temper is good for 30 seconds,” Kelly said. “Once I reach 30 seconds, then it’s over. I don’t carry a grudge. I get it out of my system.”

Pensacola shortstop Juan Perez doubled off Shuckers reliever Jacob Barnes and scored on center fielder’s Bryson Smith’s single in the eighth that cut Biloxi’s lead to 3-2. However, Biloxi came back in the ninth and scored a run when third baseman Taylor Green scored on a perfect squeeze bunt by Shuckers catcher Parker Berberet to go up, 4-2.

In the ninth inning, first baseman Marquez Smith walked and right fielder Juan Duran singled but they were both left on base.

Kelly credited Biloxi’s left-handed starter Hobbs Johnson and reliever Jacob Barnes.

“They have good pitching and we face another good one tomorrow,” said Kelly, referring to Shuckers Jorge Lopez (8-4, 2.70). “That’s how they won the first half.”

For the third time against Biloxi this series, Pensacola smacked a solo home run in the first inning. Bryson Smith did it Wednesday, Ryan Wright did if Friday and Winker did it Saturday.

Winker smacked his seventh homer of the year and earned his team-leading 35th RBI to put the Blue Wahoos up 1-0.

It was the only hit Biloxi pitcher Johnson, the Milwaukee Brewers No. 23 prospect according to Baseball America, gave up in his seven innings of work. Johnson, in fact, retired 16 Blue Wahoos in a row from the second inning through the seventh inning before reliever Barnes came on.

Perez doubled in the eighth off the Shuckers reliever to end the streak of 17 straight Blue Wahoos set down.

Zack Weiss gave up his first run in relief since July 16 when Berberet’s squeeze bunt scored Green to put the Shuckers ahead, 4-2. In his 15 appearances since June 15, Weiss has given up just three runs in 17 innings for a 1.59 ERA. The Blue Wahoos closer has converted all 10 save opportunities and struck out 26 batters.

Biloxi went ahead, 2-1, in the second inning when Green doubled in two runs. In the top of the sixth, Biloxi shortstop Nick Shaw scored on a deep fly ball by first baseman Nick Ramirez to make the score, 3-1, Shuckers.

The Shuckers improved to 13-15 (56-40) in the second half of the Southern League South Division season. The loss dropped Pensacola into second place behind the Mobile BayBears at 17-12 (42-55) in the second half.

The final game of the five-game series is scheduled at 4:05 p.m. Sunday with the Milwaukee Brewers Double-A affiliate Biloxi Shuckers. RHP Barrett Astin (2-1, 3.45) takes the mound for the Wahoos and is scheduled to be opposed by Shuckers RHP Jorge Lopez (8-4, 2.70).

Biloxi Ends Wahoos Win Streak

July 25, 2015

No one expected the Pensacola Blue Wahoos to win the final 42 games of the season.

Although, Pensacola manager Pat Kelly said jokingly that he would have liked that.

The Biloxi Shuckers – the first half champions – ended the Blue Wahoo’s four-game win streak and 11 straight wins at home with a 3-2 victory Friday in front of 4,348 at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium.

The loss dropped Pensacola into second place behind the Mobile BayBears at 17-11 (42-54) in the second half of the Southern League South Division race.

For the first four innings, the Blue Wahoos breezed along. Pensacola second baseman Ryan Wright belted his first home run of the year, a solo shot, to left field to give the Blue Wahoos a 1-0 lead.

Wright has played in four games since coming off the disabled list with back spasms July 20 and is hitting .429 (6-14) with two doubles, one homer and four RBIs.

“It was a first pitch fastball,” said Wright, who scored both of Pensacola’s runs. “I think I took him (Tyler Wagner) by surprise a little bit. But I wanted to be aggressive and that was the best pitch I saw all night. He’s a very good pitcher. We’ve seen him a few times this year.”

Meanwhile, Pensacola starter Tim Adleman started the game by setting down the first nine Shuckers before walking second baseman Nate Orf. He threw four hitless innings before the Shuckers scored three times on two hits in the fifth to go up, 3-1.

Biloxi left fielder Victor Roache scored an unearned run and then pitcher Tyler Wagner took matters into his own hands. His double rolled to the left center wall to score third baseman Taylor Green and catcher Adam Weisenburger and give the Shuckers a 3-1 lead.

Wagner had a season-high 11 strikeouts in seven innings against the Pensacola lineup and improved to 7-5 with a 2.53 ERA. His two RBIs also helped his cause. The Milwaukee Brewers No. 10 prospect according to MLB.com had been 0-3 with a 2.77 ERA in four starts in July, getting just six runs of support from Biloxi’s lineup.

Wagner made one appearance with the Brewers against the Arizona Diamondbacks May 31 and lasted 3.2 innings giving up five runs on nine hits.

Kelly said Wagner was impressive.

“He singlehandedly won the game for them,” Kelly said. “He was throwing a helluva game. We got some guys on base but he didn’t give us a lot of opportunities.”

Pensacola cut Biloxi’s lead to, 3-2, in the sixth inning when right fielder Juan Duran doubled off the left field wall to drive in Wright, who singled up the middle to lead off the sixth inning.

Pensacola went down in order in the seventh and eighth before putting the tying run on second and the winning run on first. But second baseman Ray Chang hit a line drive to first baseman Nick Ramirez, who caught the ball and tagged pinch runner Juan Perez out to end the game.

The fourth game of the five-game series is scheduled at 6:35 p.m. Saturday with the Milwaukee Brewers Double-A affiliate Biloxi Shuckers. RHP Josh Smith (5-2, 3.00) takes the mound for the Wahoos and is scheduled to be opposed by Shuckers LHP Hobbs Johnson (6-4, 3.36).

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