Mobile Takes Season Opener From Pensacola

July 22, 2014

Minor league baseball’s strikeout kings for most of the season went head-to-head Monday night at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium.

The result? The Pensacola Blue Wahoos Ben Lively retook the strikeout mantle with four strikeouts for 135 on the year. But the Mobile BayBears Aaron Blair had 9 Ks to up his total to 134 on the season and got the win in his Double-A debut.

Plus, Blair earned the first hit off Lively in the game in the fifth inning with a bloop single to left field.

Mobile won the opening game of the five-game series, 6-3, extending its winning streak to seven games. The BayBears are now 44-4 when leading after the seventh inning and the first half Southern League South Division winners now lead the second half, too, with a 20-9 record and are 62-36 overall.

Meanwhile, Pensacola fell to 10-21 in the second half and 41-60 overall.

Lively, who fell to 0-4, was trying for his first win at Double-A with the Wahoos, but left the game after walking the first two batters in the seventh and reliever Carlos Gonzalez allowed one of those BayBears to score. Lively did not allow a hit for the first 4.1 innings and only gave up two singles but ended up walking seven.

Blair, the Diamondbacks No. 3 prospect according to MLB.com, said his debut win was even more special since he and Lively have known each other for four years, playing in the same division in college, pitching as teammates for the same team in Cape Cod League (summer collegiate) and facing each other in High-A.

“It was about as good a debut as you can hope for,” Blair said. “It was cool getting to pitch and hit against a good friend.”

Lively, a Gulf Breeze product, said he feels no pressure about getting his first win of the season for the Wahoos. Lively has allowed 25 walks, hit 2 batters and given up 23 hits in 30.2 innings for Pensacola, so far.

“Once I have good games and not give up a lot of free passes and put up zeros the wins will start coming,” he said. “If I make the right pitches, I can get anybody out.”

Pensacola manager Delino DeShields gave Lively a pep talk outside the locker room after the game, telling him to stay in control of his emotions.

“Ben, even though he walked seven guys, still gave us a good game,” DeShields said. “I’m still waiting for him, and I don’t want to say this the wrong way, to control his emotions. I think it’s getting the better of him sometimes.”

Pensacola kept from getting shutout for the 11th time when catcher Ross Perez hit a two-out, three-run shot over the right field wall that made the final score, 6-3.

The second game of the five-game series with Arizona Diamondbacks Double-A affiliate the Mobile BayBears gets underway at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. RHP Daniel Corcino (8-8, 4.36) takes the mound for the Wahoos and is scheduled to be opposed by the BayBears RHP Mike Lee (6-4, 4.14).

by Tommy Thralll

Still Time To Register For Northview QB Club Softball Tournament

July 21, 2014

The Northview High School Quarterback Club will host a double elimination coed softball tournament August 2 at Showalter Park in Century from 8 a.m. until. The cost is $150 per team. Proceeds will go to support the Northview Chiefs football program.

For more information or to sign up a team, call Amy at (850) 516-8400 or Tony at (850) 516-5736.

Suns Take Finale Over Wahoos

July 21, 2014

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos (10-20, 41-59) dropped the series finale, 5-2, to the Jacksonville Suns (18-11, 54-45) at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville on Sunday afternoon. With the loss, the Wahoos fell to 1-7 over their last eight games.

The Wahoos jumped out to an early lead when starting pitcher Michael Lorenzen singled home his battery mate Ross Perez in the second inning. The Wahoos put together little more offensively, despite receiving three hit days from both Perez and center fielder Yorman Rodriguez.

In his first start since July 1, Lorenzen was able to work through the first three innings of the game unscathed, but the Suns put three runs on the board to take the lead in the bottom of the fourth. Catcher Austin Barnes homered for the second straight day to open up the inning and tie the score at one. Following the solo home run, Joe Benson doubled down the third base line and later scored on Brady Shoemaker’s double into left field. That gave the Suns a lead they would never relinquish. Shoemaker later came home to score on a Wilfredo Gimenez groundout.

The Suns tacked on another run in the fifth thanks to Barnes’ second homer of the game and they put the game away in the bottom of the eighth when Alfredo Lopez scored Alex Burg on an RBI single to right field. The Wahoos fought back in the top of the ninth with Ryan Wright scoring on an error, but Perez left a man in scoring position when he grounded out to end the game.

Lorenzen took the loss for the Wahoos, allowing 4 R/ER on eight hits while striking out two batters. RHP Drew Hayes pitched well in relief of Lorenzen, allowing just one hit over 2.1 innings of work.

RHP Jose Urena earned the win for the Suns; he allowed 1 R/ER over 5.2 innings of work. Urena struck out five, walked three and gave up seven hits. RHP Matt Ramsey earned the save for the Suns.

Pensacola returns to Bayfront Park for a five-game set with the Mobile BayBears on Monday. The Wahoos will send Gulf Breeze native Ben Lively (0-3, 4.38) to the mound for game one of the series. RHP Bradin Hagens (8-4, 3.95) is set to start for the BayBears.

by Joey Truncale

Suns Sink Wahoos 6-2

July 20, 2014

The Jacksonville Suns scored all six of their runs over their final two innings to sink the Wahoos 6-2 and spoil a stellar start by Wahoos right-hander Tim Adleman. The Wahoos starter opened the game with a season-high six shutout innings but didn’t pick up a decision.

With the Wahoos leading 2-0, the Suns took over the lead on a three-run home run from Austin Barnes off reliever James Walczak (L, 2-5) in the seventh inning. Two of the runs were charged to Adleman who allowed a single and a walk to open the inning, and left the game before recording an out. Aldeman was charged with just the 2 R/ER over 6.0 innings. He allowed just six hits with five strikeouts and only one walk.

Pensacola scored both of its runs in the fifth inning on a fielder’s choice and RBI single. Those runs broke up a scoreless tie led by Adleman and Suns starter Justin Nicolino. Both pitchers matched zeros for the first four innings of the game before Pensacola broke through first. Nicolino allowed just the 2 R/0 ER on six hits over 6.0 innings. He added five strikeouts without issuing a walk.

The Suns put the game away with three runs in the eighth inning. Wahoos relievers walked four batters in the inning to ignite the rally. Jacksonville only collected one hit in the inning, a two-run double from Brady Shoemaker.

Walczak took the loss after getting charged with 4 R/ER on two hits with three walks over 1.1 innings. Frankie Reed (W, 1-0) picked up the win out of the Suns bullpen. He worked just one shutout inning for his first win of the year.

For the second straight game Ryan Wright paced the offense for the Blue Wahoos. He finished 2-for-3 with a walk for his second consecutive multi-hit game. Jacksonville locked up the series and the season series with the win over the Blue Wahoos securing the Suns’ possession of the golden skillet traveling trophy.

Pensacola will try to end the road trip on a high note Sunday. RHP Michael Lorenzen (4-4, 2.45) will start for the Blue Wahoos against Suns RHP Jose Urena (7-7, 4.24). First pitch is set for 2:05 p.m. CT.

by Tommy Thrall

Wahoos Snap Skid

July 19, 2014

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos broke a 1-1 tie with seven runs in the fifth inning on their way to snapping a five-game losing streak with an 8-3 win over the Jacksonville Suns on Friday night at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. Wahoos starter, Robert Stephenson, left the game early after being struck by a line drive in the sixth inning.

Juan Duran’s three run home run highlighted the big fifth for the Wahoos. It was Duran’s team-leading 12th home run of the season. The Blue Wahoos used seven hits to score the seven runs, five of those were singles. The Suns committed an error and walked one to help fuel the rally.

Stephenson was struck in the right thigh by a line drive off the bat of Austin Nola leading off the sixth inning. Stephenson completed the play by picking up the ball and getting the out at first base but left the game. He walked off the field under his own power and there are no updates on his status at this time. The right-hander finished the night with just one run allowed on only two hits over 5.1 innings. He struck out one and walked one in the winning effort.

Offensively, the Blue Wahoos had five hitters with multi-hit games. Ryan Wright led the charge with a 3-for-5 night. Yorman Rodriguez, Kyle Waldrop, Ross Perez and Travis Mattair all added a pair of hits each.

The Suns’ Robert Morey suffered the loss. He pitched well over the first four innings, but ran into trouble in the fifth. He was charged with 6 R/ER on eight hits over 4.1 innings.

Pensacola will try to make it consecutive wins on Saturday night with RHP Tim Adleman (2-4, 3.30) on the mound against Suns LHP Justin Nicolino (8-3, 3.12). First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. CT from the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.

by Tommy Thrall


Suns Burn Wahoos In Double Header In Jacksonville

July 18, 2014

The Jacksonville Suns swept the Blue Wahoos in Thursday’s doubleheader winning game one 2-0 and prevailing in game two 4-2. The Suns’ Jay Rogers (W, 5-2) dominated the Blue Wahoos in the first game. The right-hander held the Blue Wahoos to just one hit over a seven inning complete game shutout. The lone hit came in the third inning from Blue Wahoos starting pitcher Daniel Corcino (L, 8-8).

Jacksonville got both runs on a two-run double from Terrence Dayleg in the fourth and never looked back. Corcino took the loss despite allowing just four hits and the two runs. He struck out five and walked just one. Rogers struck out a season-high nine batters over his seven shutout innings.

In game two, the Blue Wahoos scored single runs in the second and third innings to claim a brief 2-1 lead. Jacksonville responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third. Dayleg came through again with an RBI double to tie the game, and he scored on a single a batter later. The Suns added an unearned insurance run in the fifth to put the game away 4-2.

Jon Moscot (L, 5-9) took the loss in game two. He allowed 4 R/3 ER over 5.0 innings. He surrendered eight hits with a walk and three strikeouts. Jacksonville’s Steve Ames (W, 1-1) earned the win with 1.0 scoreless innings out of the bullpen. Nick Wittgren (S, 14) recorded the final four outs of the game for the save.

Pensacola has now dropped five straight, but looks to snap the streak Friday in Jacksonville. The Blue Wahoos will send RHP Robert Stephenson (4-6, 3.97) to the mound against Suns RHP Robert Morey (1-0, 2.79). First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. CT

by Tommy Thrall

Fall Tryouts Set For West Florida Elite Softball

July 17, 2014

Fall tryouts are coming up soon for West Florida Elite softball.

West Florida Elite was established in 2003 with a mission to assist female athletes in the development of their softball skills to prepare them for a future as a college student athlete. The organization has had over 100 players play at the collegiate level and is recognized as one of the top softball organizations in the Gulf Coast Region.

Their goal is to provide athletes an opportunity to compete at the highest level possible by playing  the most competitive tournaments throughout the southeast. The 2014 West Florida Elite  class had 18 players sign a National Letter of Intent to play at the next level.

Tryouts for 12U and 14U will be held Saturday, July 26 at Tate High School. Tryouts for 10U, 16U and 18U will be held August 9 and 10 at Tate.

For more information and a registration form, click here.

Wahoos, Suns Rained Out

July 17, 2014

Due to heavy rain, and more expected on the way, the Blue Wahoos and Jacksonville Suns series opener at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville has been postponed. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader beginning at 5:35 p.m. Thursday night.

Both games will be seven inning contests with the second game beginning approximately 45 minutes after the completion of game one.

The Blue Wahoos are expected to go with RHP Daniel Corcino (8-7, 4.40) in game one and RHP Jon Moscot (5-8, 3.10) is expected to follow in game two.  The Suns are going to start Major League rehabber RHP A.J. Ramos in game one followed by RHP Robert Morey (1-0, 2.79) in the second game. Ramos is only expected to pitch one inning and will be followed by Suns scheduled starter RHP Jay Rogers (4-2, 4.06).

by Tommy Thrall

Gulf Coast Storm 12U Takes Second In Gulf Coast Nationals

July 16, 2014

The Gulf Coast Storm 12U travel baseball team placed second in the 11-team Nations Gulf Coast Elite National Championships this past weekend at the NEP ballpark.

After losing their first bracket game in the double elimination tournament, the Gulf Coast Storm battled back to win five straight.  The Storm won the first championship game, forcing a second winner-take-all game.

The Gulf Coast Storm will play their last tournament of the year this weekend in Biloxi. Gulf Coast Storm team members are from the Pace, Pensacola and Cantonment areas.

Pictured: (front, L-R) Trevor Norton, Adam Nisewonger, Grant Gill, Cody Gavin, John Pinette,  Hunter Smith, (back, L-R) Parker Tubb, Cole Fryman, Cameron Bailey, T.J. McCants, Timmy Williams, Sam Shackle and Chase Tolbert. Not pictured are Head Coach Matt Faust and Assistant Coach Mike Norton. Photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Montgomery Biscuits Take Series With 4-3 Win Over The Wahoos

July 15, 2014

In his last three starts, Mikey O’Brien has pitched in High-A Bakersfield, Calif., Triple-A Louisville, Ky., and then returned to Double-A Pensacola.

But O’Brien said Monday all the travel didn’t bother him as he went up against Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Jeremy Hellickson and held his own, leaving after seven innings with a 3-2 lead.

However, the Montgomery Biscuits came from behind in the eighth inning with two runs to win the game, 4-3, and to take the series, 3-2, in front of 4,050 fans at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium.

O’Brien pitched his longest outing of the season, going seven strong innings. He retired the last 12 batters he faced and 15 of the last 16. O’Brien allowed four hits, two earned runs, one walk and struck out three.

“I don’t mind traveling as long as I have a job and I am out on the mound every fifth day,” O’Brien said. “For the most part, I felt locked in and in a groove.”

Blue Wahoos manager Delino DeShields said it was one of O’Brien’s best outings for Pensacola.

“He ran into a little trouble in the third but outside of that he was in total control out there,” he said.

Meanwhile, Hellickson, who made his season debut Tuesday in Tampa Bay against the Kansas City Royals, got in six innings of work. He had arthroscopic surgery on his throwing elbow in January. Hellickson looked just fine Monday, striking out 11 Wahoos, including seven of the last eight batters he faced. He walked none, while giving up just one run.

“I was just treating tonight like it was a real game,” said Hellickson, a righty who is 39-31 with a 3.69 ERA in five seasons with Tampa Bay. “It’s the best I’ve felt command wise and with my changeup. I was pretty happy with how my day went.”

O’Brien said he found Hellickson’s work on the mound fun to watch.

“I’ve enjoyed watching him pitch for the last couple of years,” O’Brien said. “He showed tonight why he’s a Major Leaguer.”

Hellickson is scheduled to start for High-A Charlotte on Sunday. He rejoins Tampa Bay’s rotation at the start of its first post-All-Star break homestand, a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox from July 25-27.

“I’m looking forward to it quite a bit,” said Hellickson about his second start for the Rays, after allowing one run and six hits with two strikeouts and one walk in 4.1 innings against the Royals.

Pensacola took the lead, 3-2, in the seventh inning on an opposite field solo home run by Kyle Waldrop and a line drive shot over the left field wall by Juan Duran. Duran’s solo homer tied him with the second most homers in Blue Wahoos history in a season with 11. Travis Mattair holds the single-season record, hitting 13 dingers last season.

The Blue Wahoos are off Tuesday during the Major League All-Star Game. They start a five-game series on the road at Miami Marlins Double-A affiliate the Jacksonville Suns that gets underway at 6:05 p.m EST Wednesday. RHP Daniel Corcino (8-7, 4.40) takes the mound for the Wahoos and is scheduled to be opposed by the Suns LHP Chipper Smith (3-3, 4.02).

by Tommy Thrall

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