Suns Down Wahoos

April 23, 2014

The Jacksonville Suns and the Pensacola Blue Wahoos went back-and-forth Tuesday night at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, but in the end, it was the Suns that prevailed 6-5 to assure the series win with a game to play. Travis Mattair put the Wahoos in front with his first home run of the year, a solo shot in the seventh, but the Suns answered with two runs in the bottom of the frame to move ahead for good.

Mattair’s home run snapped a 4-4 tie, but the lead was short lived. The Suns capitalized on a leadoff walk and a hit batsman to move in front. Brady Shoemaker, who reached on the walk, scored on a wild pitch with the bases loaded. Shortly after, J.T. Realmuto scored from third on a ground out to short giving the Suns all they needed for the win. Pensacola had the tying run at second with one out in the eight but couldn’t score, and left the tying run at first in the ninth after a two-out single.

The Blue Wahoos had three two-hit games. Mattair led the way with a 2-for-5 night. He scored twice and drove in two runs. Rey Navarro (2-for-5, R, RBI) and Bryan Anderson (2-for-4, 2 RBI) had the other multi-hit games.

Jon Moscot started but didn’t get a decision. He logged 6.0 innings allowing 4R/3ER on six hits. He walked four and fanned three. Mikey O’Brien (L, 0-1) was tagged with the Suns runs in the seventh, thus getting charged with the loss.

The Blue Wahoos chased Suns starter Justin Nicolino from the game after just 4.2 innings. He was charged with 4R/ER on seven hits with two walks and just one strikeout.  Despite allowing Mattair’s go-ahead home run in the seventh, Edgar Olmos (W, 1-0) picked up the win in just one inning out of the bullpen. Grant Dayton (S, 2) held the Wahoos off over the last two innings to pick up the save.

The series concludes on Wednesday when the Blue Wahoos send RHP Michael Lorenzen (2-1, 1.45) to the mound against Suns RHP Jose Urena (1-2, 6.28). First pitch is set for 12:05 p.m. CT from the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.

by Tommy Thrall

Atmore Man Finishes 148th In Boston Marathon (With Other Local Results)

April 22, 2014

An Atmore man who has ran marathons for less than an year finished 148th of about 36,000 runners in Monday’s Boston Marathon.

Alan Ash, 22, finished the 26.2 mile course in just over two and a half hours — 2:33:54. The Escambia Academy graduate was the 127th overall fastest malee. During college, he ran cross country at Vanderbilt, and was the top local finisher at 17th overall in Mobile’s recent Azalea Trail Run.

Monday’s overall winner was Meb Keflezighi of the United States with a time of 2:08:37.

North Escambia area runners completing the Boston Marathon on Monday were:

  • Alan Ash, 22, Atmore – 2:33:54, Overall: 148
  • Eric J Kujawski, 39, Pensacola – 3:03:00, Overall: 2,856
  • Paul Epstein, 48 Pensacola – 3:07:36, Overall: 3,669
  • Timothy J. Moser, 42, Pensacola – 3:15:08, Overall: 5,313
  • Heather M, Asmar, 42, Pensacola – 3:16:22, Overall: 5,560 (82nd in division)
  • Cherie Epstein, 46, Pensacola – 3:37:27, Overall: 11,612
  • Veronica Brown, 43, Pensacola – 3:48:47, Overall: 14,964
  • Brian K. Spencer, 56, Pensacola – 3:59:31, Overall: 17,964
  • Gail Fry, 46, Pensacola – 4:13:57, Overall: 20,780
  • Mindi G. Straw, Pensacola -4:15:11, Overall: 21,007
  • Perry A. Palmer, Pensacola – 4:27:44, Overall: 23,111
  • Mark Rice, 53, Atmore – 5:16:36, Overall: 28,602

Lutz Hits For Cycle In Wahoos Historic 17-1 Win

April 22, 2014

Donald Lutz hit for the first cycle in Blue Wahoos franchise history on a night where the team set records for runs (17) and hits (21) in a 17-1 win over the Jacksonville Suns at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. The Blue Wahoos also snapped a five-game losing streak in the process.

The Wahoos jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the first inning and never looked back. Yorman Rodriguez launched the first of three Wahoos homers on the night, a two-run shot in the first inning.  The game got carried away when Pensacola, already leading 6-1, plated five runs in the sixth inning to move in front 11-1. The Blue Wahoos went on to plate six more runs over the next two innings.

Besides Lutz, Wahoos starting pitcher Robert Stephenson (W, 2-1) also had a remarkable night with what he did on the mound and at the plate. Stephenson fanned seven while allowing just 1 R/ER over 5.0 innings, but he also went 2-for-4 at the plate with three RBI. He was one of three Wahoos to drive in three runs. The others were Rey Navarro (3-for-7, 2 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI) and Juan Duran (2-for-5, 2B, R, 3 RBI). Everybody in the starting lineup collected at least one hit, and seven Wahoos starters had multi-hit games.

Lutz finished the game 5-for-6 with two doubles, two RBI, four runs scored, a triple and a mammoth solo home run in the cycle. He waited until his final at bat for the triple. With nobody out and a runner at first, he drove a ball off the wall in right-center field, and it caromed away from the Suns centerfield Isaac Galloway, allowing Lutz to coast into third for the third cycle of his career (other cycles: 7/21/11 w/Dayton, 7/10/09 w/ GCL Reds). He later scored to set the team record for runs in a game. The previous record was 16 scored on August 2, 2013 in Birmingham. That same game the Wahoos set the previous hit record with 17.

Stephenson ended up earning the win, his second, with Suns starter Angel Sanchez (L, 0-4) taking the loss. Sanchez was charged with 5R/4ER over 3.1 innings. He allowed seven hits, two walks with three strikeouts.

The Blue Wahoos look to stay hot and even the series on Tuesday against the Suns. Pensacola will send RHP Jon Moscot (0-1, 2.20) to the mound against Suns LHP Justin Nicolino (1-2, 3.38). First pitch from the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville is set for 6:05 p.m. CT.

by Tommy Thrall

FWC Makes Major Changes To Deer Hunting In Northwest Florida

April 21, 2014

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has passed changes that divide the state’s Hunting Zone D (from Pensacola to Tallahassee) into two deer management units (DMUs), each with a unique set of antler-point requirements and antlerless deer harvest days.

These changes take effect during the 2014-15 hunting season and are part of a larger, statewide project aimed at managing deer on a more local level and providing stakeholders with a greater say in deer management.

The FWC conducted a public outreach and input process in northwest Florida beginning in early 2013. Since then, the Commission has received substantial input and comments from hunters, farmers and the general public regarding how they would like to see deer managed in the newly proposed DMUs.

As a result of this outreach process, the FWC passed rules for both public and private lands in both of the DMUs in Zone D, with Interstate 10 being the dividing line between the two DMUs. South of I-10 will be called DMU-D1, and north of I-10 is DMU-D2.

Now bucks harvested south of I-10 in DMU-D1 must have antlers with at least 2 points (each point having to be at least 1 inch long) on one side and at least one antler 5 inches or more in length.

North of I-10 in DMU-D2, the minimum antler requirement is now 3 points (each point having to be at least 1 inch long) on one side and have at least one antler 5 inches or more in length, or have an antler with a main beam length of 10 inches or more.

The rule includes an exception for youth to the increased antler requirements in both DMUs whereby hunters 15 years old and younger may continue to harvest bucks that have at least one antler 5 inches or more in length.

The Commission’s action also changes the antlerless deer season (“doe days”) on private lands within Zone D. During antlerless deer season, does may be harvested as well as bucks with less than 5-inch antlers. But it is illegal to take spotted fawns.

In DMU-D1 (south of I-10), the antlerless season was reduced to four days consisting of two popular holiday weekends (the weekends after Thanksgiving and Christmas).

In DMU-D2 (north of I-10), antlerless deer season was lengthened to eight days distributed across four weekends (Saturday-Sunday after Thanksgiving, first weekend of muzzleloading gun season, third weekend of general gun season and the weekend after Christmas).

The purpose of modifying the antlerless deer season was to spread out the hunting opportunity, so that more hunters could participate without reducing deer populations. These changes will be monitored to measure any impacts they may have on deer harvest and hunter satisfaction within each DMU.

Suns Hand Wahoos Fifth Straight Loss

April 21, 2014

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos rallied back from three runs down to tie the game at four in the top of the ninth Sunday afternoon at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, only to have the Suns respond with the game-winning run in the bottom of the inning. The Wahoos have now dropped five straight. Rich Poythress singled home J.T. Realmuto from third with two outs in the ninth handing the Suns the 5-4 win. His game-winning hit marked the second day in a row Poythress has delivered a big hit against the Wahoos. He delivered a three-run home run on Saturday night.

Travis Mattair came up with a clutch two-out two-strike two-run double down the left field line to pull the Blue Wahoos within one in the top of the ninth. A batter later, Juan Duran’s infield single scored Yorman Rodriguez from third to even the game.

The Suns were in control early with three runs over the first five innings behind Marlins No. 1 prospect Andrew Heaney. Pensacola got to him for a run in the third when Rey Navarro singled home Brodie Greene, but the lefty retired the final 13 batters he faced. He was finished after 7.0 innings allowing just the 1R/ER while matching his career high with nine strikeouts.

Daniel Corcino started strong for Pensacola striking out the side in order to open the game. He then labored through his 4.2 innings. He walked and struck out five and surrendered 3R/ER on five hits. Drew Hayes took the loss allowing 2R/ER over 1.2 innings despite three strikeouts. Though he only faced and retired one batter in the top of the ninth, Greg Nappo earned the win for Jacksonville. The three game-tying runs were charged to Suns closer Nick Wittgren. He gave up 3R/ER on five hits in just 0.2 innings.

Navarro and Rodriguez led the Wahoos offensively with two-hit games in the losing effort.

Pensacola will look to get back in the win column on Monday with RHP Robert Stephenson (1-1, 5.56) on the mound against Suns RHP Angel Sanchez (0-3, 4.20). First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. CT from the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.

Jacksonville Sunds Burn Wahoos 9-4 In Series Opener

April 20, 2014

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos battled back from four runs down to tie the series opener with the Jacksonville Suns in the sixth inning on Saturday night, but the Suns countered with a five-run rally to put away Pensacola 9-4 at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.

With Pensacola trailing 4-1 in the top of the sixth, Sean Black singled in his first professional at bat to extend the inning for Juan Duran. He proceeded to blast his second homer of the season, a three-run shot to tie the game at four. The Suns answered with five runs in the bottom of the inning against Wahoos relievers Black and Fabian Williamson. The Suns used four hits, three were doubles, and two walks to build the rally.

Brodie Greene broke out of his drought with a two-hit game including a double and a run scored. Yorman Rodriguez (3-for-4, RBI, R) and Duran (3-for-4, R, HR, 3 RBI) led the way offensively for the Wahoos.

Daniel Renken got the start for Pensacola and went 3.0 innings allowing 4R/3ER on six hits with three strikeouts. Black took the loss after allowing 3 R/ER over 2.1 innings. Suns starter Anthony DeSclafani earned his third win of the year with 6.0 innings of work. He allowed eight hits, a walk and 4R/ER with six punchouts.

The Blue Wahoos will look to snap their four-game skid on Easter Sunday with RHP Daniel Corcino (1-2, 3.92) going against LHP Andrew Heaney (2-0, 1.56). First pitch is set for 2:05 CT from the Baseball Grounds.

by Tommy Thrall

Tate Lady Aggies Win District 1-7A Championship

April 18, 2014

The Tate High School Lady Aggies won the District 1-7A championship Thursday night with a 8-1 win over the Navarre Raiders. The Aggies will now host Tallahassee Chiles in the quarterfinals next Thursday. Photos by Timothy Dunsford for, click to enlarge.

West Florida Lady Jags Win District 1-4A Championship

April 18, 2014

The West Florida Lady Jaguars won the District 1-4A championship Thursday night with a 10-0 blowout of the Marianna Bulldogs. The Lady Jags will host Godby on Wednesday at 7p.m.  in the Region 1-4A finals. Pictured: (bottom, L-R)  Jibrasha Moore, Danyelle Black, Ealon Pyle, Korina Rosario, Jordaine Watkins, Nachelle Watson, Kristin Gunter, Kayla Miller, (back row, L-R))Maegan Freeman, Farrah Nicholas, Lauren Carnley, Breana Rogers, Emily Loring, Ali Cutaio, Coach Angie Johnson, Jasmyn Nguyen, Kathleen Smiley, Head Coach Jessica Smith, Coach Gary Jackson. Photos by, click to enlarge.

Jay Lady Royals Claim District 3-1A Championship

April 18, 2014

The Jay Lady Royals won the District 3-1A championship  Thursday night with a 5-2 win over Chipley.  It was the third consecutive district championship for Jay.

Chassity McCraney pitched the win in seven for the Lady Royals, allowing five hits, striking out seven.

Jay hitters were Destiny Herring 2-4, R, RBI; Sydney Lowery 3-4, 2RBI; Samantha Steadham 1-3, R, 2B; Michaela Stewart 1-4, R, 2B; Harley Taggert 1-3, 2R.

Photos by Diann Penton Tagert for, click to enlarge.

Chiefs Split Games With Washington

April 18, 2014

The Northview Chiefs wrapped up their regular season Thursday as they hosted the Washington Wildcats.

The junior varsity Chiefs defeated Washington 4-3, while the NHS varsity lost to WHS 5-0.

The varsity Chiefs finished the season at 15-5, 7-3 in the district.  The district championship games being Monday in Chipley. Northview will play on Tuesday in Chipley against the Monday winner between Freeport and Holmes County. photos by Ramona Preston, click to enlarge.

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