Wahoos Beat Jacksonville

August 28, 2016

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos won the first half of the Southern League South Division and now are in the hunt to win the second half, too.

The Blue Wahoos defeated Jacksonville, 5-3, thanks in part to a two-out, two-run homer by Brandon Dixon and pulled within 1.5 games of current frontrunner Mississippi Braves.

Mississippi lost its seventh game in a row and is 33-27 in the South Division and are 67-62 overall. Meanwhile, Pensacola is 32-29 in the second half and are having the club’s best season in its five-year history at 73-58 overall. Pensacola won five in a row starting Aug. 17 and are 12-5 since then.

The Blue Wahoos pulled out another victory Saturday when they scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning when Pensacola shortstop Zach Vincej hit a sacrifice fly to left field that allowed both center fielder Jeff Gelalich and left fielder Phillip Ervin to score when Jacksonville left fielder Austin Dean threw the ball to home off the mark. The two runs put the Blue Wahoos ahead, 5-3.

Pensacola closer Alejandro Chacin then entered the game in the ninth and saved his 26th game for the Blue Wahoos record, surpassing Zack Weiss, who had 25 for Pensacola last season.

Pensacola manager Pat Kelly, who was celebrating his 61st birthday, likes the way his team is playing, especially Chacin, who allowed two hits and struck out two in his one inning.

“The players have confidence behind him,” Kelly said. “There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that he was going to finish that one out.”

Pensacola jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Dixon smashed a two-out, two run homer to left field. Dixon, who last hit one out of the park on Aug. 2, now has a team-leading 15 homers and 61 RBIs. He has a seven game hit streak and is batting .469 (15-32) with one homer and seven RBIs.

Dixon, who has 28 hits in August compared to 31 in June and July combined, said he turned things around working with Cincinnati Reds instructor Hall of Fame shortstop Barry Larkin on being more consistent and driving the ball.

“I’m just driving the ball more and trying to make more consistent contact,” said the 24-year-old Dixon, who played for the Arizona Wildcats in college. “You get hot sometimes and sometimes things just don’t go your way.”

Ervin generated a run in the sixth inning. He leadoff with a hit by a pitch, stole second for his 34th steal of the year, move to third on a ground out by Vincej and beat a diving Jacksonville catcher Cam Maron to home plate for a 3-0 lead.

“He had Billy Hamilton in him there,” Kelly said about the Cincinnati Reds base thief. “He got a great break to the plate. It was outstanding.”

After allowing 10 runs in eight innings in his last two starts, Pensacola starter Tyler Mahle returned to his pitching form when he came up with the Blue Wahoos mid-season.

Mahle had retired 12 batters in a row before Jacksonville right fielder Alex Glenn smashed a two-run, line drive home run with no outs to pull within, 3-2, of Pensacola. The 21-year-old Mahle tossed 6.1 innings, gave up two hits, two runs, three walks and struck out seven.

Jacksonville’s Glenn, who is hitting .296 this season, has four homers and 12 RBIs in his last 11 games.

High School Football Finals

August 27, 2016

Here are final scores from around the area:

Crestview 70, Northview 0
Flomaton 42, Jay 7
Tate 42, Biloxi 22
Pine Forest 33, Pensacola 12
Washington 25, Milton 13
Gulf Breeze 38, Choctaw 29
Pace 35, Fort Walton Beach 7
Navarre 41, Catholic 13
Baker 30, Holmes County 14
West Florida 28, Escambia 27 (Thurs pm)
Escambia County (Atmore) 24, Wilcox Central 16
Opp 30, T.R. Miller 20
Tallassee (AL) 26, W.S. Neal 21
Escambia Academy (off week)

Tate Tops Biloxi (With Photo Gallery)

August 27, 2016

The Tate High School Aggies hit the road Friday night for their season opener to hand Biloxi High School a 44-22 loss.

The Aggies were first on the board with 8:12 on the clock in the first, and added another touchdown with 1:07 in the first to end the quarter with a 14-0 advantage. Tate scored again early in the second for comfortable 21-0 lead, but Biloxi scored in the second and again early in the third to make it 21-14.

Tate answered with 9:48 to go in the fourth to make it 28-14; however, the Indians scored again and had two point conversion for a 28-22 score.

The Aggies scored again twice in the fourth quarter for the 44-22 final.

The Tate Aggies (1-0) will be at home in Pete Gindl Stadium next Friday night as they host the West Florida Jaguars.

For more photos from Biloxi, click here.

Photos by Jennifer Repine for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.





Crestview Beats Northview (With Photo Gallery)

August 27, 2016

Playing up multiple classes proved to be difficult for the the 1A Northview Chiefs Friday night as they lost 70-0 on the road to the 6A Crestview Bulldogs.

Crestview jumped out to a 7-0 lead with 9:54 to go in the first quarter. And they scored again in the first with 7:22 to go, again in the first with 3:53 on the clock and ended the first quarter with a 28-0 lead. And while the first quarter was ugly, it only got uglier from there for the Northview Chiefs.

By halftime, the Chiefs were down 49-0.

Crestview cruised a little slower as the clock ran faster on the Mercy Rule in the second half. In the third Crestview had just two touchdowns and one in the forth for the 70-0 final.

Northview will be looking for a much better outcome next Friday night as the Escambia Academy Cougars head south from Canoe, AL, to take on the Chiefs in Bratt.

For a photo gallery, click here.

NorthEscambia.com photos by Gary Amerson, click to enlarge.

Wahoos Take Home Series Over Mobile With 3-2 Win

August 27, 2016

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos bats sprung back to life at just the right time in the bottom of the ninth inning.

After scoring one run on three hits in the first inning, Pensacola got just one more hit and trailed, 2-1, in their last at bat of the game.

But with two outs Blue Wahoos left fielder Phillip Ervin blistered a ground ball down the third base line to drive in Jeff Gelalich with the second run of the ninth inning for a 3-2 victory Friday over the Mobile BayBears in front of 4,299 fans at Blue Wahoos Stadium. Pensacola extended its franchise record to 11 walk-offs this season.

Pensacola tied the game, 2-2, when Pensacola center fielder Jeff Gelalich hit a grounder to second base that forced out Blue Wahoos catcher Joe Hudson at second for the second out. But Gelalich hustled to first and beat the throw and allowed Taylor Sparks to score the tying run.

With two out, it was Pensacola second baseman Alex Blandino, who extended the inning with a bloop single to left field, allowing Ervin to be the hero Friday.

“I was just trying to keep it going and give us a chance,” Blandino said. “We battled back today and all year we’ve shown resilience, which is a lot of fun for the fans and a lot of fun for us.”

The victory was a big one for Pensacola with just 10 games left in the season. Not only did they win the series to improve to 11-2 in series at home this season, but they remained just three games behind Southern League South Division leader Mississippi Braves, which has lost 10 of its last 14 games.

The Braves are 33-25, while Pensacola, the first half champions, are 31-29. The BayBears dropped to 30-29.

“That’s the way we played all year,” said Pensacola manager Pat Kelly. “We’re very gritty down to the last out and we’ve gotten clutch hits.”

Going into the end of the season, all of the players at the top of the Pensacola order are on a tear.

Blandino, the leadoff hitter, is hitting .316 in August after struggling all year. Ervin is hitting .294 over the last 10 games with a homer and three RBIs. No. 3 hitter and right fielder Sebastian Elizalde has a 12-game hit streak and is hitting .442 (23-52). Center fielder Brandon Dixon, hitting in the cleanup spot, has his own six game hit streak and is batting .459 in the last 10 games with six RBIs. And finally shortstop Zach Vincej has been one of the hottest hitters in the Southern League in the second half, hitting .370 in July and .285 since the All-Star break.

“We’re solid one through five every day,” Kelly said. “We have to just keep playing and giving someone a day off every day.”

Blandino said the team is taking a positive approach to the final two series of the season.

“We’re already in the playoffs but it definitely would have been a blow to lost that game and lose that series.”

Pensacola scored first when Vincej stepped to the plate with the bases loaded in the bottom of the first inning and lifted a fly ball to short right field. But the speedy Ervin snuck past the catcher and threw his left hand back to touch home plate for the 1-0 Blue Wahoos lead.

John Omahen made his first start for Mobile since June 30 after spending July and August with Triple-A Reno. He gave up three hits and a run in the first and then retired 11 of the next 12 through the fourth inning and did not give up another hit or run.

The BayBears righty worked five innings and did walk three batters and strike out five in his outing.

The Mobile bullpen then kept Pensacola off the bases until the ninth.

Meanwhile, Nick Travieso worked five innings, too, as Pensacola’s starting pitcher. He gave up two runs in the fifth inning that put Mobile ahead, 2-1, when BayBears shortstop Domingo Leyba clobbered a two-run homer into the Hill-Kelly Dodge Hill also bringing home center fielder Evan Marzilli who leadoff with a walk. Travieso ended up giving two hits, four walks and striking out four.

The homer by Leyba gave Mobile its 100th home run of the season, which leads the Southern League.

Thursday Night Football Scores; Friday Night Lights Schedule

August 26, 2016

Here’s a look at Thursday night football scores and Friday night’s football schedule.

For live updates from select games tonight, follow @northescambia on Twitter, or like the NorthEscambia.com Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/northescambia/.

And if you have football photos from any of the games, email news@northescambia.com on send on the social media pages above.

THURSDAY NIGHT

West Florida 28, Escambia 27
Baker 20, Northview 6 (JV)
Jay 34, Ernest Ward Middle School 8

FRIDAY NIGHT:

Northview at Crestview, 7 p.m.
Flomaton at Jay, 7 p.m.
Tate at Biloxi, 7 p.m.
Pensacola at Pine Forest, 7:30 p.m.
Milton at Washington, 7:30 p.m.
Escambia County (Atmore) at Wilcox Central, 7 p.m.
Escambia Academy (off week)
Opp at T.R. Miller
W.S. Neal at Tallassee (AL)

File photo.

Volleyball: Northview Takes On Pensacola Christian (With Gallery)

August 26, 2016

Pensacola Christian Academy defeated Northview High School 3-2 in high school volleyball action Thursday evening in Bratt.

The varsity Chiefs won the first set 25-15, lost the second and third sets 19-25 and 23-25, and bounced back 25-14 in the fourth set. The Chiefs lost the final set 9-15.

In junior varsity action. Northview beat Pensacola Christian in two straight, 26-24, 25-16.

Up next, the Northview Chiefs will host Pensacola High School on Monday before traveling to Central on Tuesday.

For more photos from the JV game, click here.

NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

FWC Bowhunting Course Offered In Escambia County

August 26, 2016

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is offering a free bowhunting course in Escambia County.

All classroom materials are provided free of charge. Students should bring a pen or pencil, paper and all bowhunting equipment they have. An adult must accompany children younger than 16 at all times.

Anyone born on or after June 1, 1975, must pass an approved hunter safety course and have a hunting license to hunt alone (unsupervised). The FWC course satisfies bowhunter safety training requirements for all other states and Canadian provinces.

The Escambia County class will be held August 27 from 8 a.m. until noon at 7201 Sparshott Drive in Pensacola.

Those interested in attending this course can register online and obtain information about future hunter safety classes at MyFWC.com/HunterSafety or by calling the FWC’s regional office in Panama City at 850-265-3676.

Courtesy photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

BayBears Top Wahoos 5-3

August 26, 2016

Pensacola Blue Wahoos reliever Abel De Los Santos is human after all.

The Mobile BayBears scored three runs on three hits in the eighth inning off of De Los Santos, who had not allowed an earned run since joining the Blue Wahoos on July 13. The inning allowed the BayBears to pull out a 5-3 victory Thursday over Pensacola in front of 4,278 fans at Blue Wahoos Stadium.

The Mobile win also tied the series, 2-2, with the final game of the five-game series scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Friday.

The come-from-behind win also pulled Mobile within three games of South Division-leading Mississippi, which fell to 33-25 on the season. The BayBears are 30-28, while Pensacola dropped to third at 30-29.

De Los Santos, who was making his third appearance this series, hadn’t given up an earned run in 17 innings over 13 appearances but Mobile shortstop Dawel Lugo tripled in third baseman Travis Denker and left fielder Rudy Flores and Lugo scored when center fielder Gabriel Guerrero hit a sacrifice fly to left field. It gave Mobile a two-run lead that they clung to.

“Lugo kept fighting off the breaking balls until he got a pitch he liked and drove it to left field,” said Pensacola manager Pat Kelly. “It came down to executing some pitches.”

Pensacola had led before the Mobile rally. Blue Wahoos right fielder Sebastian Elizalde extended his hit streak to 11 games when he drilled a three-run homer into the Hill Kelly Dodge Hill area in the fourth inning to give Pensacola a 3-1 lead.

Elizalde’s fifth homer of the season and 46 RBIs came after Blue Wahoos center fielder Jeff Gelalich hit a leadoff single down the first base line to break up Mobile starter Edgar Garcia’s perfect game to that point. Pensacola left fielder Phillip Ervin followed Gelalich in the order with a walk — giving him 58 on the season which ties him for fourth in the Southern League.

Elizalde is now hitting 21-48 or .438 during his hit streak, going 1-4 Thursday. His career-high hitting streak is 14 games at High-A Daytona Tortugas last season between April 22 and May 6. He had 20 hits and batted .345 then.

“We weren’t really doing much with Garcia,” Kelly said. “He was pitching well with three days rest. Elizalde smoked that ball to right field. You don’t see a lot of home runs to right field here.”

Also leading Pensacola at the plate was second baseman Brandon Dixon. Hehas hit in 12 of his last 13 games, going 21-49 or .429 with nine RBIs, six doubles, six runs scored and six multi-hit games. He was 3-4 with his 25th multi-hit game on the year.

Meanwhile, Blue Wahoos starter Sal Romano turned in his second strong performance throwing 91 pitches in six innings, scattering seven hits and a walk, giving up two earned runs and striking out seven. The flame-throwing Romano increased his strikeouts to 134 this season, which is second in the Southern League.

The righty, who is the Cincinnati Reds No. 17 prospect, entered the game coming off of his longest outing of the season, going eight scoreless innings, giving up four hits and striking out eight. In his last three games, he has thrown 20.1 innings, giving up four runs and striking out 18 for a 1.77 ERA.

“He fought his way through and turned it over to the bullpen,” Kelly said. “The biggest difference in the second half is he has been able to control his emotions. He realizes he has good enough stuff to get out of a lot of jams.”

Garcia was a last minute fill in for scheduled starting pitcher Vincente Campos, who was called up to the Arizona Diamondbacks. A spot starter for Mobile, Garcia has pitched five innings in each of his last three starts, giving up 21 hits, seven runs, five walks and 17 Ks for a 4.20 ERA.

However, he left the game after the fourth inning when Pensacola took the lead, allowing three hits, one walk and striking out four.

FWC Offering Hunter Safety Courses In Molino, Milton And Jay

August 25, 2016

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is offering free hunter safety courses Saturday in Molino, Milton and Jay.

Students who have taken the online course and wish to complete the classroom portion must bring the online-completion report with them. Traditional course students must complete the entire course in person.

All firearms, ammunition and materials are provided free of charge. Students should bring a pen or pencil and paper. An adult must accompany children younger than 16 at all times.

Anyone born on or after June 1, 1975, must pass an approved hunter safety course and have a hunting license to hunt alone (unsupervised). The FWC course satisfies hunter-safety training requirements for all other states and Canadian provinces.

The locations and times are:

Escambia County

Aug. 27 (7 to 10 a.m.)
Molino Community Center
6450 Highway 95A N. in Molino

Santa Rosa County

Aug. 27 (7 to 10 a.m.)
Avalon Middle School
5445 King Arthurs Way in Milton

Those interested in attending a course can register online and obtain information about future hunter safety classes at MyFWC.com/HunterSafety or by calling the FWC’s regional office in Panama City at 850-265-3676.

Aug. 27 (7 to 10 a.m.)
Jay Community Center
5259 Booker Lane in Jay

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