Biloxi Beats The Wahoos

April 26, 2015

Pensacola Blue Wahoos outfielder Jesse Winker hit a deep fly ball to the 400-foot sign in centerfield with his final swing of the game and a runner on second base.

He thought it was a goner. So did manager Pat Kelly and the Blue Wahoos fans.

However, Biloxi Shuckers centerfielder Kyle Wren chased Winker’s shot down to preserve a 4-3 victory over Pensacola. The Wahoos recorded its 108th sellout in its fourth season at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium.

“I definitely thought it was gone for sure,” said Winker, the Cincinnati Reds No. 3 prospect who has hit two dingers in his past four-game hitting streak. “I thought I got it. PK (Pat Kelly) wants to win and so do we.”

Kelly, who coached Winker last year in Bakersfield, also thought Winker had a walk-off two-run home run.

“I thought he got it, seeing him hit the past couple years,” Kelly said of Winker. “He came pretty close. He just couldn’t get it over Wren’s head.”

The Blue Wahoos dropped to 4-10 on the season and 1-4 against Biloxi. They are 5.5 games back of the 10-5 and first-place Shuckers.

Pensacola fans came to life in the bottom of the second inning when, not only did the Blue Angels Fat Albert make an unscheduled fly over, the Blue Wahoos loaded the bases with no outs. Stephenson hit a deep fly ball to right field to score Kyle Waldrop to tie the game at 2. Shuckers lefty Brent Suter then walked Wahoos Ryan Wright to put Pensacola ahead, 3-2. Suter struggled in the inning walking four batters, hitting another and allowing a Waldrop single.

However, Shuckers shortstop Orlando Arcia, the Brewers’ No. 2 prospect according to Baseball America, smashed a solo home run over the left field wall in the fifth inning for the game-winning run, 4-3. He leads the Southern League in hitting at .458 (22-48) and has reached base in all 15 Shuckers’ games this season.

Wahoos right fielder Winker prevented Biloxi from adding another run in that inning by gunning down Taylor Green at second base, when he tried to stretch his single to a double.

“I had a bad rap about my defense when I was drafted,” said the 21-year-old Winker, who was the 49th pick overall in the 2012 draft. “But I’ve worked a lot and felt I’ve always been a good defender. I take a lot of pride in my defense.”

The Reds No. 1 prospect, Stephenson, threw 5.2 innings, allowing six hits four runs, two of which were earned, three walks and striking out five. In three starts and 16.2 innings, he has 21 strike outs.

The doubleheader Sunday with the Milwaukee Brewers Double-A affiliate Biloxi Shuckers is scheduled at 2:05 p.m. Both games will be seven innings. RHP Tim Adleman (0-2, 2.70) takes the mound for the Wahoos in the first game and is scheduled to be opposed by the Shuckers RHP Brooks Hall (2-0, 1.13). In the second game, RHP Layne Somsen (0-0, 1.13) takes the mound for the Wahoos and is scheduled to be opposed by the Shuckers RHP Jacob Barnes (0-2, 3.72).

Molino 16U Lady Jags Win Mid Season Tournament

April 25, 2015

Both of the Molino 16U Molino softball teams won championships in their mid-season tournaments.

The Lady Jaguars coached by Donnie Nicholson and Mike King advanced to the championship game undefeated. After concluding the day after a five-hour rain delay, the Jags lost the first game of the championship series 5-4 before coming back strong in the second game with an 8-5 win over the East Milton Buckshots.

Pictured: (front, L-R) Sky Gorum and Kaelyn Coffee, (middle) Ashley Ragsdale, Jasmine Crabtree, Trista Loranza, Mika King, Rena Banks, Jamia Newton, Abi Mansoso, (back) Coach Donnie Nicholson, Catherine Jerigene, Meredith Morgan and Coach Mike King. Submitted photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Barons Take Series Over Wahoos

April 25, 2015

Joey DeMichele clinched the series for the Birmingham Barons (7-7) with a line drive to right field in a 2-1 walk-off victory over the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (4-9) at Regions Field.

RHP Raul Fernandez (1-1) got the win for the Barons while RHP Chad Rogers (0-1) got his first loss of the season after the run, one walk and two hits in the ninth.

In the third inning, the Barons’ Jeremy Farrell reached base on a fielding error by second baseman Juan Perez and then advanced to second. With a wild pitch by LHP Wandy Peralta, Farrell advanced to third and then scored off of a single by Jacob May.

The Blue Wahoos tied up the game in the seventh inning. Smith led off the inning with a single and scored after Yovan Gonzalez grounded into a double play.

Juan Perez singled in the ninth inning to extend his hit streak to six games.

Peralta made his third start of the season and pitched for six innings registering six strikeouts, five hits and an unearned run. RHP Drew Hayes posted two scoreless innings of work with two hits. He has now thrown 5.2 innings allowing no runs this season.

For the Barons, RHP Tyler Danish gave up only three hits in six innings of work while recording seven strikeouts. RHP Nolan Sanburn gave up the lone Pensacola run. Fernandez threw four strikeouts in his two innings as Birmingham struck out 12 Blue Wahoos.

The Blue Wahoos return to Pensacola April 25th-29th against the Biloxi Shuckers.

Northview Chiefs Win District 1A Championship (With Photo Gallery)

April 24, 2015

The Northview Chiefs captured their first District 1A  title as they destroyed Chipley 11-1 Thursday night in Bonifay.

Brett Weeks pitched six innings for the Chiefs, allowing just one run and striking out seven. Hitting for Northview were: Chasen Freeman 3-4, 2 runs, double; Thomas Moore 2-4, 5 RBIs, 2 doubles; Roman Manning 2-4, run, RBI, double; Bryan Cantrell 1-3, run, 2 SBs;  Brodie Amos 1-1, run; Aaron McDonald 1-4.

Northview will next host the winner of Friday’s Bozeman vs. Liberty County game.

The Chiefs won a 2A district title in 2004.

For a photo gallery, click here.

Photos by Ramona Preston for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

West Florida Lady Jags Win Regional Quarterfinal Over Florida High

April 24, 2015

The West Florida Lady Jaguars beat Florida High in Tallahassee 8-4 Thursday in the Region 1-4A quarterfinals.

Hitting for West Florida were Kayla Miller, 1-2; Emily Loring 2-2, RBI; Lauren Carnley 1-4, RBI; Kristin Gunter 2-3, 3 RBI; Jibrasha Moore 1-2, RBI; Bre Rogers 1-2, Farrah Nicholas 2-4. Nicholas pitched seven innings for West Floroida, allowing four funs, 10 hits and striking out one.

West Florida will play at Walton on Tuesday in the regional semi-finals.

For more photos, click here.

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


West Florida Jags Win Consecutive District Championship

April 24, 2015

The West Florida High Jaguars beat Catholic 5-2 Thursday night for a back to back District 1-4A titles, and the ninth overall under Coach Marc Conti.

Photos by Missy Reber for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Northview’s Bates Signs With Baton Rouge Community College

April 24, 2015

Northview High School senior E’Layzha Bates has signed to play basketball with Baton Rouge Community College.

At Northview, she average 10 point and nine rebounds per game, and accounted for more than 75 percent of the team’s offensive output last season. She was also selected to play in the Pensacola Sports Association All-Star game.

Photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

House Targets Florida High School Athletic Association

April 23, 2015

Legislation that would overhaul the Florida High School Athletic Association easily passed the state House on Wednesday, sending the proposal toward an uncertain future in the Senate.

A handful of Democrats joined Republicans to pass the measure (HB 7137) in an 86-29 vote.

The proposal would overhaul the organization’s governance, setting up a 16-member board to oversee the association. It would also require a third-party review for students suspected of being ineligible and allow students to continue to play while their eligibility is reviewed, though games could be forfeited if a student is later ruled ineligible.

High schools would also be allowed to join the association for some sports, but not in others — particularly football. And students, particularly those at small, private schools, would have more opportunities to participate in sports.

However, lawmakers dropped perhaps the most-controversial provision in the bill, which would have required the education commissioner and the State Board of Education to make a decision in 2017 about whether to keep the association or replace it.

Rep. Manny Diaz Jr., the Hialeah Republican who pushed the bill through the House, said the provision was meant to keep an eye on the association while the changes were made. He suggested to reporters that there were other ways to do that.

“We meet every year, we have session every year, so we can readdress this issue at any time,” Diaz said. “And I think it’s our duty to (do so), because they’re given a statutory monopoly basically, and so we have to review to make sure that they’re doing what they’re supposed to do.”

The bill is the latest chapter in a long-running dispute between lawmakers, particularly those in the House, and the association. Like the NCAA, the organization’s attempts to enforce rules sometimes anger those affected by its decisions. Lawmakers who backed the legislation said the bill was helped along by the association’s attitude.

“I did not see a cooperative spirit that said, ‘You’ve pointed out some good things, let me run back and implement them,’ ” said House Education Chairwoman Marlene O’Toole, R-Lady Lake. “We saw none of that. Should we have had that, we might not have needed a bill.”

Opponents of the legislation said that it could lead to the organization being less vigilant about students being recruited to switch high schools for athletic reasons, though that is technically illegal and would remain so under the bill.

Rep. Kevin Rader, D-Delray Beach, said that only 11 disputes went to the association recently, out of more than 250,000 athletes, and roughly half were decided in favor of the student. Three of the cases, he said, were caused by academic requirements.

“We are trying to change the state of Florida law on a non-profit organization that takes no money from the state for basically less than a handful of kids,” Rader said.

But the bill could run into trouble in the Senate. After the upper chamber’s version of the legislation stalled, it was attached Tuesday to an omnibus education bill (SB 948) during a meeting of the Senate Appropriations Committee. However, so-called legislative “trains” sometimes have difficult passing because of their complexity.

by Brandon Larrabee, The News Service of Florida

Northview Girls Track Holds Awards Banquet

April 23, 2015

The Northview High School Girls Track Team recently celebrated their season at their annual banquet. Numerous awards were presented. Award winners are listed under the photos below.

Jumper: Autumn Albritton. Sprinter Award: Audriene Odom. Thrower: E’Layzha Bates. Mid distance: Myisha Syria. Long Distance: Moriah McGahan.

Team Award: 4×8 District Team: Maddi Weber, Bethany Reynolds, Emily Walston and Tamara Barrows.

Seniors: E’Layzha Bates and Lakelynn Parker.

Coaches Award: Mallory Gibson.

Earning their first Varsity Letter were Celeste North, Carly Ward, Tyanna Magee, Maddi Weber, Kayla Galvan, Audriene Odom.

Submitted photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Tate Lady Aggies Advance In Playoffs

April 23, 2015

The Tate Lady Aggies rallied with five runs in the sixth inning to beat Lincoln 6-0 in the Region 1-7A softball quarterfinals.

Pitching the win was Tori Perkins, who allowed just four hits and had 12 strikeouts in seven innings. Hitting for Tate were: Lauren Brennan 2-3, R, 2 RBIs, Casey McCrackin 1-3, RBI, 3B; Tori Perkins 1-2, BB; Hadley Starratt 2R, 2B; Rachel Wright 1-3, R, RBI; Samantha Burks 1-3, R, RBI.

The Lady Aggies will host Niceville next Tuesday, 7 p.m. in the Region 1-7A semifinals.

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