Baybest Best Wahoos

July 5, 2015

The Blue Wahoos took a 4-1 lead into the bottom of the seventh on Saturday night at Hank Aaron Stadium in Mobile, Ala., but the BayBears rallied for six runs with the help of four walks on their way to a 9-4 series-opening win over Pensacola.

Barrett Astin was outstanding in his second start for the Wahoos. He allowed just two runs/earned on only three hits over 6.1 innings. He added six strikeouts and he scattered four walks. Astin retired 10-straight from the second through the first two outs of the fifth.

After he was lifted following a one-out walk in the seventh, Mobile poured on their six-run rally. Blaine Howell (L, 1-1) faced three batters and gave up a single off the glove of second baseman Juan Perez, and two walks. The second forced in a run. Nick Christiani made his Blue Wahoos debut in back of Howell and walked in the BayBears second run of the inning and later gave up a two-run double to Rudy Flores to cap the rally.

The BayBears added two more runs against Ben Klimesh in the eighth. He threw four wild pitches with four walks in two-thirds of an inning.

Penascola looked to be in control after scoring a pair of insurance runs in the sixth inning to extend their lead to three, 4-1. Zach Vincej singled in Seth Mejias-Brean, and Juan Perez scored behind him on an errant throw from Socrates Brito at third base.

Jesse Winker paced the Blue Wahoos offense with his team-leading 21st multi-hit game of the year. He finished 2-for-4 as one of four in the Wahoos lineup with a multi-hit effort. Marquez Smith drove in the go-ahead run for Pensacola in the third as part of a 2-for-4 night. Mejias-Brean and Perez also had a pair of hits.

Will Locante picked up the win out of the BayBears bullpen after working 1.2 innings with three strikeouts.

The two teams will continue the series at Hank Aaron Stadium on Sunday evening. The Blue Wahoos will start LHP Wandy Peralta (3-7, 5.32). The BayBears have not announced a starter yet for the game. First pitch is set for 5:05 p.m.

Wahoos Beat Jacksonville

July 4, 2015

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos (4-4, 29-47) took the three-game series and a 7-6 advantage in the season series for the Golden Skillet against the Jacksonville Suns (3-5, 32-45) with a 5-1 victory Friday night.

Wahoos starter Tim Adleman (4-6) had a solid performance on the mound, earning a win with 6.0 innings of work while allowing only one run on eight hits and striking out seven. Suns starter Scott Lyman earned his third loss in four starts.

Manager Pat Kelly on Adleman: “He’s been really steady every time out there. You just know that if you score a couple of runs for him, you’re going to win the game.”

With fireworks scheduled for after the game, veteran infielder Ray Chang blasted some fireworks of his own as he led the team at the plate with yet another stellar performance. He hit his first home run since June 13, 2013 on a solo shot to left field and was 3-4 at the plate. Outfielders Jesse Winker and Sean Buckley each went 2-4 with an RBI apiece.

Chang on the home run: “Obviously as a leadoff guy you want to see as many pitches as possible, try and get his pitch count up. I saw every pitch that he had, and I was just fouling balls off, fouling balls off.

“They’ve been [pitching] in to me a lot this series, knowing I’m a guy that likes to spray the ball the other way. And so I just cheated on one and got lucky and hit one out, first time in two years.”

Adleman got into a bit of trouble in the top of the first as he loaded the bases with only one out. However, he was able to get out of the jam with a pair of impressive strikeouts.

In the bottom half of the fourth, Seth Mejias-Brean singled, stole second and advanced to third on a fly ball. Sean Buckley then drove him home with one out to increase the Wahoo lead to 2-0.

The Suns did a bit of damage in the fifth inning, getting a run on three singles to bring them within a run. Adleman was able to get out of the inning with a two-out strikeout as a man was in scoring position.

Juan Perez led off the bottom of the sixth with a double to the corner in right. He would later score on an error at second following a Juan Duran blooper to make it 3-1.

Kyle Skipworth led off the seventh with a double to the corner in right, the sixth leadoff hit in the first seven innings. After a Mejias-Brean walk on the next at-bat, an error at first would allow Skipworth to score from second base.

Juan Silva and Chang opened the bottom of the eighth with a pair of walks. Jesse Winker would then capitalize for the Wahoos with a ground-rule double to drive in a run and make it 5-1.

Kelly took time to praise the defense after the win: “We’ve played super defense all year, and I thought that was very apparent tonight. We turned a big double play. Mejias-Brean made an outstanding play to his left earlier in the ballgame. With Adleman pitching, you know you’re going to get ground balls, so I think the infielders are ready and it makes a big difference.”

Aggies End Summer Baseball Season With Wins Over WFHS

July 3, 2015

The Tate High School Aggie “A” team finished their summer ball series Thursday with an 11-3 win over West Florida High School in nine innings. The Aggies “A” team finished with a summer record of 15-1-1.

The Tate high School Aggie “B” team took two from West Florida High School in a Thursday summer finale double header.  The Tate “B” team beat WFHS 5-4 in game one and 3-0 in the second game.

Wahoos Beat Jacksonville

July 3, 2015

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos (3-4, 28-47) used a stellar pitching effort from starter Daniel Wright (4-6) to even the season series with the Jacksonville Suns (3-4, 32-34) in a 2-1 victory.

Seth Mejias-Brean, who went 2-3 with a home run and a pair of RBIs, led the Wahoos at the plate. Juan Duran and Ray Chang added the other two hits for the Wahoos on the night. Duran is now 3-6 with two runs, a double and an RBI in his first two Double-A contests this season.

Manager Pat Kelly on Mejias-Brean: “He’s worked really hard. He and Alex (Pelaez) have changed a few things in his stance, and we’re starting to see some power. We’re starting to see him drive some balls. It’s nice to see all that hard work being rewarded in the game.”

Wright began the game on fire, retiring the side in five pitches in the top of the first, and would retire 21 of 25 Jacksonville batters. Zack Cox broke up his no-hit bid in the fifth on a double to right, but Wright was still able to get out of the inning unscathed.  Mejias-Brean broke up the no-hit bid for Matt Tomshaw in the bottom of the fifth, as well.

Wright’s final line was 7.0 innings pitched, two hits, two walks and six strikeouts without allowing a run. Tomshaw earned the loss, going 7.0 innings and allowing a pair of runs. Zack Weiss earned his fifth save of the season.

Kelly was impressed with Wright’s current form:

“Daniel’s really hitting his stride. That’s the way he pitched last year, and we’re starting to see where he can use both sides of the plate. I think he and Skipworth worked really well tonight. He was able to mix in his curveball to put guys away and he threw a few changeups too.”

Mejias-Brean finally broke the deadlock in the bottom of the seventh inning with a two-run, line-drive homer that barely cleared the wall in left-center. His third homer of the year drove Juan Duran home, who had reached base on his third hit of the series.

Mejias-Brean on the home run: “To be honest, I was just thinking, ‘Get something up’. He was throwing fastballs pretty early. He was quick pitching, so I was just trying to get ready really early.

“He kind of came in with a couple of curveballs in there, and I figured he was going to come [with] one fastball. One fastball too many, I guess.”

The Suns made things somewhat interesting in the top off the ninth as David Adams hit a solo shot with two outs. Zack Weiss, however, was able to close things out with a strikeout on the next at-bat to earn the save.

Escambia Academy Names New Softball, Baseball Coaches

June 30, 2015

New baseball and softball coaches have been name at Escambia Academy outside Atmore.

Allie Park has been named the new softball coach. Park played for Charles Henderson High in Troy, AL, where she was Super 12 Player of the Year in 2005. She also played for Alabama Community College and Webster University. Her coaching experience includes Clayton High in St. Louis, MO, Hooper Academy near Montgomery and Pike Liberal Arts School in Troy, AL.

Jeffrey D. Price, Jr. has been named the new Escambia Academy baseball coach. The 2009 EA graduate red-shirted at the University of West Florida, pitched at Faulkner State and pitched at at the University of Mobile where his ERA record was 5th best all-time in school history.

Pictured: Escambia Academy softball coach Allie Park, athletic director Hugh Fountain and baseball coach Jeffrey Price Jr. Photo by Ditto Gorme for, click to enlarge.

Blue Wahoos Drop Game, And Series, To Mississippi

June 30, 2015

Barrett Astin made a good showing in his Double-A debut for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos after getting called up from the High-A Daytona Tortugas.

He left the game after 5.1 innings of work with the game tied, 2-2, but the Mississippi Braves scored twice in the seventh inning to win the game, 4-2, over Pensacola and capture the series, 3-2, Monday at Trustmark Park.

Astin, who was acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers in the fall, compiled a 4-3 record and 2.29 ERA at Daytona before moving up. On Monday, Astin gave up eight hits, walked two and struck out four and currently has a 3.38 ERA in his first start in the Southern League.

Mississippi pulled out the victory when catcher Matt Kennelly singled to center field to score left fielder Sean Godfrey to go up, 3-2. Then the Braves added another run to go ahead, 4-2, when center fielder Matt Lipka scored on a ground out by first baseman Kevin Ahrens to shortstop.

Pensacola scored first in the top of the second inning when Blue Wahoos catcher Kyle Skipworth singled and was driven in by left fielder Sean Buckley’s single to left.

Mississippi then tied the game, 1-1, in the bottom of that inning when third baseman Rio Ruiz doubled in Ahrens.

The Braves went on top, 2-1, in the third inning when Kennelly doubled and scored on a KD Kang triple, his fourth of the season, to right field.

Skipworth singled to center and scored for the second time Monday to tie the game, 2-2, in the fifth inning when second baseman Ray Chang grounded out to shortstop.

June was a good month for several Blue Wahoos, including Chang, who hit .329 in 22 games with eight RBIs.

Pensacola right fielder Jesse Winker hit two homers and knocked in eight, while batting .325 with a .415 on-base percentage. In the first series after the Southern League All-Star break, Winker went 8-19 or .421 with a homer and two RBI against Mississippi and now has a seven-game on-base streak.

Finally, first baseman Marquez Smith—who went 0-4 Monday, ending his six-game hitting streak—hit .312 and had a .384 on-base percentage in June.

Bear Hunting Permits Available In August

June 30, 2015

Permits to participate in Florida’s first bear hunt in more than 20 years will be available to licensed hunters starting August 3.

The hunt, approved by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission last Wednesday, begins October. 24 and will last from two to seven days, depending upon the number of bears killed. The state agency expects about 300 bears to be killed in the four regions of the state where hunting will be allowed. The state isn’t putting a limit on the number of special-use bear permit being sold, but hunters will be limited to killing a single bear during the week.

The cost for a permit is $100 for Florida residents and $300 for non-residents. The permits will be available through 11:59 p.m. on October. 23. People who purchased a Lifetime License prior to July 1, 1998 — when those license still covered bear hunting — must still obtain one of the new permits, but are exempt from the cost.

by The News Service of Florida

FWC: Summer Best Time To Take A Hunter Safety Class

June 29, 2015

With the dog days of summer almost upon us, it’s sometimes hard to even think about hunting. But if you’re age 16 to 40 and haven’t completed the state’s hunter safety course requirement, now’s a good time to be thinking about signing up. Don’t put it off – summer is the best time to take a class in your area.

Many of these classes, offered statewide, fill up fast during hunting season as people scramble to get certified. So the summer months offer smaller class sizes and a better opportunity for students to take a class, because they have more free time than they will once school cranks up and they get busy with homework and school-related activities.

People born after May 31, 1975, must complete the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) hunter safety class before they can buy the type of hunting license that allows them to legally hunt alone. A law passed a few years ago by the Florida Legislature enables individuals to hunt without having to complete the state’s hunter safety certification, but they may only hunt while under supervision.

It’s called the Hunter Safety Deferral, and it allows people the opportunity to purchase a license to hunt while under the supervision of a licensed hunter who is at least 21 years old and meets the hunter safety requirement. It’s designed to encourage experienced hunters to teach novice hunters safety, ethics, wildlife and hunting skills and respect for the great outdoors.

It’s a great incentive for getting more people to try hunting. Also, I hope, the experienced hunters among us can hook some new folks on the sport we love. However, to hunt by yourself unsupervised, you still have to take and pass a hunter safety class and purchase a regular hunting license.

If you’re a youngster and already a hunting fanatic, I suggest you go ahead and take a hunter safety class before you turn 16. Of course, until then, you may hunt under adult supervision without having to take the class or buy a license.

Even if you were born before June 1, 1975, and are exempt from having to take the class, it’s still a good idea, because you’ll learn so much. The FWC encourages beginning hunters to do so. Even the most experienced hunter will learn something new, which will help him or her become an even better hunter – and a safer one.

Also, if you’re new to our state, these classes will make you aware of Florida’s hunting laws. Or, if you just relocated from another town, the classes are a great way to meet other hunters. You can make some new hunting buddies or maybe even get a line on a great hunt club that’s looking for new members.

You can register for a hunter safety class by going to or by contacting your nearest FWC regional office. Also, for your convenience, there are two ways to take the course.

Two course options

There’s the traditional course, which is 12 hours of classroom instruction plus a four-hour skills day. If you’d prefer to get most of the classroom stuff out of the way from the convenience of your own home, you can opt for taking the online course. But, you’ll still have to sign up for the skills-day part of the course, which includes time at the shooting range.

The traditional course is offered during four weekdays or on a Saturday-Sunday. If you take it during the week, each session is three hours and offered after normal working hours. On the weekend, you’ll spend eight hours Saturday and four hours Sunday morning in the classroom. For the remainder of the Sunday session, you’ll move to the shooting range to complete your certification.

During the traditional hunter safety class, each segment is roughly 50 minutes long, followed by a 10-minute break. The first thing you’ll learn about is Florida’s hunting laws/regulations. An FWC law enforcement officer gives this introduction. Volunteer hunter safety instructors teach the remaining curriculum.

And speaking of that, if any of you reading this are older than 18 and would like to give something back to the sport of hunting, you might consider becoming a certified volunteer hunter safety instructor in your community. The FWC is always in need of people who possess good hunting and gun safety knowledge. If you’re interested in learning more about this great teaching opportunity, go to or call 850-413-0084 to find out how to get involved.

One segment of the program teaches ethics and hunter responsibility. You’ll also learn the parts of a firearm, gun and hunting lingo and the proper way to shoot a firearm. This is the longest section of the program, and you’ll spend approximately two hours going over all that.

You’ll learn the differences between all the various bullets, calibers and gauges and how to identify different animal species. You will also hear about wildlife conservation and discover best management practices for native game species.

In addition, you’ll find out about outdoor survival techniques and learn how to administer first aid in the field. You’ll gain knowledge of the parts of, and how to shoot, a muzzleloading gun. Furthermore, you’ll be taught archery and the fundamentals of how to hunt with a bow.

In your last hour in the classroom, you’ll be given a standardized test of true-or-false and multiple-choice questions. You need to score 80 percent or better, and then you get to move outside to the shooting range for the last part of the hunter safety certification – the skills day portion.

If you choose instead to take your hunter safety class online, you’ll learn all of the material that’s taught in the traditional classroom setting, and you’ll be given a practice test, which will go over what you’ve learned and prepare you for the last segment of the requirement – the skills day.

Skills day

Skills day takes about five hours to complete, which includes time on the shooting range and serves as the completion for both the traditional course and the online class.

Skills days start with a law enforcement officer discussing hunting laws and ethics. After that session, you’ll pass through four different stations. The first station reviews safety rules, then the students demonstrate proper firearms carry positions, safe zones of fire, how to cross obstacles with a firearm and tree-stand safety.

The second station covers safe, effective shot placement; then students walk down a trail where they are presented with shoot/don’t shoot scenarios. The third station discusses clearing, matching, loading and unloading.

After an instructor’s brief presentation, students practice selecting the proper ammunition, loading each of the five major firearms actions, and demonstrating how to properly clear the firearm of ammunition. At the last station, students review marksmanship skills and have different opportunities to practice or demonstrate their skills.

Most students shoot a rifle from various positions, many get to shoot clay pigeons with a shotgun, and others practice archery skills by shooting a bow. Most courses provide a muzzleloader demonstration, where you’ll have the chance to shoot one if you’d like. All guns, bows, targets and ammo are provided. All you have to do is take aim!

The last steps

After you complete the skills day, you’ll be given your hunter safety card. At that point, you can purchase your very first Florida hunting license and be ready for opening day. Youth under 16 – no matter how young – can purchase their first annual license that will be good until their 17th birthday. This allows the FWC to count the youth’s license in their annual license sales until the license expires on their 17th birthday. This benefits a wildlife restoration program by approximately $7 per year for the additional years the child holds a license.

Just a couple of things for parents to remember: The course is designed for youth ages 12 to 16. If your child is younger than 18 years old, you must fill out our parental release form and present it to the instructor at all courses. This will enable your child to participate in the live-shooting exercises. Also, if your child is younger than 16, you are required to accompany him or her to all classes.

Register for a hunter safety class today, ’cause the 2015-2016 huntin’ season is just around the corner.

Submitted by FWC.

Mississippi Tops Wahoos

June 29, 2015

The Mississippi Braves evened the series at two games apiece against the Pensacola Blue Wahoos with a 3-1 victory Sunday at Trustmark Park.

Mississippi went ahead, 2-1, in the sixth inning when center fielder Matt Lipka singled and stole second, his 11th of the year, and went to third on Pensacola catcher Cam Maron’s throwing error. Left fielder Kevin Ahrens then drove him in with a sacrifice fly to left field to tie the game, 1-1. The Braves added another run when shortstop Emerson Landoni tripled to right field to drive in third baseman Rio Ruiz, 2-1.

The Braves tacked on another run in the eighth inning to go up, 3-1, when Landoni hit a sacrifice fly to right field that scored Braves first baseman Matt Kennelly.

Pensacola scored first with a run in the second inning, 1-0, when center fielder Beau Amaral singled to drive in catcher Cam Maron, who hit a ground-rule double with two out.

Blue Wahoos right-hander Robert Stephenson lasted six innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits and three walks. He also struck out three batters to regain the Southern League lead with 89 on the season. His record fell to 4-7 with a 3.68 ERA.

Mississippi also relied on strong starting pitching with Tyrell Jenkins giving up three hits, five walks and one earned run in 5.1 innings of work, while striking out six.

Then three Braves relievers combined to shutout the Pensacola lineup allowing just three hits in 3.2 innings, while striking out four more batters. Tyler Jones pitched the ninth for his eighth save on the year.

Pensacola right fielder Jesse Winker went 1-4 and walked and is batting .467 (7-15) in the second half of the Southern League season. The Cincinnati Reds No. 2 prospect has had two hits in each of the first three games and one hit Sunday in the series against Mississippi. Winker has a homer, two RBIs, three runs scored and four walks against the Braves.

Blue Wahoos first baseman Marquez Smith was 2-4 with a double to extend his hit streak to six games and is batting .329 with four homers and 10 RBIs in June.

Both teams take the field at 7 p.m. Monday to decide the winner of the first five-game series in the second half of the Southern League season.

Aggies Tie Navarre, Beat Catholic In Milton Tourney

June 27, 2015

In summer baseball Friday, the Tate High School Aggie  A Team tied Navarre 7-7 in game one of the Milton Panther Tournament. In game two, the Tate Aggies beat Catholic 15-6.

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