Aquino Sets Home Run Records As Wahoos Fall To Mobile

August 13, 2018

Aristides Aquino set the Blue Wahoos franchise record for most home runs in a season when he belted the 2-2 pitch from Dario Beltre over the left-field fence in the Wahoos 9-4 loss on Sunday at Hank Aaron Stadium.

The BayBears had a comfortable lead when the Wahoos came to bat in the last of the ninth. Aquino led off the inning and sent a no-doubter to left for his 18th home run of the season. Aquino finished the 2017 regular season by tying Juan Duran’s record of 17 home runs. Pensacola’s right-fielder has 20 games left in the season to set the new benchmark franchise record.

Aquino’s achievement is somewhat overshadowed by the loss. Despite pitching better, Wyatt Strahan (L, 6-10) was saddled with the loss after allowing six runs (three earned) over 5.2 innings. After stranding the bases loaded in the first, Mobile scored one in the second after Jam Jones doubled home Brandon Sandoval to give the BayBears a 1-0 lead.

With the BayBears leading 4-0 after the fourth, Pensacola strung together its best rally of the night when they scored three runs to make it a one-run game. After a base hit by Gavin LaValley and a throwing error, Chris Okey singled home the Wahoos first baseman to cut the deficit down to 4-1. Daniel Sweet followed with his second homer in as many games and Pensacola found themselves trailing 4-3.

The Wahoos would get no closer as the BayBears rallied for five runs over the final three innings. Brennon Lund delivered a two-run triple in the sixth and later scored on a Zach Gibbons single. In the seventh, Mitch Ghelfi swatted a two-run shot off Rafael De Paula to extend Mobile’s lead at the time to 9-3.

After a day off on Monday, the Wahoos will open a five-game series against the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp on Tuesday. LHP Seth Varner (7-2, 3.01) will start the opener for the Wahoos while Jacksonville has yet to disclose their starter.

Mobile Slugs Past Pensacola 14-2

August 12, 2018

After a promising start by the Wahoos, the BayBears slugged their way past the Wahoos with an 14-2 win at Hank Aaron Stadium on Saturday.

On a night celebrating former BayBear and longtime Major League pitcher, Jake Peavy, it was the visiting Wahoos who looked to spoil the party. TJ Friedl opened the game with an infield single and advanced on a throwing error by Riley Unroe. He later scored on a wild pitch from Jason Alexander (W, 1-5) to make the score 1-0.

However, Mobile came roaring back in the bottom of the first when the first three batters doubled off Wahoos starter Daniel Wright (L, 6-8). The BayBears sent all nine men to the plate in the first and eventually scored four runs on five hits. Wright—who was hit hard at Hank Aaron Stadium on Opening Day—suffered his eighth defeat of the season after he was charged with eight runs on 10 hits over 5.1 innings. Mobile eventually finished the night 14 runs on 18 hits with nine of those hits going for extra bases.

Daniel Sweet had a standout performance offensively for Pensacola. Filling in for the suspended Jose Siri, Sweet recorded his first career Double-A home run in his first at-bat and then doubled in the fifth inning off Alexander. He finished the night 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored.

The Battle of the Bay series concludes tomorrow night as the Wahoos hope to earn a series win in the rubber match. RHP Wyatt Strahan (6-9, 7.23) is looking for a bounce back performance. He will be opposed by RHP Jesus Castillo (7-4, 4.77).

BayBears Beat The Wahoos

August 11, 2018

The Blue Wahoos opened a 6-0 lead in the fourth inning but couldn’t hold on as the Mobile BayBears rallied for an 8-6 win over Pensacola Friday night at Hank Aaron Stadium.

Jose Siri started the game with a triple to the left-center field ally and scored on a wild pitch to put Pensacola up 1-0 right out of the gate.

With one out in the fourth inning, Aristides Aquino hit his first of two singles on the night, which sparked a five-run rally. Following a Shed Long walk, Mitch Nay ripped a double which scored both Aquino and Long. Narciso Crook singled behind Nay setting the table for Gavin LaValley. He belted a three-run home run over the left field fence to stretch the Wahoos lead to 6-0.

The BayBears were quick to answer. Jose Rojas hit a one-out home run to get the BayBears on the board. After a two-out walk and single, Mitch Ghelfi pulled Mobile within two with his first home run of the season.

Mobile took the lead in the seventh. Only trailing by one, Roberto Baldoquin singled home the tying and go-ahead runs with two outs to give the BayBears their first lead of the game at 7-6.

Pensacola threatened again in the eighth inning, but Crook flew out to the center fielder with the bases loaded on a deep fly ball to end the inning. The BayBears added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning to cap the 8-6 win.

Tony Santillan started for the Blue Wahoos and was charged with five runs on six hits over 4.2 innings, his shortest outing since joining the Blue Wahoos. He added seven strikeouts against three walks. Carlos Navas (L, 4-3) worked the final 3.1 innings and took the loss after allowing three runs on four hits. Despite surrendering the lead, he struck out six without a walk in the extended bullpen effort.

The Blue Wahoos scored all six of their runs off Mobile starter Jose Rodriguez. He exited after five innings with one walks and a season-high 11 strikeouts. Alex Klonowski (W, 9-2) picked up the win in relief with four shutout innings.

With LaValley’s three RBI in Friday’s game, he now has nine RBI for the series. Wahoos manager Jody Davis was ejected in the third inning as was Siri. David got kicked out during Chris Okey’s at bat for arguing from the dugout. Siri was tossed following his strikeout a batter later.

With a win on Saturday, Pensacola can lock up the series win. RHP Daniel Wright (6-7, 3.70) gets the start for the Blue Wahoos against BayBears RHP Jason Alexander (0-5, 4.05).

Wahoos Get Slim Win Over The BayBears

August 10, 2018

After Gavin LaValley drove in four in the series-opening win, the Wahoos first baseman was at it again as he delivered a two-run home run in Thursday’s 4-2 win at Hank Aaron Stadium.

With the Wahoos trailing 2-0 in the top of the fifth, Narciso Crook singled off Daniel Procopio to bring the tying run to the plate. LaValley timed up the 2-0 pitch perfectly and crushed Procopio’s offering over the left-field fence to tie the game at 2-2.

Similar to Wednesday night’s game, the Wahoos scored the go-ahead run in the seventh inning. Shed Long led off the frame with a single off Zac Ryan (L, 1-3) and then eventually stole second base. The next batter, Mitch Nay, struck out, but the pitch kicked away from BayBears catcher Jack Kruger to allow Long to advance to third. Crook then tapped a slow roller up the first base line, which allowed Long to score the go-ahead run.

Vladimir Gutierrez (W, 9-9) was excellent outside of the second inning. Jose Rojas and Zach Gibbons led off the second with back-to-back doubles to take a quick 1-0 lead. After a single, and a throwing error by Gutierrez, the BayBears had the bases loaded and nobody out. However, the right-hander worked brilliantly around the threat as he induced a double-play ball from Brandon Sandoval, which scored Gibbons to make it 2-0 Mobile. Mitch Spires followed with a groundout to short to end the inning.

Gutierrez pitched the other six innings of his seven-inning effort in shutout fashion. He finished his outing on a high note, retiring six of the final seven BayBears he faced. He departed the game having allowed two runs on seven hits with three strikeouts. The win was his first since July 19.

The Wahoos scored an insurance run in the top of the ninth inning thanks to a fielding error by Roberto Baldoquin. Taylor Featherston hit a groundball to the BayBear shortstop but it bounced past him and trickled into left. Featherston stole second and advanced to third after Kruger’s throw to second rolled into center. Nay brought home the insurance run with a single off Matt Custred to extend Pensacola’s lead to 4-2.

For the second consecutive night, Jody Davis called on Alex Powers (S, 15) to close out the win in the ninth. It wasn’t the cleanest inning for the Wahoos closer, as he allowed a walk and a single to bring the winning run to the plate with two outs. However, Spires flew out to TJ Friedl to end the game, which gave Powers his 15th save of the season and the Wahoos Their 61st win of the season.

The Bay to Bay series continues tomorrow night as the Wahoos try to earn a series win against Mobile. RHP Tony Santillan (4-0, 1.78) will put his undefeated record on the line Friday night against RHP Jose Rodriguez (7-9, 5.83).

High Tech Shirts Donated To Northview Football Team To Protect Against Injury

August 9, 2018

The Northview High School Chiefs football team received a donation Wednesday that will help keep them safe on the football field this season.

They will have high tech performance rib shirts under their uniforms. The shirts hold a shield that begins as a soft material, a high-tech polymer, that molds to each individual player’s body, becoming rock hard and protecting the abdomen from injury.

The shield is different than a foam pad that just softens a blow; the impact from a hard hit is dispersed across the entire shield

Ten years ago, Niceville High School football player Taylor Haugen passed away after a hit to his abdomen ruptured his liver.  Since then, Taylor’s parents, Brian and Kathy have made it their mission to bring awareness that high school students need to be equipped with the same abdominal protective gear that professionals use.

The Taylor Haugen Foundation has now outfitted all the high schools in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, along with schools in 13 states nationwide.

“I lost my son 10 years ago to an abdominal injury. It actually crushed his liver during an impact that he sustained during a game,” Kathy Haugen said. “I found out the following year about this particular product, and I’ve been researching and trying to keep up with the technology ever since.”

She said she wants to see the shirts made part of the required high school football protective gear.

“We concentrate heavily on brain injuries and the impact that has, but there are organs down in your abdominal region that you can’t live without. And if you don’t catch some of the tears and injuries, you can also pass away from those.”

The shirts cost about $80 each.

For a NorthEscambia.com photo gallery, click here.

NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

Wahoos Open Series Over The Mobile Baybears

August 9, 2018

Gavin LaValley powered the offense with four RBI lead and Alex Powers picked up his 14th save of the season as the Wahoos took the series opener against the Mobile BayBears 7-6 Wednesday night at Hank Aaron Stadium.

Wednesday’s contest against the BayBears was a back-and-forth battle that saw three separate lead changes. It was the BayBears who struck first against Seth Varner (W, 7-2) in large part to some defensive miscues by the Wahoos.

Jahmai Jones opened the scoring by reaching on an error, stealing second base, and then coming home on a wild pitch by Varner to make it 1-0. Later in the inning, Jack Kruger reached on a fly ball that Aristides Aquino lost in the sun. He later scored on Zach Gibbons’ double to center, and Roberto Baldoquin drove him home with a single to make it 3-0 after one.

The Wahoos responded quickly, scoring twice against Joe Gatto in the second inning. After Shed Long walked, Mitch Nay laced a double to put runners at second and third with nobody out. Narciso Crook’s sac fly to center brought home one run, and Gavin LaValley’s RBI-single cut the score down to 3-2.

Pensacola’s big inning came in the sixth when the Wahoos cashed in on some poor pitching by the BayBears. TJ Friedl led off the inning with his first home run of the season, and after Mobile walked the bases loaded, LaValley delivered again a bases-clearing double off Adrian Almeida, which gave the Wahoos a 6-3 lead.

The BayBears answered with three runs of their own to tie the game at 6-6. After a single to Jose Rojas and a two-out walk to Baldoquin, Riley Unroe belted a three-run shot off Varner. Varner struck out Brandon Sandoval to finish his night with six innings of work in the books and six runs (three earned) allowed.

The Wahoos scored the winning run in the seventh. After Friedl, and Taylor Featherston singled, a wild pitch set up the Wahoos with second and third and only one out. Aristides Aquino brought home Friedl with a sac fly to left off Dario Beltre (1-1) to put the Wahoos up by one.

After Zack Weiss pitched two scoreless innings in relief, Alex Powers (S, 14) was called upon in the ninth inning to close out the game. Despite allowing a single to Unroe, Powers struck out two and induced Mitch Spires into a flyout to right to seal the win and give Powers his 14th save of the season.

The Battle of the Bay series continues tomorrow night as the Wahoos try to make it back-to-back wins. RHP Vladimir Gutierrez (8-9, 4.25) will try to return to his winning ways on Thursday, and he will be opposed by RHP Jeremy Beasley (2-3, 3.29).

High School Lighted Sports Field Contract Expanded To Include Ernest Ward Middle

August 7, 2018

The Escambia County School District has expanded their lighted sports field maintenance to include Ernest Ward Middle School.

The $130,000 estimated contract was renewed with McLemore Electrict of Pensacola for the inspection, maintenance and repair of sports field lighting equipment on an as needed basis at Ernest Ward and Woodham middle schools and Escambia, Northview, Pensacola, Pine Forest , Tate, Washington and West Florida high schools.

The renewal price included an additional $75,000 to upgrade deteriorating wiring and the addition of the football field at Ernest Ward Middle in Walnut Hill.

Pictured: The lighted football field at Ernest Ward Middle School. NorthEscambia.com file photo, click to enlarge.

Biscuits Take Series Finale Against Wahoos

August 7, 2018

Wyatt Strahan (L, 6-9) was tagged for nine runs in the shortest outing of his career as the Biscuits won the series finale 12-2 Monday night at Blue Wahoos Stadium.

Strahan lasted just 1.1 innings before exiting the game. Montgomery scored five runs in the first inning before adding four more in the second. The Biscuits had sent 19 men to the plate as the game reached the third inning.

Pensacola’s offense came late when Aristides Aquino led off the seventh inning with his 17th homer of the season. For the second consecutive season, Aquino has tied Juan Duran’s record of most home runs by a Wahoo season, this time with 25 games still remaining. Shed Long followed with a single and later scored on Narciso Crook’s double to left, which made the score 12-2. Long finished the contest with a 3-for-4 night.

Benton Moss followed last week’s complete game with six shutout innings as the right-hander earned his fifth win of the season. He has now extended his scoreless-inning streak to 13.1 innings.

The loss snaps Pensacola’s series unbeaten streak at 12. The club had gone over two months since they had lost a series, dating back to the end of May when Jacksonville took two of three in a rain-shortened series. During that stretch, the Blue Wahoos went 38-19 improved their season record from 22-33 (last place) to 59-52, which is five game back of Biloxi for the best overall record in the Southern League.

After an off day tomorrow, the Wahoos will make the short trek across I-10 for a five-game tilt against the Mobile BayBears. Pensacola left-hander Seth Varner (6-2, 2.91) will open the series for the Blue Wahoos while RHP Joe Gatto (3-4, 5.59) is expected to toe the rubber for the Los Angeles Angles Double-A affiliate.

Biscuits Beat The Wahoos

August 6, 2018

Montgomery score six runs over the seventh and eighth innings to even the five-game series with a 7-3 win Sunday night at Blue Wahoos Stadium.

The Wahoos led 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth before the Biscuits took control of the game. Brett Sullivan led off with a double, followed by Dalton Kelly getting hit by a pitch. Lucius Fox laid down a sacrifice bunt, but the throw to first base got away and Sullivan dashed home all the way from second base to tie the game. Nathan Lukes delivered an RBI single to give the Biscuits the lead 3-2. In the eighth the Biscuits would send nine to the plate and score four runs off reliever Alejandro Chacin to extend the lead to 7-2. Jesus Sanchez led the inning off with a home run, which sparked the rally. The inning featured three hits, two walks and an error which put the game out of reach.

Jose Siri tied the franchise second-half record with his 10th home run in the ninth inning in the 7-3 defeat. It was the only run Mike Broadway allowed over his 2.1 innings to close out the game.

Starter Daniel Wright (L, 6-7) threw a career-high 107 pitches in the losing effort. Wright had a rough first inning when he allowed one run on three hits. He settled down, posting five scoreless innings that included sitting down 12 consecutive batters spanning from the last out in the second until Jake Cronenworth drew a walk with two outs in the sixth. Wright’s night ended without getting an out in the seventh after surrendering the lead.

Monday night the Wahoos will look to win the rubber match, to extend their series unbeaten streak to 13. Pensacola will start RHP Wyatt Strahan (6-8, 6.46), and RHP Benton Moss (4-4, 3.82) will take the hill for Montgomery.

Biscuits Beat The Wahoos

August 5, 2018

Montgomery scored four runs in the top of the 13th inning and took game three by a final score of 9-5, Saturday night at Blue Wahoos Stadium.

With two outs in the 13th, Jake Cronenworth broke a 5-5 tie with a two-run single off Carlos Navas (L, 4-2) to give the Biscuits a 7-5 lead. They would double the advantage with another two-run single from Michael Brosseau to put the game out reach.

Santillan battled all night against the Biscuits posting his fourth quality start in six outings. Despite allowing base runners in all but one of his six innings, Santillan’s only setback came in the second inning on two unearned runs.

Rafael De Paula replaced Santillan in the seventh and walked the bases loaded. He was then lifted for Robinson Leyer, who escaped the bases loaded jam, allowing only one run. Leyer and Joel Bender combined for 3.1 innings on three hits, three walks, and three strikeouts.

The Wahoos had chances to walk off in the extras. In the 10th with the winning run at second, Mitch Nay grounded out to short to end the Wahoos chances at a win. In the 11th, the Wahoos again scored the tying run and had the winning run at third but Luis Gonzalez hit into an inning-ending double play to send the game to the 12th. The Wahoos were 4-for-24 with runners in scoring position and left 13 men on base.

The Wahoos will look to improve their series unbeaten streak to 13 in Sunday’s game against the Biscuits. The Wahoos will start RHP Daniel Wright (6-6, 3.68), and RHP Benton Moss (4-4, 3.82) will take the hill for the Biscuits.

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