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

Wahoos Fall To Mobile

August 25, 2016

After earning two runs in the first inning to go ahead, 2-1, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos lineup simply failed to generate any more scoring opportunities against the Mobile BayBears’ four pitchers Wednesday.

Pensacola got only two more runners on base after the fourth inning.

Mobile, which lost the first two games of the series to Pensacola, pulled out a 3-2 victory in the eighth inning at Blue Wahoos Stadium. The BayBears have not had the best luck in one-run games this season and are now 25-27 in them.

Mobile’s win makes for an exciting three-way race for the second half crown. Mississippi (33-24), which has lost six of its last seven games, is 3.5 games up on Pensacola (30-28) and is four games up on Mobile (29-28).

Blue Wahoos manager Pat Kelly feels good about his team with 12 games left to play in the Southern League season, despite Wednesday’s loss. Pensacola, which won the first half title with a franchise record 41 wins, are 11-4 in their last 15 games.

“We’re back on track, which is good to see,” Kelly said. “I was a little concerned for a while and wondered if we were getting too complacent. Yeah, they wanted to win but it doesn’t really count. Now, the guys see it does count and they’re doing a great job.”

Mobile’s pitchers, Taylor Clarke, Austin Wright, Miller Diaz and Matt Stites blanked the Blue Wahoos for eight innings. Combined they gave up two runs, one earned on seven hits, walked none and struck out 10.  Diaz earned his first win for Mobile and is 1-0, while Stites earned his 14th save on the year.

“They pitched really well,” Kelly said. “They’re a tough, tough club.”

The BayBears’ second baseman Jamie Westbrook scored the winning run in the eighth. Mobile third baseman Dawel Lugo blasted a ground ball down the third base line that Pensacola third baseman Taylor Sparks backhanded and tagged out Mobile first baseman Kevin Cron for the second out of the inning. However, Westbrook scored.

Mobile pinch hitter Gabriel Guerrero tied the game up, 2-2, in the seventh inning when his single to left field scored Lugo.

Pensacola had gone ahead, 2-1, in the first inning when second baseman Brandon Dixon doubled off the base of the left field wall to drive in left fielder Phillip Ervin with the first run. It was Dixon’s seventh RBI in 10 games and he now has 59 RBIs on the year that is first on the team and ninth in the Southern League.

The second Blue Wahoos run scored when right fielder Sebastian Elizalde scored on a wild pitch. Elizalde extended his hitting streak to 10 games Wednesday. His longest streak is 14 games at High-A Daytona Tortugas last season.

Pensacola looked like they could have piled on more runs in the first inning but third baseman Alex Blandino made an ill-advised steal attempt of third base and was thrown out. He had singled to start the game and moved to second on left fielder Phillip Ervin’s single. But with left-handed hitter Elizalde at the plate and no outs, Blandino took off.

“We had errors of aggressiveness,” Kelly said. “You want your guys to be aggressive. But it came back to bite us tonight (Wednesday).”

Barrett Astin showed he can still start when needed. After blanking Mississippi in six innings and striking out a season-high eight five days ago, the 24-year-old righty threw a season-high 6.1 innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits, walking one and striking out five. Astin didn’t get the decision Wednesday but his ERA as a starter is 2.75.

Of his 10 starts this season, he has allowed two runs or less in nine of them, including two throwing two six-inning shutouts in his last four starts.

“Swing guys in the big leagues right now are very important,” Kelly said. “He’s got a lot of value because he can do both.”

Volleyball: Northview Hosts West Florida (With Gallery)

August 24, 2016

The Northview Chiefs hosted West Florida High School’s Jaguars  Tuesday afternoon.

JV 16-25, 22-25 WFHS wins
Varsity 15-25, 17-25, 6-25 WFHS wins

For a photo gallery, click here.

The Northview Chiefs will host Pensacola Christian on Thursday. Junior varsity plays at 4:30 and the varsity takes the court at 5:30.

NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

Ervin Crushes Game Winning Homer For The Wahoos

August 24, 2016

Pensacola Blue Wahoos left fielder Phillip Ervin drove in two runs with a key line drive single to center field and a game-winning home run that he crushed high above the 400-foot sign in dead center.

Ervin, a first round draft pick in 2013 by the Cincinnati Reds, certainly looked like the player the Major League club projected him to be Tuesday, going 3-4 with two runs scored in the, 3-2, victory over the Mobile BayBears at Blue Wahoos Stadium.

On a 2-0 pitch, Ervin got all of the ball in the bottom of the eighth inning. The leadoff homer was the first ball hit out the park by Pensacola since Aug. 13.

“That was very impressive,” Pensacola manager Pat Kelly said, marveling at Ervin’s power. “He’s being patient. When he’s patient like that he gets good hits.”

Ervin, the Reds No. 16 prospect, now has 12 homers and 39 RBIs on the season. He also has 33 stolen bases, making him the first minor leaguer in the organization to have back-to-back double digit home runs and 30-plus steals in a season since Henry Rodriguez did it in the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Last season, Ervin knocked 14 homers and 71 RBIs for High-A Daytona Tortugas and Pensacola.

“It’s a great combo,” Kelly said of Ervin’s power and speed. “He’s got great tools. That’s why he was a No. 1 draft choice.”

The Blue Wahoos have now won the first two games of the five-game series over rival Mobile. Combined with the Mississippi Braves, 2-0, loss to the Biloxi Shuckers Tuesday, Pensacola is now 3.5 games behind division leader Mississippi at 30-27. The Braves are 33-23 in the second half.

“We’re peaking at the right time,” Kelly said with 13 games left in the 2016 season. “We’re hitting on all cylinders right now.”

The Blue Wahoos struck in the sixth inning, tying the game, 2-2, when center fielder Jeff Gelalich hit a two out single to score Ervin from third. Ervin had singled to drive in shortstop Alex Blandino earlier in the inning that pulled Pensacola within, 2-1.

Pensacola starter Jackson Stephens pitched out of two bases loaded jams in the first three innings, allowing just one run when he hit Mobile center fielder Evan Marzilli with a pitch that scored left fielder Rudy Flores from third in the second inning.

In the fourth inning, Mobile again put runners at the corners with two outs but Stephens got Mobile first baseman and slugger Kevin Cron to hit a pop foul to first base to end the inning.

Mobile had six runners in scoring position in four straight innings but Stephens was able to get out of the innings unscathed in a gutty performance. Stephens threw 91 pitches in five innings, allowing one unearned run, giving up seven hits, walking two and striking out four.

In all Mobile, was 2-10 with runners in scoring position Tuesday and left 14 runners on base.

“He battled and kept us in the game,” Kelly said. “A couple of those innings could have gotten really ugly. But he pitches with a chip on his shoulder. Nothing’s ever been handed to him. He’s had to earn it. That’s the way you have to be.”

The game stayed, 1-0, Mobile until the sixth inning when BayBears second baseman Jamie Westbrook hit a solo homer just over the left field fence for his third of the year to put his team up, 2-0. It was also the Mobile team’s 99th homer this season, which leads the Southern League.

Northview Splits Volleyball Matches With Pensacola High

August 23, 2016

The Northview Chiefs opened their volleyball season with a junior varsity win, while the varsity fell to the Pensacola High School Tigers Tuesday afternoon in Pensacola.

The Northview JV beat PHS two games to none 26-24, 25-23.

The Chiefs fell to the Tigers in varsity action 4-25, 8-25, 9-25.

The Northview Chiefs will host West Florida High School on Tuesday and Pensacola Christian on Thursday. Junior varsity games are at 4:30 and varsity games are at 5:30 both days.

Photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Northview Cheerleaders Hosting Mini-Cheer Clinic

August 23, 2016

The Northview High School cheerleader will host a Mini Cheer Clinic on Saturday, August 27 from 7:30 until 10 a.m. and Tuesday August 30 from 4:30 until 7 p.m. in the school gym. The price is $35 per girl ages 3-14. Each participant will receive a shirt and be invited to cheer with the Northview cheerleaders during the first quarter of the September 2  home game against Escambia Academy. NorthEscambia.com photo, click to enlarge.

Wahoos Beat Mobile

August 23, 2016

After blowing his last save opportunity, it was all forgotten for Alejandro Chacin when he got the call to close out the game Monday against the Mobile BayBears. Chacin, a Southern League All-Star and saves leader, retired the BayBears side to get his league-leading 25th save this season.

Pensacola’s bullpen threw four scoreless innings to lead their club to an 8-5 victory over Mobile in the opener of the five-game series at Blue Wahoos Stadium.

The win also gave Pensacola sole possession of second place in the South Division in the second half at 29-27, which is 4.5 games behind frontrunner Mississippi, which is 33-22. Mobile dropped a half-game behind Pensacola at 28-27.

To Pensacola manager Pat Kelly it was important to get Chacin in the game after blowing his fifth save this year. The win gave his team its 70th victory this year, which is the most for the franchise since it started in 2012.

“The best thing about closers is if they have short memories,” Kelly said, chuckling. “He’s the kind of guy — some words I can’t use — but he’s got two of them.”

The 23-year-old Chacin said the bullpen proved its worth to the team Monday by quieting the BayBears home run-happy hitters. Mobile has 98 homers on the year, which tops the Southern League, and hit two of them off of starter Tyler Mahle in the fourth and fifth innings to change a 7-1 Pensacola lead to a 7-5 Pensacola lead.

“We have a job as relievers to keep the game the same,” said Chacin, who is playing at the Double-A level for the first time. “I never mind about the save. You do your job and just help the team out.”

That’s exactly what the bullpen did Monday. Evan Mitchell relieved Mahle and threw two hitless innings with two strikeouts. Abel De Los Santos threw one scoreless inning, running his shutout innings to 16.1 to keep his ERA at 0.00. Chacin threw the last inning and got Mobile right fielder Gabriel Guerrero to fly out, Marzilli to strike out and catcher Matt Jones to ground out.

“It was pretty good,” Chacin said. “I felt really comfortable (Monday) tonight. Last time, I didn’t do the job. Tonight, I did it well.”

Kelly also recognized Mitchell for his two innings.

“The key to me was Mitchell,” Kelly said. “He shut them down. They got enough power over there that they can pop a couple and that’s what they did to get back into the game.”

Mahle retired 10 in a row and was cruising with a 7-1 lead before BayBears shortstop Dawel Lugo hit a high, deep fly ball over the left field wall in the fourth inning.

In the next inning, Mobile leadoff hitter Domingo Leyba hit his second homer for the team, launching a three-run shot into Hill-Kelly Dodge Hill that pulled Mobile back into the game, 7-5.

Mahle ended up pitching five innings and giving up six hits and striking out five in the game.

Pensacola had scored four runs in the bottom of the first on five hits. The inning started with second baseman Alex Blandino doubling, left fielder Phillip Ervin walking and right fielder Sebastian Elizalde singling to load the bases. Center fielder Brandon Dixon singled to center to drive in Blandino to tie the game, 1-1, with no outs.

After Blue Wahoos shortstop Zach Vincej popped out and BayBears third baseman forced out Ervin at home on a bouncer by catcher Chad Wallach, third baseman Taylor Sparks smacked a ground ball through the right side of the infield to score both Elizalde and Dixon for a 3-1 lead. Hudson completed the scoring when his single on a groundball into left scored Wallach to put Pensacola ahead, 4-1.

Pensacola added an insurance run in the eighth inning when Blandino led off the inning with a walk and was driven in by Elizalde for an 8-5 lead. Elizalde went 3-5 with a double, run scored and three RBIs. He now has back-to-back three-hit games and a team-leading 28 multi-hit games.

Interestingly, Blue Wahoos left fielder Ervin got on base four times on walks, a season high. He also stole his 33rd base on a pickoff attempt.

Meanwhile, Mobile BayBears starter Josh Taylor didn’t look like the same pitcher who threw a complete game shutout, allowing just three hits and striking out five. He lasted just 2.2 innings giving up seven runs, six earned on seven hits, four walks

Wahoos Capture Series With Braves

August 22, 2016

If the first half champion Pensacola Blue Wahoos and the second half frontrunner Mississippi Braves meet in the Southern League South Division playoffs in 15 days, fans can expect lots of excitement.

The Blue Wahoos won Sunday’s game, 6-3, over Mississippi to capture the final series on the road at Trustmark Park, 3-2.

On the season, Pensacola ended up winning the matchup, 12-8. The teams played seven extra-inning games, with the Blue Wahoos winning four of those contests.

Wait! There’s more. How evenly matched are the possible South Division playoff teams? Of the 20 games this season, 10 were decided by one run and four were decided by two runs.

Sunday’s game was atypical of the clubs’ season-long battles. Scoring only one run on three hits to trail Mississippi, 2-1, after seven innings, Pensacola scored four runs in the eighth inning on five hits, including a double, and a walk and sent eight batters to the plate.

Pensacola went ahead, 5-2 when Blue Wahoos shortstop Zach Vincej singled in the eighth inning to drive in right fielder Sebastian Elizalde with the first run of the inning that tied the game, 2-2. With two outs, Pensacola third baseman Taylor Sparks doubled in center fielder Brandon Dixon and first baseman Eric Jagielo to put the Blue Wahoos on top, 4-2. Pensacola catcher Chad Wallach then hit a line drive single to centerfield to score Sparks giving the Blue Wahoos a 5-2 lead.

Elizalde extended Pensacola’s lead to 6-2 in the top of the ninth when he doubled in second baseman Alex Blandino, who hit a lead-off single.

Mississippi had jumped on top in the second inning when right fielder Stephen Gaylor singled to knock in both catcher Joseph Odom and center fielder Connor Lien to put the Braves ahead, 2-0.

Besides being evenly matched, both teams also boast the top two pitching teams in the Southern League. Mississippi boasts a 3.05 team ERA, while Pensacola has a 3.20 ERA.

That good pitching was on full display again Sunday.

Pensacola right-handed starter Nick Travieso worked six innings, allowing two runs, one earned on eight hits, two walks and he struck out eight.

Meanwhile, Mississippi starter Lucas Smith also lasted six innings, allowing one run on three hits and four walks, while striking out seven.

On offense for Pensacola Sunday, Pensacola’s Dixon led the way, going 3-5 with a double, a run scored and an RBI. Dixon went 10-18 with three doubles, two runs scored and two RBIs in the five-game series. He now has 24 multi-hit games for the Blue Wahoos this season.

Elizalde also was 3-5 Sunday with a double, two runs scored and one RBI. For the series, he was 9-22 and upped his multi-hit games to a team-leading 27.

Heading into the final three series of the season, Pensacola is 28-27 and sits in third place in the Southern League South Division, 5.5 games behind South Division front-runner Mississippi, which is 33-21 in the second half. Overall, Pensacola is 69-56 this season, while Mississippi is 67-56.

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