Wahoos, Suns Rained Out

July 17, 2014

Due to heavy rain, and more expected on the way, the Blue Wahoos and Jacksonville Suns series opener at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville has been postponed. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader beginning at 5:35 p.m. Thursday night.

Both games will be seven inning contests with the second game beginning approximately 45 minutes after the completion of game one.

The Blue Wahoos are expected to go with RHP Daniel Corcino (8-7, 4.40) in game one and RHP Jon Moscot (5-8, 3.10) is expected to follow in game two.  The Suns are going to start Major League rehabber RHP A.J. Ramos in game one followed by RHP Robert Morey (1-0, 2.79) in the second game. Ramos is only expected to pitch one inning and will be followed by Suns scheduled starter RHP Jay Rogers (4-2, 4.06).

by Tommy Thrall

Gulf Coast Storm 12U Takes Second In Gulf Coast Nationals

July 16, 2014

The Gulf Coast Storm 12U travel baseball team placed second in the 11-team Nations Gulf Coast Elite National Championships this past weekend at the NEP ballpark.

After losing their first bracket game in the double elimination tournament, the Gulf Coast Storm battled back to win five straight.  The Storm won the first championship game, forcing a second winner-take-all game.

The Gulf Coast Storm will play their last tournament of the year this weekend in Biloxi. Gulf Coast Storm team members are from the Pace, Pensacola and Cantonment areas.

Pictured: (front, L-R) Trevor Norton, Adam Nisewonger, Grant Gill, Cody Gavin, John Pinette,  Hunter Smith, (back, L-R) Parker Tubb, Cole Fryman, Cameron Bailey, T.J. McCants, Timmy Williams, Sam Shackle and Chase Tolbert. Not pictured are Head Coach Matt Faust and Assistant Coach Mike Norton. Photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Montgomery Biscuits Take Series With 4-3 Win Over The Wahoos

July 15, 2014

In his last three starts, Mikey O’Brien has pitched in High-A Bakersfield, Calif., Triple-A Louisville, Ky., and then returned to Double-A Pensacola.

But O’Brien said Monday all the travel didn’t bother him as he went up against Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Jeremy Hellickson and held his own, leaving after seven innings with a 3-2 lead.

However, the Montgomery Biscuits came from behind in the eighth inning with two runs to win the game, 4-3, and to take the series, 3-2, in front of 4,050 fans at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium.

O’Brien pitched his longest outing of the season, going seven strong innings. He retired the last 12 batters he faced and 15 of the last 16. O’Brien allowed four hits, two earned runs, one walk and struck out three.

“I don’t mind traveling as long as I have a job and I am out on the mound every fifth day,” O’Brien said. “For the most part, I felt locked in and in a groove.”

Blue Wahoos manager Delino DeShields said it was one of O’Brien’s best outings for Pensacola.

“He ran into a little trouble in the third but outside of that he was in total control out there,” he said.

Meanwhile, Hellickson, who made his season debut Tuesday in Tampa Bay against the Kansas City Royals, got in six innings of work. He had arthroscopic surgery on his throwing elbow in January. Hellickson looked just fine Monday, striking out 11 Wahoos, including seven of the last eight batters he faced. He walked none, while giving up just one run.

“I was just treating tonight like it was a real game,” said Hellickson, a righty who is 39-31 with a 3.69 ERA in five seasons with Tampa Bay. “It’s the best I’ve felt command wise and with my changeup. I was pretty happy with how my day went.”

O’Brien said he found Hellickson’s work on the mound fun to watch.

“I’ve enjoyed watching him pitch for the last couple of years,” O’Brien said. “He showed tonight why he’s a Major Leaguer.”

Hellickson is scheduled to start for High-A Charlotte on Sunday. He rejoins Tampa Bay’s rotation at the start of its first post-All-Star break homestand, a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox from July 25-27.

“I’m looking forward to it quite a bit,” said Hellickson about his second start for the Rays, after allowing one run and six hits with two strikeouts and one walk in 4.1 innings against the Royals.

Pensacola took the lead, 3-2, in the seventh inning on an opposite field solo home run by Kyle Waldrop and a line drive shot over the left field wall by Juan Duran. Duran’s solo homer tied him with the second most homers in Blue Wahoos history in a season with 11. Travis Mattair holds the single-season record, hitting 13 dingers last season.

The Blue Wahoos are off Tuesday during the Major League All-Star Game. They start a five-game series on the road at Miami Marlins Double-A affiliate the Jacksonville Suns that gets underway at 6:05 p.m EST Wednesday. RHP Daniel Corcino (8-7, 4.40) takes the mound for the Wahoos and is scheduled to be opposed by the Suns LHP Chipper Smith (3-3, 4.02).

by Tommy Thrall

Montgomery Tops Pensacola 12-2

July 14, 2014

At least two Pensacola Blue Wahoos players had a day to remember on the field Sunday – outfielder Jesse Winker and pitcher Robert Stephenson.

Playing in the 16th annual SiriusXM All-Star Futures game with the top 50 prospects in minor league baseball at Target Field in Minneapolis, Winker had the game’s first hit and first run, while Stephenson had the fastest recorded pitch in the game among all the pitchers at 98.1 miles per hour.

Meanwhile, the Blue Wahoos had a forgettable day against the Montgomery Biscuits at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium, losing 12-2. The Wahoos are now 5-41 in games they trailed after seven innings.

But in Minnesota, Winker, the Cincinnati Reds No. 4 prospect, hit a double off the left field wall to lead off the third inning and later scored to give the U.S. Team a 1-0 lead over the World Team. He went 1-2 on the day.

Wahoos leftfielder Kyle Waldrop has known Winker the past two years and said all the players cheered in the dugout when his hit was announced to the stadium.

“He definitely deserves to be there,” Waldrop said. “We were all excited for him.”

Stephenson threw a scoreless 8th inning. In a matchup of the Reds’ top prospect versus the Chicago Cubs’ top prospect – shortstop Javier Baez – Stephenson came out on top striking Baez out on four pitches. Stephenson gave up one hit.

His roommate, Wahoos pitcher Jon Moscot, said Stephenson didn’t sleep the night before flying out to Sunday’s game.

“He was estatic about it and told me he wanted to see how hard he could throw it,” Moscot said. “We all know about Baez. That’s a great matchup for Stephenson.”

Back in Pensacola, the game unraveled for the Wahoos in the seventh inning when Montgomery first baseman Cameron Seitzer hit a grand slam and then the very next batter, third baseman Richie Shaffer, followed up with a solo homer over the left field wall. The Biscuits all of a sudden changed a 3-2 lead to an 8-2 game.

The good news in Lively’s bid for his first victory at the Double-A level, he struck out a season-high nine batters with the Wahoos in five innings of work. The bad news: the Biscuits Ryan Brett and Jeff Hager hit back-to-back solo shots over the leftfield wall to put Montgomery ahead, 3-1, in the fifth inning.

Lively, who took the loss and now is 0-3, did retake the lead in strikeouts in minor league baseball with 131 Ks. He surpassed Single-A Visalia Rawhide pitcher Aaron Blair, who has 125.

Wahoos Manager Delino DeShields said he hopes Winker and Stephenson and the other Pensacola ballplayers continue to improve after the games they played Sunday.

“I hope they benefit from their experiences and are better players next time around,” he said. “People’s expectations were a little higher than mine. I knew there would be ups and downs coming in.”

The finale of the five-game series with Tampa Bay Rays Double-A affiliate the Montgomery Biscuits gets underway at 6:30 p.m. Monday. RHP Mikey O’Brien (3-3, 3.86) takes the mound for the Wahoos and is scheduled to be opposed by the Biscuits RHP Jeremy Hellickson, who is rehabbing from arthroscopic surgery on his throwing elbow.

by Tommy Thrall

Biscuits Blast Wahoos 8-5 In Game Three Of Series

July 13, 2014

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos (9-14, 40-53) fell in front of a sold out crowd at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium, 8-5, to the Montgomery Biscuits (11-12, 46-47). The Wahoos left 14 men on base as the Biscuits blasted their way to victory with three home runs.

The Biscuits jumped out to an early lead in the second inning when catcher Luke Maile doubled to right field, scoring Cameron Seitzer from second, who had doubled earlier in the inning. The Wahoos responded in the bottom half of the inning with a RBI single off the bat of Juan Duran.

The Biscuits were able to take the lead because of a two-out error by shortstop Devin Lohman in the third, but the Biscuits stretched out their lead in the middle innings thanks to the long ball. Ryan Brett hit a solo shot to left field in the fifth and Richie Shaffer went deep to left with a two-run shot in the sixth off reliever Hector Nelo.

The home run party continued with a two-out solo shot from Devin Lohman to cut the lead in the 6th to just three runs. After two base on balls, Ryan Wright singled up the middle to bring the Biscuits lead to just 5-3.

The Biscuits put the game away for good, however, with a three-run home run by Kes Carter in the top of the ninth inning that extended their lead to five runs. The Wahoos scored two runs in the ninth and put the tying run at the plate, but left two runners on base to end the game.

Brodie Greene went 1-for-4 with a walk and extended his on-base streak to 13 games and Travis Mattair reached base for the 11th straight game while going 1-for-4 with a walk.

RHP Tim Adleman had another successful start for the Wahoos as RHP Robert Stephenson shipped up to Minneapolis to prepare for the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game on Sunday afternoon. Adleman pitched five innings and allowed only 3 R/2ER on five hits, but took the unfortunate loss for the Wahoos. He added three strikeouts to his outing. RHP Brooks Pinckard pitched a scoreless first inning of relief in his first appearance off the disabled list, but gave up the Carter home run when he came out for his second inning of relief in the ninth.

LHP Grayson Garvin started the game for the Biscuits and lasted only 3.0 innings, allowing one run on six hits. LHP Jimmy Patterson earned the win with two impressive, scoreless innings out of the pen. RHP Santiago Garrido earned the two-inning save for the Biscuits.

The Wahoos will send Gulf Breeze native Ben Lively (0-2, 4.12) to the mound on Sunday afternoon. Lively leads all of Minor League Baseball with 122 strikeouts on the season. RHP Victor Mateo (9-6, 3.51) will make the start for the Biscuits. The game marks a McDonald’s Family Sunday Funday; after the game, kids can run the bases and play catch in the outfield with Family Toss. Outfielder Jesse Winker will start for Team USA during the Futures Game and Stephenson is set to pitch at some point during the game, which starts at 4 p.m.

by Tommy Thrall

Pensacola Blue Wahoos Earn Second Straight Win Over Montgomery

July 12, 2014

Pensacolians had plenty to cheer about Friday. The Blue Angels returned to the skies over Pensacola Beach and the Blue Wahoos won their second straight game in thrilling fashion.

Pitching and defense helped the Wahoos hold on to a 3-1 win against the Montgomery Biscuits Friday night at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium.

Starter Jon Moscot threw six strong innings, giving up just one run while striking out six and then four pitchers from the Wahoos bullpen shutout the Biscuits over the final three innings. They did it by getting inning-ending double plays in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings.

Coming into the game Wahoos’ relievers had a 2-2 record and 1.93 ERA in July. That despite the loss of Carlos Conteras to the Cincinnati Reds, and Fabio Castillo and Fabian Williamson were promoted Friday to Triple-A Louisville, following Elvin Ramirez who joined the Bats June 30.

Moscot said everyone is grateful for the relievers stepping up. Shane Dyer earned his second straight save for a team-leading ninth this season.

“I’m happy with them, (Manager) Delino (DeShields) is happy with them, I think the whole team is,” said Moscot, who now has struck out 87 batters on the year. “We got some arms here, so it should be exciting.”

DeShields said part of ensuring the bullpen closes out close games, is the new way they’re being handled. However, he pointed out Wahoos pitchers combined for seven walks against Montgomery.

“I would have to say they are on a shorter leash,” he said. “Early in the season, we left them in there to see if they could finish the inning. Now, we just go to the next guy.”

The Wahoos improved to 24-10 when they score first and 11-1 when they do it at home. They are now 9-13 in the second half of the season and 40-52 overall.

The Wahoos jumped out front in the first inning when leadoff hitter Josh Fellhauer singled and then stole second base. He was knocked in by Ross Perez who ripped a line drive to right field.

In the second inning, the Wahoos got all the runs they would need when first baseman Travis Mattair, on an 0-2 count, hit a deep fly ball over the left field fence for his eighth home run of the season, which extended his on-base streak to 10 games.

The third game of the five-game series with Tampa Bay Rays Double-A affiliate the Montgomery Biscuits gets underway at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. RHP Tim Adleman (2-3, 3.26) takes the mound for the Wahoos and is scheduled to be opposed by the Biscuits LHP Albert Grayson Garvin (0-4, 4.32).

by Tommy Thrall

Pictured: Pensacola Blue Wahoos beat the Montgomery Biscuits 3-1 at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium Friday. Photos by Michael Spooneybarger/ Pensacola Blue Wahoos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Wahoos Take Home Opener Against Montgomery’s Biscuits, 4-2

July 11, 2014

Daniel Corcino put what the reigning WWE Tag Team Champion Uso Brothers would call “the kibosh” on the Montgomery Biscuits Thursday night.

In front of a sellout crowd and twin brothers Jimmy and Jey, who graduated from Escambia High School, Corcino clamped down on the Biscuits in the, 4-2, Pensacola victory in the series opener.

Corcino allowed just one run on a solo home run to Alejandro Segovia in the second inning and struck out seven to up his record to 8-7. It was Corcino’s ninth start this season that he has pitched six innings or more and allowed one run or fewer.

He said that meeting the dominating Uso Brothers, who threw out the game’s ceremonial first pitch, pumped him up before the game. Corcino said he has loved wrestling since he was a little boy watching it on TV in the Dominican Republic.

“I love that sport. It’s one of my favorites,” Corcino said. “I met them and they asked, ‘Who’s going to teach me to pitch?’ I said, ‘I’ll teach you, if you teach me how to wrestle in the ring.’”

Corcino came into his 18th start of the season having struggled in his past five games. He was 1-3 with 19 strikeouts and 18 walks in 23.1 innings for a 9.26 ERA.

Corcino, who is the Cincinnati Reds’ No. 10 prospect according to MLB.com, said he considered those outings ancient history. Plus, the 23-year-old is now unbeaten, 4-0, against the Biscuits, including 3-0, this season.

“If you have a bad game you just forget about it,” said Corcino, who walked only one batter. “I threw the ball at the plate and said, ‘Let’s see what happens?’ My last few starts I’ve been a little wild.”

The difference Thursday was command of his fastballs in the 90s and getting ahead in the count on the hitters, said Wahoos manager Delino DeShields.

“When he pitches like that we have a chance to win games,” DeShields said. “When you look at his side work and his pitching in the bullpen before the game, everything’s working. It’s just being able to do it at 6:30 p.m. It was a great job by him tonight.”

The second game of the five-game series with Tampa Bay Rays Double-A affiliate the Montgomery Biscuits gets underway at 6:30 p.m. Friday. RHP Jon Moscot (4-8, 3.19) takes the mound for the Wahoos and is scheduled to be opposed by the Biscuits RHP Albert Suarez (1-0, 1.50).

by Tommy Thrall

Pictured: The Pensacola Blue Wahoos beat the Montgomery Biscuits 4-2 at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium,Thursday. Photos by Michael Spooneybarger/ Pensacola Blue Wahoos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

NEP 7U All Stars Place Second In World Series

July 10, 2014

The NEP 7U All Star Team recently came in second place in the 8U division in the All Star World Series in Gulf Breeze. Team members are Brayden Beck, Kaydon Biggs, Grant Bray-Hastings, Brendan Carpenter, Daviaun Farrish, Nino Freeman, Trevor Land, Jackson Poindexter, Brady Smith, Tradley Thompson and Caden White. Coaches are Travis Thompson, Heath Kelly and Chad Briggs (not pictured). Submitted photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Northview Quarterback Club To Host Softball Tournament

July 9, 2014

The Northview High School Quarterback Club will host a double elimination coed softball tournament August 2 at Showalter Park in Century from 8 a.m. until. The cost is $150 per team. Proceeds will go to support the Northview Chiefs football program.

For more information or to sign up a team, call Amy at (850) 516-8400 or Tony at (850) 516-5736.

Wahoos Fall In Series Finale With BayBears 7-4

July 9, 2014

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos (7-13, 38-52) fell in the series finale, 7-4, to the Mobile BayBears (13-7, 55-34) at Hank Aaron Stadium. The BayBears were led by third baseman Jake Lamb, who finished the contest 2-for-3 with a home run, a double and three RBI.

The Wahoos jumped out to an early lead when Kyle Waldrop hit a two-RBI double to the right-centerfield gap to score Brodie Greene and Yorman Rodriguez. Seth Mejias-Brean scored Waldrop from second on an RBI single, but the Wahoos bats would go cold until the top of the seventh.

The BayBears responded in the bottom of the first when Lamb hit a laser two-run home run to right field. The BayBears scored two in the fifth to take the lead over the Wahoos, chasing RHP Ben Lively from the contest after 4.1 innings of work. Lively took the loss, allowing four runs on five hits. The right-hander struck out seven batters to bring his total on the season to 122, which is the most in the entirety of the minor leagues.

After the BayBears tacked on another run in the sixth, Pensacola got a run back in the top of the seventh when Josh Fellhauer hit an RBI pinch-hit single in his first appearance since returning from the disabled list.

Mobile put the game away in the bottom of the eighth, adding two runs on an RBI double from Nate Samson and an RBI single from Ryan Court.

Starter Mike Lee earned the win for BayBears; he went 5.0 innings and allowed three runs on four hits. Kaleb Fleck closed the door on the Wahoos, earning his 10th save of the season.

The Wahoos have an off day on Wednesday before returning to Pensacola Bayfront Stadium for a five-game series with the Montgomery Biscuits. RHP Daniel Corcino (7-7, 4.63) will start game one of the series for the Wahoos. The Biscuits will send RHP Dylan Floro (8-6, 2.81) to the bump.

by Tommy Thrall

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