Wahoos At Tennessee Postponed By Smoky Mountain Rain

August 8, 2017

KODAK, Tenn., – The Pensacola Blue Wahoos’ scheduled game Monday evening at Smokies Stadium against the Tennessee Smokies has been postponed due to field conditions caused by rain.

The contest will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Tuesday, with the first game scheduled for 4:00 p.m. CT. Game two of the doubleheader will get underway approximately 30 minutes after first game’s conclusion.

Wahoos Drop Fourth Straight

August 7, 2017

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos jumped out to a 5-0 lead, thanks largely to second baseman Josh VanMeter, who has delivered clutch hits all season long and now leads the team with 44 RBIs.

However, the Tennessee Smokies scored five runs in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game and then Charcer Burks drove in the game-winning in the sixth inning for a 6-5 victory Sunday over Pensacola at Smokies Stadium. It was the fourth straight loss for the Blue Wahoos and the defeat allowed Tennessee to clinch the five-game series, going up 3-0.

Pensacola center fielder Gabriel Guerrero hit his 18th double of the year in the first inning. Blue Wahoos third baseman Nick Senzel then followed with a liner to center field to put runners on first and third. That’s when VanMeter came up with two outs and smacked a line drive single to right field that scored Guerrero for a 1-0 Pensacola lead.

VanMeter is now 19-50, or .380, with two outs and runners in scoring position and has 25 RBIs.

In Pensacola’s four-run third inning, VanMeter singled in his second run of the game and also scored. He was 3-for-3 in the game and hit his 26th double, which ties him for fourth in the Southern League.

Pensacola first baseman Gavin LaValley singled in Guerrero to put Pensacola ahead, 2-0. VanMeter hit a soft liner to left field that drove in third baseman Nick Senzel for a 3-0 lead. Catcher Joe Hudson grounded out into a double play with the bases loaded that scored LaValley and Pensacola was up, 4-0. The final run of the inning came when center fielder Jonathan Reyonoso drilled a single to left to bring in VanMeter and give Pensacola what seemed like a commanding, 5-0, start.

Guerrero was 4-5 in the game and scored two runs and now has 32 multi-hit games this season and twice has had four hits in a game.

But then came the fifth inning when the Smokies batted through its order, scoring five runs on four hits, a walk and a fielding error. Tennessee catcher Erick Castillo, who was 3-3 in the game, doubled to drive in shortstop Carlos Penalver with the first run to trail Pensacola, 5-1.

Pensacola starter Deck McGuire then got the next two batters out on a sacrifice bunt and flyout. However, Tennessee right fielder Daniel Spingola singled to center to bring home Castillo and pull the Smokies within, 5-2.  Tennessee second baseman David Bote followed with a double to score Spingola and make it a 5-3 game. Yasiel Balaguert hit a fly ball to Pensacola Aristides Aquino, who was charged with an error, and allowed both Bote and third baseman Jason Vosler to score, knotting the game, 5-5.

All five runs, three earned, came off McGuire, who allowed seven hits, walked one and struck out eight in his five innings of work.

Then in the bottom of the sixth, Burks, the Chicago Cubs No. 22 ranked prospect by MLBPipeline.com, singled to center to score Castillo to put Tennessee on top, 6-5.

Pensacola reliever Robert Stock gave up the game-winning run and dropped to 6-2 on the year. He pitched two innings and gave up three hits.

Meanwhile, Tennessee relievers Daury Torrez, Jake Stinnett and Craig Brooks combined to pitch 5.1 scoreless innings and give up just three hits to the Blue Wahoos, which had 13 in the game.

Pensacola fell to 20-23 in the second half in the Southern League South Division. Pensacola is 60-53 overall and won the first half title. Tennessee improved to 23-20 in the North Division and is 59-53 overall.

Lady Astros Win USSSA Southern Nationals Tournament

August 6, 2017

The “Lady Astros” went undefeated in six straight games to win the USSSA Southern Nationals Softball Tournament in Gulf Shores recently.  Players from Northview, Jay, Milton, West Florida, and Central high schools made up the championship team.

“Our players worked very hard and did great on defense and offense,” said Coach Donnie Nicholson. “I am very proud of all of our players.”

Photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Wahoos Fall To Smokies

August 6, 2017

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos lost its third straight game Saturday, losing 6-2, to Tennessee at Smokies Stadium.

The Smokies benefited from a two-run homer by right fielder Daniel Spingola and five scoreless innings from right-hander Steve Perakslis to take a 2-0 lead in the five-game series.

Pensacola had pulled within, 3-2, in the seventh inning when Spingola launched his fourth homer of the season in the bottom of the inning, which also scored left fielder Charcer Burkes, to put Tennessee ahead, 5-2.

Tennessee earned an insurance run in the eighth inning, when Ian Rice singled in first baseman Yasiel Balaguert, who had singled to start the inning, to extend its lead to 6-2.

Pensacola scored two runs in the seventh inning to trail Tennessee, 3-2. Blue Wahoos first baseman Gavin LaValley, who singled to start the inning, scored when catcher Chad Tromp grounded out to second base. Pensacola second baseman Josh VanMeter scored the Blue Wahoos second run with two outs when left fielder Brian O’Grady grounded to first base and reached on an error.

The Smokies went up, 3-0, on Pensacola when it scored two runs in the third inning when second baseman David Bote that drove in Burks and Spingola. It added another run in the fourth inning when center fielder Trey Martin hit a line drive to left field that drove in Balaguert.

Perakslis, who has made 19 relief appearances for the Smokies, made his first spot start of the season and worked five scoreless innings, allowing one hit, walking none and striking out nine. He improved to 4-1 and lowered his ERA to 2.60.

Pensacola shortstop Blake Trahan earned the only hit off Perakslis when he doubled to left field to start the game.

Blue Wahoos center fielder Gabriel Guerrero contributed two of the team’s five hits, going 2-4 to give him 31 multi-hit games this season.

Pensacola fell to 20-22 in the second half in the Southern League South Division. Pensacola is 60-52 overall and won the first half title. Tennessee improved to 22-20 in the North Division and is 58-53 overall.

Wahoos Lose Series Opener 5-4 To Tennessee

August 5, 2017

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos two-out, ninth inning rally Friday against the Tennessee Smokies fell one run short at Smokies Stadium in the opening game of a five-game series.

Tennessee edged Pensacola, 5-4, thanks to both the bat and arm of Smokies right hander Duane Underwood Jr., who went 2-3 and knocked in two runs.

Not only that, Underwood also earned his 11th win to tie for the Southern League lead by giving up two runs on four hits, no walks and striking out seven over seven innings.

Trailing, 5-2, entering the ninth Pensacola center fielder Gabriel Guerrero walked and third baseman Nick Senzel singled to right to put base runners on first and second with two outs. That’s when second baseman Josh VanMeter stepped to the plate and lined a single to center that scored Guerrero. VanMeter is 18-47, or batting .382 with two outs and runners in scoring position and has 24 RBIs.

The Blue Wahoos pulled within, 5-4, when Aristides Aquino smashed a sizzling ground ball to center for his third hit of the game and drove in Senzel.

Aquino, the Cincinnati Reds No. 6 prospect according to MLB.Pipeline.com, crushed a solo homer to left field in the second inning, ripped a double and smacked the single to go 3-4 in Thursday’s game with two runs scored and two RBIs. He broke a 1-24 slump and now leads Pensacola with 12 home runs and 43 RBIs.

Pensacola fell to 19-19 in one-run games and dropped to 20-21 in the second half in the Southern League South Division. Pensacola is 60-51 overall and won the first half title. Tennessee improved to 21-20 in the North Division and 57-53 overall.

Pensacola scored first to take a 1-0 lead when right fielder Aquino clubbed his solo shot in the second inning.

However, Tennessee wasted little time in taking the lead when they scored three runs in the bottom of the second to go up, 3-1. Smokies catcher Erick Castillo singled to left field to score both first baseman Yasiel Balaguert and center fielder Trey Martin to go ahead, 2-1. Tennessee right fielder Daniel Spingola then scored making it a, 3-1, game when second baseman Andrew Ely grounded out into a double play.

Tennessee tacked on another run when Underwood, the pitcher, grounded up the middle to centerfield to drive in Spingola for a, 4-1, Smokies lead.

Blue Wahoos catcher Chad Tromp doubled in Aquino, who had smacked his 15th double of the year, in the fifth inning to pull Pensacola within, 4-2.

The Smokies’ Underwood blasted a line drive to center field to drive in his second run of the game when Castillo crossed the plate to take a, 5-2, lead in the sixth inning. The 23-year-old Underwood, who has four hits and is batting .190 this year, went 2-3 with two RBIs — his first runs driven in during his six-year professional career.

Wahoos Drop Series To Birmingham

August 4, 2017

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos came within, 3-2, in the seventh inning but the Birmingham Barons held on to win, 5-2, Thursday at Regions Field.

Birmingham captured the series, 3-2, but Pensacola won the head-to-head matchup 6-4 this season.

Pensacola third baseman Nick Senzel, the Cincinnati Reds top prospect, blasted a solo homer to left field to lead off the seventh inning to trail the Barons, 3-1. It was his fifth homer with the Blue Wahoos and 22nd RBI in 38 games.

Pensacola scored a second run in the inning when DH Chad Tromp singled to left field with two outs to drive in left fielder Josh VanMeter to pull within, 3-2. But that was as close as the Blue Wahoos would get.

Birmingham scored first in the second inning when left fielder Courtney Hawkins scored on a sacrifice fly to center field by catcher Brett Austin for a 1-0 lead.

Barons second baseman Danny Mendick then put Birmingham ahead, 2-0, in the third inning when he scored when right fielder Mason Robbins grounded out into a double play.

Birmingham added another run in the sixth inning to go up, 3-0, when DH Keon Barnum smacked a single to right field that scored Hawkins.

Blue Wahoos pitcher Domingo Tapia made his eighth spot start and worked five innings. He gave up two runs on eight hits and two walks and struck out two. As a starter for Pensacola, he is 1-4 on the year.

Birmingham scored two more runs in the eighth inning off Pensacola reliever Brennan Bernardino to go ahead, 5-2.

Pensacola fell into second place in the Southern League South Division with a 20-20 record in the second half. Pensacola is 60-50 overall and won the first half title. Birmingham, which is in last place in the Southern League North Division, is 17-23 and are 43-66 overall.

Youth Sports Grant Applications Being Accepted

August 4, 2017

The Pensacola Sports Foundation is accepting applications for its 2018 grant program. Community organizations involved in providing youth sports opportunities are eligible to apply for funding. Applications must be received by November 1,2017.

The mission of the Pensacola Sports Foundation is to “support that part of the mission of the Pensacola Sports that focuses on the development, education, promotion and recognition of youth sports, amateur sports, scholar athletes, and athletic excellence in the Greater Pensacola area.” Since its inception in 1984, the Foundation has distributed over $500,000 in funding to organizations in the Greater Pensacola area.

Foundation Grant application forms can be downloaded from the Pensacola Sports website – www.pensacolasports.org or by contacting the Pensacola Sports office at (850) 434-2800. Completed forms may be either mailed to the Pensacola Sports Foundation, P.O. Box 12463, Pensacola FL 32591, or delivered to the Pensacola Sports office downtown at 101 W. Main Street, Pensacola FL 32502.

Questions regarding the Pensacola Sports Foundation grant program should be submitted in writing to Pensacola Sports, to the attention of Sally Garst (sgarst@pensacolasports.org).

Pensacola Blue Wahoos Win 7-0 Over The Birmingham Barons

August 3, 2017

With Pensacola clinging to a 2-0 lead in the sixth inning, Blue Wahoos third baseman Nick Senzel scored and then singled in two more runs in the seventh inning.

Behind Senzel’s hot hitting and baserunning  and Jose Lopez’s six scoreless innings, Pensacola downed the Birmingham Barons, 7-0, Wednesday at Regions Field. The five-game series is tied, 2-2, with the final and deciding game scheduled at 7:05 p.m. Thursday.

Senzel showed why MLBPipeline.com ranked the Cincinnati Reds first round draft pick in 2016 the No. 11 prospect in the minor leagues in its updated midseason report, jumping up 15 spots from No. 26 in its preseason Top 100 list.

In the sixth inning, the 22-year-old lead off with a single to right field and moved to second on a single by first baseman Gavin LaValley. Senzel then tagged up on a fly ball to center field by left fielder Josh VanMeter. With two outs, he hustled home to make it a, 3-0, game when Birmingham reliever Alfredo Gonzalez made a throwing error on a pickoff attempt.

In the seventh inning, Birmingham intentionally walked Gabriel Guerrero to load the bases with one out. Senzel made the Barons pay by smacking a line drive to right field that scored both catcher Joe Hudson and shortstop Blake Trahan to put Pensacola ahead, 5-0. With runners on first and third, Senzel took off for second and Birmingham second baseman Danny Mendick missed the throw from the catcher, which allowed Guerrero to score from third base for a 6-0 Blue Wahoos lead.

Senzel was 2-5 with a run scored, stolen base and two RBIs giving him 21 RBIs since being called up from High-A Daytona Tortugas after the All-Star break. He’s hitting .329.

Meanwhile, Pensacola starter Jose Lopez threw six scoreless innings, allowed four hits, walked two and struck out four to improve his record to 6-1 with a 2.69 ERA. The 22-year-old struck out three of the first four Barons he faced.

Over his last five starts, Lopez has allowed an amazing 1.13 ERA, giving up just five runs in 40 innings.

As a team, Pensacola owns the second-best ERA in the Southern League at 2.99 and is tied with the Chattanooga Lookouts with the most shutouts in the league with 12.

Pensacola is in first place in the Southern League South Division with a 20-19 record in the second half. Pensacola is 60-49 overall and won the first half title. Birmingham, which is in last place in the Southern League North Division, dropped to 16-23 and are 42-66 overall.

Wahoos Fall To Birmingham

August 2, 2017

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning Tuesday but then were shutout the rest of the game.

Birmingham Baron’s pitchers, Brannon Easterling, Kyle Kubat and Jack Charleston combined for eight scoreless innings, five hits, no walks and six strikeouts after Easterling gave up two runs on two hits and three walks.

Birmingham centerfielder Hunter Jones blasted his second homer in three games in the sixth inning to deliver a, 3-2, Baron’s victory over the Blue Wahoos at Regions Field. Birmingham leads the five-game series 2-1.

Pensacola is now 19-18 this season in one-run games.

Pensacola third baseman Nick Senzel hit his 11th double to drive in shortstop Blake Trahan to go up, 1-0, in the first inning. With the bases loaded and two outs, Blue Wahoos second baseman Shed Long walked to force center fielder Gabriel Guerrero in for the second run of the inning.

Birmingham second baseman Danny Mendick singled to center to drive in both third baseman Trey Michalczewski and catcher Alfredo Gonzalez to knot the score, 2-2, in the fifth inning.

That’s when Jones came through with his game-winning seventh homer to left center to put the Barons ahead, 3-2, in the sixth inning.

Pensacola starter Deck McGuire gave up all three runs to Birmingham over seven innings. McGuire allowed seven hits, walked two and struck out six. He earned the loss and is 9-8 with a 2.65 ERA.

Meanwhile, Kubat who has played in Low-A and High-A this season pitched in his first Double-A game and earned the victory. The reliever out of the University of Nebraska pitched three scoreless innings, allowed two hits and struck out three.

Charleston, making his second relief appearance with the Barons, earned his first save in Double-A. He tossed two scoreless innings, allowed one hit and struck out one.

Pensacola is in frst place in the Southern League South Division with a 19-19 record in the second half. Pensacola is 59-49 overall and won the first half title. Birmingham, which is in last place in the Southern League North Division, improved to 16-22 and are 42-65 overall.

Wahoos Beat Birmingham On The Road

August 1, 2017

In his four starts in Double-A since his call up from the High-A Daytona Tortugas, Pensacola Blue Wahoos starting pitcher Jesus Reyes has allowed just four runs in 23.1 innings.

Behind his six-scoreless innings and three-hitter Monday that dropped his ERA to 1.54, Pensacola defeated the Birmingham Barons, 4-1, at Regions Field.

It was Reyes first Southern League victory improving his record to 1-1. The 24-year-old right hander also struck out seven — the most in a game for the Blue Wahoos — and now has 21 Ks in four outings.

Despite being without three of its five pitchers that made up its starting rotation at the beginning of the season, Pensacola owns a 3.00 team ERA, which is second in the Southern League. Tyler Mahle was promoted to Triple-A Louisville Bats, Austin Ross is on the DL and Luis Castillo is pitching in Cincinnati, where he is holding his own at 2-4 with a 3.56 ERA, a 1.188 WHIP and struck out 51 in 48 innings.

Reyes also benefited from four runs from the Pensacola batting order, which has now scored four runs or more in six of its last 10 games.

Leading the way against Birmingham Monday was first baseman Gavin LaValley and center fielder Gabriel Guerrero.

LaValley was 3-4 and knocked in two runs in the eighth inning when he hit a ground rule double to left center that put the Blue Wahoos on top, 4-0.  He now has 11 doubles, a .280 average and 18 RBIs in 36 games for Pensacola.

Guerrero drove in two runs in the sixth inning when he singled up the middle and both shortstop Blake Trahan and second baseman Shed Long scored. It gave Pensacola a, 2-0, lead. Guerrero was 2-4 and has 37 RBIs for the Blue Wahoos and 30-multi-hit games.

Birmingham avoided being Pensacola’s 12th shutout victim when it scored one run in the bottom of the ninth inning. Barons center fielder Hunter Jones, who was 2-4, laced his fifth triple of the season to right field to bring home right fielder Mason Robbins.

Pensacola took over sole possession of first place in the Southern League South Division with a 19-18 record in the second half. Pensacola is 59-48 overall and won the first half title. They are the first Southern League team since the Tennessee Smokies (2009-2011) to win a Southern League record four straight halves.

CINGRANI L.A. BOUND Cincinnati Reds reliever Tony Cingrani was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for outfielder Scott Van Slyke and catcher Hendrik Clementina.

The 28-year-old southpaw, who pitched as a starter for the Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos in 2012, appeared in 25 games with Cincinnati this year and was 0-0 with a 5.40 ERA and 1.329 WHIP.  He had 24 Ks in 23.1 innings pitched. In six seasons with the Reds, he started the first two years before transitioning to the bullpen in 2015.

He played part of 2012 in Pensacola, where in 15 starts the flamethrower went 5-3 with a 2.12 ERA, 1.097 WHIP and 101 strikeouts in 89.1 innings. Cingrani made the jump to the Reds from the Blue Wahoos.

For Cingrani, the Reds picked up two players, including 31-year-old outfielder/first baseman Van Slyke. He was hitting .122 with two homers and three RBIs in 41 at bats with the Dodgers this season and has a .242 career average in six Major League seasons with Los Angeles. The 20-year-old Clementina plays catcher and first baseman for the Ogden Raptors in the Rookie League where Curacaon has four homers, 25 RBIs and is hitting .370 in 24 games.

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