Smokies Win Their Season Opener Against Blue Wahoos

April 17, 2015

Marquez Smith hit a pinch-hit, two-out double in the top of the ninth inning Thursday against the Tennessee Smokies.

Pensacola Blue Wahoos Juan Perez then was put in to pinch run for Smith and advanced on a wild pitch. Beau Amaral walked and Pensacola had the tying and winning runs on first and third base. However, Zach Vincej struck out to end the game at Smokies Stadium.

Tennessee held on to win its season opener, 5-4, when it scored three runs in the fourth. Stephen Bruno scored the decisive run on a fielders choice to first by Pin-Chieh Chen, which put the Smokies ahead, 5-2.

Both teams will make up Wednesday’s rain out with a doubleheader that begins at 5:30 p.m. ET Friday. Both games are scheduled to last seven innings tomorrow.

Yovan Gonzalez doubled in Seth Mejias-Brean and Ryan Wright in the seventh inning to pull Pensacola within one run, 5-4.

Making his Blue Wahoos debut Marcus Walden lasted three innings, giving up all five runs to Tennessee on seven hits and three walks. He struck out two.

Leading the Wahoos lineup were outfielder Jesse Winker who went 2-4 with an RBI; Gonzalez, who went 2-4 with a double and 2 RBIs; first baseman Kyle Waldrop, who was 1-3 and walked; and Beau Amaral, who scored a run and was 1-4.

Tate, Jay Advance In Baseball Districts; Tate Baseball Beats Pace

April 16, 2015

SOFTBALL DISTRICT PLAYOFFS

District 1-7A

Tate 9, Crestview 0

The rain held off long enough for the Tate Lady Aggies advance to the District 1 -7A championship game by defeating the Crestview Bulldogs 9-0 on Wednesday night at Niceville High School.

Tori Perkins led with way with a strong performance on the mound by throwing another no hitter and striking out 13.  Lauren Brennan blasted  a 2-run homer in the sixth to help solidify the win. Savannah Rowell had 3 RBI and a run; Perkins had three RBI; Hayden Lindsay was 2-3 with two runs and a triple.

The Lady Aggies (21-4) advance to the championship game Friday at Niceville at a time to be determined based upon weather.

District 3-1A

Jay 16, Freeport 6

The Jay Royals advanced to the 3-1A district championship with a 16-6 win over Freeport in the semifinals Wednesday. Jay exploded in the fifth with 12 runs. Avery Jackson 3-3, 2R, 4 RBIs 2B; Kolby Bray 2-4, 2R, 3RBIs; Dana Blackmon 3-5, 2R, RBI; Michaela Stewart 2-5, R, RBI, 2B.


BASEBALL

Tate 6, Pace 3

Tate beat Pace Wednesday, 6-3. Trace Penton 1-4, RBI; Hunter Worley 2-2, 3 RBI; AJ Gordon RBI; Branden Fryman 1-3; Mark Miller 1-3, Sawyer Smith 1-2.

Softball Districts: West Florida Wins, Northview Out

April 15, 2015

The West Florida Lady Jaguars beat Marianna in a late game Tuesday night in the first round on the District 1-4A playoffs. Weather permitting, the Lady Jags will play for the district championship at 6 p.m. Thursday against Walton. Walton is coming off a 6-2 win over Catholic Tuesday.

For West Florida, Breana Rogers was 1-2, Kayla Miller was 2-4, Kristin Gunter was 2-12 with a double and two RBI, Meagan Freeman was 1-3 with a double and two RBIl, Emily Loring was 2-3, and Lauren Carnley was 2-3.

District 1-4A

Tuesday (at Marianna)
Walton 6, Catholic 2
West Florida 4, Marianna 2

For a photo gallery from West Florida over Marianna, click here.

Thursday
West Florida at Walton, 6 p.m.

District 3-1A

Tuesday (at Freeport)
Holmes County 5, Baker 3
Freeport 4, Northview 3

Wednesday (at Freeport)
Chipley vs. Holmes County, 4p.m.
Jay vs. Freeport, 6 p.m.

Friday
3-1A Championship Game, 6 p.m.

Pictured: West Florida beats Marianna in Marianna late Tuesday night. NorthEscambia.com photos by Gary Carnley, click to enlarge.

Three-Run Blast Lifts Wahoos Over Biloxi

April 13, 2015

Kyle Waldrop erased three games of Pensacola Blue Wahoos hitting misery with one giant stroke.

The first baseman lofted a high-arching, three-run home run that gave the Wahoos its first lead, 3-0, of the five game series against the Milwaukee Brewers’ new Double-A franchise, the Biloxi Shuckers. The runs in the bottom of the first inning matched what Pensacola had scored in its previous three games.

It was one of only two hits by Pensacola, which snapped its three game losing streak to Biloxi with a rain-shortened 4-0 victory, although the grounds crew worked to keep the field dry throughout the drizzly day.

Waldrop, the Cincinnati Reds No. 14 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, showed an impressive bat in Spring Training with the Reds. In 12 games, the left-hander hit .273 with one homer and five RBIs.

So far this season, he has continued to swing the bat well. He’s hitting .273 with the homer and three runs-batted in. Last year, he came up to Pensacola with a handful of High-A Bakersfield Blaze mid-season and hit .315 with eight homers and 35 RBIs.

Waldrop said in Sunday’s six-inning game, he was just trying to move the runners on first and second up a base.

“It started off pretty fair and then kept slicing down the line,” he said. “I’m glad it stayed fair. It was a good feeling. Hopefully, now our bats will wake up a little bit.”

Manager Pat Kelly said Waldrop’s homer was a key to the game, even taking pressure off of starter Wandy Peralta, who was making his Double-A debut.

“Kyle was one of the few guys who came up from Bakersfield and didn’t miss a beat,” Kelly said. “It was really clutch. It allowed Peralta to relax a little bit.”

In his debut, Peralta threw five scoreless innings, giving up three hits, two walks and striking out three. Last year, Peralta was 7-12 with a 4.82 ERA for High-A Bakersfield.

He knew coming in that Biloxi was leading the Southern League in hitting with a .326 average and 18 runs, including one home run in three games against Pensacola.

“I knew they were having a real good series against us,” Peralta said through translator and starting catcher Yovan Gonzalez. “I just trusted every single pitch I threw. I wanted to just kill it.”

The Biloxi Shuckers, who open the year on a 55-game road trip while they await construction of their stadium, sent a fourth straight top-rated prospect to face the Blue Wahoos lineup Sunday. This time it was right-hander Jorge Lopez, Milwaukee Brewers’ No. 15 prospect according to Baseball America.

But Waldrop jumped on him in the bottom of the first inning and Pensacola capitalized on six walks by Lopez to get its first victory of the season.

The final game of the five-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers Double-A affiliate Biloxi Shuckers is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. Monday. RHP Marcus Walden takes the mound for the Wahoos and is scheduled to be opposed by the Shuckers RHP Jacob Barnes.

Blue Wahoos Lose Third Straight; Time Clock Added To Double-A Baseball

April 12, 2015

Pensacola Blue Wahoos starting pitcher Tim Adleman said he didn’t even notice the two 2-foot by 5-foot clocks on either side of the dugouts.

Third baseman Seth Mejias-Brean had a hard time seeing base balls hit by the Biloxi Shuckers because of the glare off the clocks.

All Double-A teams in the Southern League began using a clock for the first time Saturday to speed up a game that averaged 2 hours, 43 minutes in 2005 and 8 minutes more in 2014.

Last night, that meant the Blue Wahoos dropped their third straight game to the Biloxi Shuckers, 7-2, in 2 hours and 41 minutes.

In some instances, the new time-saving measures that allows 20 seconds between pitches and 2 minutes, 25 seconds between innings, could shave anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes from America’s pastime, baseball experts have said. For the first month, there will be no penalties enforced, such as assessing a pitcher a ball, if he fails to throw his pitch in time.

Adleman said he’s not sure what the effect of a clock will be on a game that’s never had one.

“Will it speed up the game and engage young fans or blow up too much and never work?” asked Adleman, who took the loss after leaving the game behind, 3-1, in the sixth inning. “Honestly, I did not notice (the clocks) at all. I was so focused on hitting my spots and getting out there and getting in a good rhythm.”

The first three games of the opening season series and the Blue Wahoos have managed three runs on 13 hits against Biloxi’s top-flight pitching staff. They are hitting just .153 against the Shuckers.

Pensacola’s Jesse Winker, at least, snapped his 0-7 slump with a single and double in four at bats. However, he was left on third base both times.

Kelly said he’s not worried about Winker or his other hitters in the middle of the lineup.

“I don’t worry about how Winker is hitting ever,” Kelly said. “I feel pretty comfortable with (Marquez Smith, Mejias-Brean and Kyle Skipworth). It didn’t work tonight and hasn’t worked so far this season. But I like my chances with those three guys.”

Adleman entered the game looking for his first Wahoos win as a starter after getting six starts the previous year. He was 0-3 with a 2.38 ERA in 2014.

After a shaky start in which he gave up three runs on seven hits in the first two innings, including muffing a bunt hit right to him that ended up costing him two runs, Adleman settled down. He allowed just three hits over the next four innings, benefitting from two double plays. On the night, Adleman allowed 11 men on base but left the game after six innings with Pensacola trailing, just 3-1.

One of the biggest Shuckers at the plate? Shortstop Orlando Arcia, the Brewers’ No. 2 prospect, has torn up Pensacola pitching, hitting .583, going 7-12 with two doubles, a triple, four runs scored and five runs batted in.

The fourth game of the five-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers Double-A affiliate Biloxi Shuckers is scheduled at 4 p.m. Sunday. LHP Wandy Peralta takes the mound for the Wahoos and is scheduled to be opposed by the Shuckers RHP Jorge Lopez.

Lady Jags Beat Escambia; Tate Over Fort Walton Beach

April 11, 2015

SOFTBALL

West Florida, 7, Escambia 3

The West Florida Jaguars beat Escambia 7-3 in a rain-shortened game Friday. Jibrasha Moore was 1-3 with homer and 2 RBI; Kristin Gunter was 1-2; Emily Loring 1-2 with a double; Lauren Carnley 1-3 with a double; and Farrah Ncholas was 1-3 with a RBI.

The game was the last of the regular season for the Lady Jags. They travel to Marianna to start district play Tuesday at 6 p.m. against the Marianna Bulldogs.

For more photos, click here.

BASEBALL
Tate 3, Fort Walton Beach 2

The Tate Aggies held on with two runs in the bottom of the seventh Friday to beat Fort Walton Beach 3-2. Branden Fryman was 2-3 with a RBI; Sawyer Smith was 1-3; Jake Davis was 1-2 for the Aggies.

Pictured top: Jabrasha Moore rounds the bases on a homer Friday as West Florida beat Escambia. Pictured below: The Lady Jags won 7-.3. Photos by Gary Carnley for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge

Wahoos Fall in Rain Shortened Game Against The Shuckers

April 11, 2015

Biloxi Shuckers pitcher Tyler Wagner proved why he’s ranked the No. 9 prospect by Baseball America in the Milwaukee Brewers’ organization.

Before rain canceled Friday’s game in the bottom of the sixth inning with the Shuckers ahead, 7-1, over the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, Wagner looked in total control through six innings. The 24-year-old right-hander gave up five hits, one unearned run and struck out four.

“Wagner did a nice job,” said Pensacola Manager Pat Kelly. “We’ve seen two really good pitchers and it doesn’t get any easier.”

Meanwhile, after a 1-2-3 first inning, Blue Wahoos Daniel Wright struggled in his Double-A debut. The righty ranked first in wins with 14 and second in strike outs with 141 in A ball for the Reds last year.

Wright gave up three runs in the second inning on a one-out, bases-loaded clearing double down the left field line by Shuckers catcher Adam Weisenburger that put Biloxi ahead, 3-1. He gave up three more runs on three singles and a walk in the third inning before being pulled with two outs and the Wahoos trailing, 6-1.

On the night, Wright lasted 2.2 innings, allowing six earned runs on five hits and four walks with no strikeouts.

“He’s a command guy and he can’t afford to get behind guys,” Kelly said.

Also making his Double-A debut was leftfielder Sean Buckley who posted a double and single in three at bats.

Pensacola, which recorded its 106th sellout in four seasons, is hosting the season opening series with Biloxi.

The third game of the five-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers Double-A affiliate Biloxi Shuckers is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. RHP Tim Adleman takes the mound for the Wahoos and is scheduled to be opposed by the Shuckers LHP Hobbs Johnson.

Escambia Allocates Tourist Dollars To Tate’s Aggie Classic Tourney

April 10, 2015

Escambia County will provide tourist development funding for the next Aggie Classic hosted by Tate High School Baseball.

Over its 22 year history, the tournament has brought in over 350 teams from California, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, New York, and the District of Columbia — along with thousands of out of town parents and fans spending money locally and staying nearly a week.

“We are looking to always improve our tournament and to put our best foot forward for our annual guests,” Tate baseball coach Greg Blackmon wrote in his funding request.

Escmabia County placed $250,000 in the 4th Cent Tourist Development Tax reserves. These funds are split $50,000 per commission district for events and other tourist promotion activities. District 5 Commissioner Steven Barry has proposed $5,000 for the 23rd Aggie Classic to be held March 14-17, 2016. The Escambia County Commission approved the proposal at a Thursday meeting.

Baseball: Northview Tops In District; Niceville Over Tate

April 10, 2015

Northview 4, Chipley 3

The Northview Chiefs (15-2, 8-2)  beat Chipley Thursday night in Bratt 4-3. With the win, the Chiefs will enter the district tournament as the No. 1 seed. For the Chiefs, Brodie Amos was 1-3, 3 RBI; Chasen Freeman 1-3, R; Roman Manning 1-2, R; Aaron McDonalds 0-3; Zach Payne 1-2; Brian Cantrell 1-3, R.  In their final regular season game, the Chiefs will host Rocky Bayou on Monday.

Niceville 1, Tate 0

The Tate Aggies dropped a district game to Niceville Thursday night, 1-0. Branden Fryman was 1-3; Jacob Saulnier 1-2; Josh Key 1-3. The Aggies will host Fort Walton Beach Friday night in another district matchup.

Paxton 2, Central 2

West Florida 11, Walton 1

Pictured: Northview beats Chipley Thursday night in Bratt. NorthEscambia.com photos by Ramona Preston, click to enlarge.

Northview Chiefs Celebrate Senior Night, Take On Wisconsin Team

April 10, 2015

The Northview High School Lady Chiefs celebrated Senior Night Thursday as they wrapped  up their regular season.  The Chiefs dropped both games of a double header to visiting Oshkosh North High School from Wisconsin. The Lady Chiefs will travel to Freeport Monday as the district tournament gets underway.

Pictured top: (L-R) Seniors Kendall Cobb, Penny Banda, Coach Ronald Peebles, Kyndall Hall, Courtney Peebles, Addy Lee, Kristen Byrd and Mallory Ryan. Not pictured above is Angel Lathan, who is on the left below, and Ciara Campbell. Submitted photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

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