Mississippi Braves Beat The Pensacola Blue Wahoos 3-2

May 29, 2017

Pensacola Blue Wahoos starter Keury Mella left the game after pitching 5.2 scoreless innings. But the usually reliable Pensacola bullpen gave up three runs to Mississippi Braves in the seventh inning.

The rare blown save opportunity Sunday at Trustmark Park, allowed Mississippi to steal a, 3-2, victory.

Mella bounced back after the Mobile BayBears chased him in his last outing by scoring eight runs in the first 3.2 innings. But against Mississippi he allowed five hits, one walk and struck out four.

The right-hander left the game with runners on first and third base in the sixth inning for Pensacola reliever Robert Stock, who got out of the jam by getting Braves right fielder Keith Curcio to ground out into a double play.

But in the seventh inning, the Mississippi Braves scored three runs on Stock when he loaded the bases with two walks and a single. Stock, making his second appearance for Pensacola, gave up the first run when pinch hitter Levi Hyams grounded out softly to second base but scored left fielder Jared James from third base.

Mississippi took the lead, 3-2, when Blue Wahoos reliever Ariel Hernandez replaced Stock and threw a wild pitch that allowed both catcher Kade Scivicque and shortstop Reed Harper to score, giving the Braves a, 3-2, victory. Hernandez also made an error on the scoring play when he missed a throw at home from Pensacola catcher Adrian Nieto.

Stock, called up from High-A Daytona Tortugas this past week, dropped to 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA.

Pensacola did take the series, 3-2, but dropped to 9-10 in one-run games. It fell to 28-22 in the Southern League South Division. However, the Blue Wahoos remain in first place two games ahead of the Biloxi Shuckers.

The Blue Wahoos led Mississippi, 2-0, when Braves starter Michael Madder struggled in the second inning to throw strikes. Madder gave up one hit and his four walks in the game to the Blue Wahoos, which allowed both second baseman Angelo Gumbs and third baseman Alex Blandino to score.

Pensacola’s latest lineup earned three hits — two off Madder and one off of Braves reliever Jesse Biddle — and walked six times in Sunday’s game. Mississippi pitching dominated the Blue Wahoos, which had runners in scoring position in just the second and eighth innings.

Wahoos Top Mississippi Braves 4-2 To Take Series

May 28, 2017

Led by Alex Blandino’s bat and another quality start from Deck McGuire, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos topped the Mississippi Braves, 4-2, at Trustmark Park to clinch the series and extend its first place lead in the Southern League South Division by three games.

The Blue Wahoos got on the board first with a two-run inning in the second inning. Blandino hit a two-run home run to left field to bring home Aristides Aquino, who got on base with a double to right-center.

In the top of the sixth, Aquino got on base again, this time with a single to left-center. Blandino, once again, knocked in Aquino with his 12th double of the season. Blake Trahan drove home Blandino with a single to give the Blue Wahoos a 4-1 lead.

After a slow start in Mississippi going 1-for-8, Blandino has hit a home run in back-to-back games for the first time since 2015 when he was with the Daytona Tortugas. Blandino is now 3-for-6 the past two games in Pearl and finished Saturday’s game 2-for-3 with two runs and three RBIs with a walk.

After giving up only one run in his past three starts, McGuire held Mississippi’s lineup to four hits and two runs with a season-high nine strikeouts. McGuire gave up his third homer of the year, and last since April 20th, when Mississippi’s Kade Scivicque hit a solo shot in the bottom of the third.

McGuire has now won each of his last four decisions and has only allowed three runs in his last 25 innings pitched.

The Pensacola bullpen once again shut down the competition as Domingo Tapia threw two hitless innings with three strikeouts while Geoff Broussard picked up his fifth save of the season with a perfect inning of work.

RHP Keury Mella (1-4, 5.06) takes the mound for Pensacola against LHP Michael Mader (3-2, 2.16) Sunday for the final game of the series.

Wahoos Get Past Mississippi

May 27, 2017

Pensacola Blue Wahoos left fielder Tyler Goeddel scored on right fielder Aristides Aquino’s soft ground out to shortstop to help the Blue Wahoos regain the lead, 6-5, in the seventh inning.

After four lead changes in Friday’s game at Trustmark Park, it was a lead that Pensacola would not relinquish. Blue Wahoos relievers Robert Stock, Geoff Broussard and Jimmy Herget combined to throw 3.2 scoreless innings, give up one hit and strike out two.

Pensacola evened its record to 9-9 in one-run games and improved to 27-21 and is in sole possession of first place in the Southern League South Division.

The seesaw game allowed Stock, who was called up from the High-A Daytona Tortugas, to get a win in his first appearance with the Blue Wahoos. He pitched 1.2 innings and struck out one. He retired all four batters he faced, which included a double-play to end the sixth inning.

Meanwhile, Herget earned his second save in a row for Pensacola and now has 13 on the season to lead the Southern League. The righty also struck out one and now has 36 Ks in 22 innings pitched this season.

Before Goeddel scored the winning run, Mississippi scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to tie Pensacola, 5-5. The Braves third baseman Travis Demeritte singled to center field to drive in center fielder Keith Curcio and right fielder Ronald Acuna.

Pensacola shortstop Blake Trahan had doubled in first baseman Eric Jagielo and second baseman Alex Blandino in the top of the sixth inning to put the Blue Wahoos ahead, 5-3.

Gabriel Guerrero had knocked in the tying run, 3-3, for Pensacola in the fifth inning when the center fielder’s single to shortstop scored pinch hitter Leon Landry.

Blandino smashed his second homer of the season to left field in the second inning that put the Blue Wahoos up, 2-0. Blandino was 1-3 with a walk and two runs scored in the game.

Guerrero also got back on track at the plate going 4-5 with a triple, scoring once and driving in a run. It was his first four-hit game this season with Pensacola and his 19th multi-hit game of the year. The 23-year-old Guerrero was 3-27 before going 6-12 against Mississippi in the first three games of the series.

Wahoos Top Braves

May 26, 2017

In a game that featured arguably the Southern League’s two best pitchers, one swing of the bat by Josh VanMeter proved to be the difference.

Austin Ross and Kolby Allard own the two lowest ERAs in the Southern League and Thursday’s contest proved exactly why. Ross held the Braves to just three hits over his seven innings while his only walk occurred when he gave Keith Curcio a free pass to lead off the second inning.

After allowing a first-inning double to Travis Demeritte, Ross settled in and only allowed two hits the rest of the night. He wound finishing the game retiring 18 of the last 20 batters improving his perfect record to 5-0.

Kolby Allard, who is the third best prospect in the Atlanta Braves organization according to Baseball America, lasted only five innings and was touched up for six hits in his fifth start of the year at Trustmark Park.

After a one-two-three first inning, Allard allowed baserunners in each of his last four innings. In the fifth inning after Allard struck out Ross, Tyler Goeddel hit a ground-rule double before Alex Blandino popped out for the second out of the inning. That set the stage for Josh VanMeter to uncork his first homerun of the season and put the Wahoos up 2-0.

The Wahoos had a chance to put up even more offense in the inning after back-to-back hits from Aristides Aquino and Eric Jagielo before Allard intentionally walked Gabriel Guerrero to load the bases. However, Blake Trahan ended the inning when he grounded out to Joey Meneses to end the threat.

Pensacola’s bullpen turned in another exemplary performance with two more shutout innings in relief. Ariel Hernandez pitched a scoreless eighth inning to pick up his league-leading seventh hold of the season. Jimmy Herget came into the ninth and despite allowing a base hit to Meneses struck out the side to clinch his 12th save of the year.

The Wahoos bullpen has only allowed one earned run in their least 20.1 innings pitched (0.44 ERA).

With the victory, tonight in conjunction with the Shuckers loss to Jacksonville, Pensacola moves into sole possession of first place in the Southern League South Division with their 26-21 record. In the 2017 season the Wahoos have spent 44 of 49 days either tied or alone in first place.

Tate Drops Regional Final To Nease In 10

May 25, 2017

The Tate Aggies fell in extra innings Wednesday to the Nease Panthers in the Region 1-7A Final.

The lead passed back and forth between Tate and Nease (Ponte Vedra, FL), with the Panthers prevailing 5-4 on a single in the top of the tenth.

The Aggies took an early lead in the second inning. Hunter NeSmith’s sacrifice fly scored one run for Tate. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Tate tied things up at four when NeSmith drove in one when he doubled.

Logan McGuffey took the loss for Tate. He went four innings, giving up one run, two hits, striking out four, and walking zero.

For Tate — Reid Halfacre 3-5, 2B; Logan Blackmon R; Kyler Hultgren 1-3; Michael Potts 2 R; Jesse Sherrill 1-3, R, RBI; Hunter NeSmith 1-3, 2 RBI 2B; Corben Young 1-3.

Tate was state ranked and won the Aggie Classic and the Sarasota Classic during the regular season.

Mississippi Outlasts Pensacola, 2-1

May 25, 2017

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos loaded the bases in the seventh inning with one out. But the team’s best chance to pull off a come-from-behind victory over the Mississippi Braves fell short.

Mississippi reliever Evan Phillips entered the game and forced left fielder Tyler Goeddel to line out to the shortstop and second baseman Alex Blandino to ground out to third base. The Braves went on to win, 2-1, Wednesday at Trustmark Park.

Pensacola fell to 8-9 in one-run games this season and is 25-21 on the season in a tie for first place with the Biloxi Shuckers in the Southern League South Division. Mississippi evened its record at 23-23 and is in third place.

Pensacola scored in the top of the first inning when first baseman Eric Jagielo hit a two-out single to center field that drove in Goeddel to put the Blue Wahoos ahead, 1-0. The ballclub earned two of its four hits in that inning with the other hit by Blandino, who hit a sharp grounder that deflected off the shortstop’s glove into left field.

But Mississippi came right back in the bottom of the first inning with back-to-back home runs by center fielder Ronald Acuna and third baseman Travis Demeritte off Pensacola ace Tyler Mahle. It was Acuna’s third homer with Mississippi and Demeritte’s seventh.

Neither team would score the rest of the way.

Mahle picked up his second consecutive loss, falling to 5-2, with a 1.72 ERA. The 22-year-old right-hander pitched six innings and gave up two runs on five hits, while walking one and striking out five.

Domingo Tapia relieved Mahle and threw two scoreless innings, allowing one hit, no walks and striking out three.

Meanwhile, 19-year-old Mississippi starter Mike Soroka improved to 5-3 with a 2.96 ERA. The first-round pick by the Atlanta Braves in 2015 pitched 5.2 innings, allowing one run on three hits, walked two and struck out a career-high 10.

The Braves bullpen pitched 3.1 scoreless innings, allowed one hit, four walks and struck out three Pensacola batters. Pensacola hitters struck out 13 times in Wednesday’s game.

Pensacola, which leads the Southern League with a 2.70 ERA, added another arm to its pitching staff Wednesday when the Cincinnati Reds promoted High-A Daytona Tortugas righty Robert Stock. Blue Wahoos catcher Garrett Boulware was returned to Daytona.

Jay Tops Northview In Spring Game (With Photo Gallery)

May 24, 2017

In Spring Football action, the Jay Royals defeated the Northview Chiefs 30-16 Tuesday night in Bratt.

This fall the Northview Chiefs will open with a Kickoff Classic game away on August 18 against Lighthouse Christian. The Chiefs will open the 2017 regular season at home against J.U. Blacksher of Uriah, AL. The Jay Royals will open their season at home against Baker on August 18 and travel to Flomaton on August 25.

The Chiefs and the Royals will meet again on October 6.

For more photos, click here.

NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.

Northview Chiefs Present Baseball Awards

May 23, 2017

The Northview Chiefs presented their annual baseball awards Monday night. Award winners included (pictured, L-R) Devin Stabler, Defensive Player and Diamond Thief Award; Blake Reid, Chief Award; Zach Payne, Offensive Award; and Daniel Mascaro, Pitching Award and Academic Achievement Awards. Not pictured: Quentin Sampson, MVP Award. Photos courtesy Ramona Preston and others for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Pensacola Crushes Five Home Runs To Win Series 3-2 Over BayBears

May 23, 2017

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos lineup erupted Monday with five home runs by five different hitters to tie the franchise record.

Pensacola’s a five-homer game, it’s fourth since its inaugural season in 2012, gave the club a, 9-1, victory over the Mobile BayBears and a bit of revenge for Sunday’s embarrassing loss.

Blue Wahoos shortstop Blake Trahan blasted the first homer in the fifth inning when he hit a solo shot to left field that put the Blue Wahoos on top, 2-1, for good.

The 4,333 fans at Blue Wahoos Stadium were then treated to four more blasts.

Pensacola achieved the feat three times before in games that were all on the road. The club did it twice last season on May 10 against the Chattanooga Lookouts and July 14 against the Jacksonville Suns. It hit five homers in a game for the first time in team history on Aug. 19, 2014 against Jacksonville.

The victory helped Pensacola clinch the series, 3-2, and its record improved to 25-20, and are tied again with Biloxi atop the Southern League South Division.

Trahan, ranked the 24th best prospect in the Cincinnati Reds organization by MLB Pipeline.com, crushed his first homer in Double-A. In his third season in professional baseball, he has six homers.

Pat Kelly jokingly said he worries Trahan will begin swinging for the fences.

“I have to remind him offensively he’s 5-9, not 6-4,” Kelly said. “Now, he thinks he’s a home run hitter again.”

Trahan said he knows that he is not a power hitter. But the Cincinnati Reds 24th best prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.com, admitted it felt good after getting dropped from the top of the batting order to seventh after hitting .231 this season.

“It’s not my game,” Trahan said. “I’m a line drive hitter. Baseball is a game of consistency. I have to continue to try and improve my game.”

Trahan liked right fielder Aristides Aquino’s two-run home run to left field in the eighth inning that put Pensacola ahead, 8-1. Aquino pulled a low, outside slider over the fence and now has seven homers and 24 RBIs this season.

Kelly’s favorite was left fielder Tyler Goeddel’s solo bomb to left center in the sixth inning. It was Goeddel’s second homer in 13 games with the Blue Wahoos and put them ahead, 3-1.

“In this ballpark that’s a long way,” Kelly said. “It had the right spin and just kept on going.”

After Goeddel’s homer, center fielder Brian O’Grady hit a two-run homer to right field for his sixth homer of the season. It gave the Blue Wahoos a 6-1 lead. First baseman Eric Jagielo followed Aquino’s home by scorching his second homer in two games and third of the season to cap the scoring, 9-1.

Kelly said the conditions were just right for an exhibition of home run hitting. There was no wind blowing in toward home plate.

“Going into the season we thought we had a lot of power,” he said. “Up until today, we really haven’t.”

Pensacola starter Deck McGuire’s scoreless inning streak was snapped at 14.2 innings by Mobile, when McGuire gave up the only run to the BayBears with two outs in the third inning.

BayBears third baseman Andrew Daniel, who tripled to the right center gap to lead off the third inning, crossed the plate to put Mobile ahead, 1-0. Daniel came in when Pensacola catcher Joe Hudson threw to second base trying to catch Mobile shortstop David Fletcher stealing second.

McGuire has won three straight starts after Chattanooga Lookouts beat him with two outs in the sixth inning. McGuire is now 4-2 with a 2.73 ERA.

“He got ticked,” Kelly said. “His last three outings have been really good.”

Mobile starter Jake Jewell lost his perfect game and shutout in the bottom of the fourth inning. The 29th best prospect in the Los Angeles organization retired the first 10 batters of the game before second baseman Alex Blandino ripped a doubled to the left center gap. Blandino scored to knot the game, 1-1, when the next batter third baseman Josh VanMeter laced a single to right field.

The Mobile righty ended up giving up six runs in 6.2 innings, including three homers. He dropped to 2-3 with a 5.12 ERA.

Tate Regional Final Game Moved To Wednesday; Baseball Fish Fry Set

May 23, 2017

The 1-7A regional final game originally scheduled for Tuesday has been moved to Wednesday at 7 p.m. as the Tate Aggies host Nease.  The change was made due to field to conditions and the current forecast for rain.

Also, a Fish Fry will be held Wednesday from 5-8 p.m. at the Tate High School baseball concession stand from 5-8 p.m. Plates will be $8 and will include fish, chips, beans, coleslaw, drink, roll and cookie. All proceeds will support the Tate Aggies baseball program.

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