Free Sports Physicals For Tate, Northview Athletes June 8 At Andrews

May 29, 2024

Free pre-participation physical exams will be provided for Tate and Northview high school students by Baptist Health Care and the Andrews Institute.

The exams will be conducted at the Andrews Institute, 1040 Gulf Breeze Parkway only for students participating in FHSAA sanctioned sports.

For Tate athletes, the physicals will be held on Saturday, June 8 at 8:30 a.m.

For Northview athletes, the physicals will be held Saturday, June 8 at 1:30 p.m.

Important information is in the graphic below.

Wahoos Start Road Series With 4-0 Shutout Over Shuckers

May 29, 2024

written by Erik Bremer

Four Pensacola Blue Wahoos pitchers combined for a four-hit, 4-0 shutout win over the Biloxi Shuckers on Tuesday night

Jonathan Bermúdez (W, 2-3) overcame shaky control to register 5.0 scoreless innings, setting a trend for the Pensacola pitching staff. Despite seven walks, including three from closer Austin Roberts in the ninth, the Blue Wahoos kept the Shuckers off the scoreboard for an important tone-setting win.

The victory helped the Blue Wahoos climb back to within 2.0 games of first-place Montgomery with 23 games to play in the first half. It marked Biloxi’s eighth consecutive loss, one shy of tying a franchise record.
The game was scoreless until the fourth, when Jakob Marsee led off with a double against Shuckers starer Nate Peterson (L, 1-4) and scored on a Zach Zubia RBI single. Joe Mack made it 2-0 in the sixth with a solo home run, his third at the Double-A level.

Cody Morissette added a sacrifice fly in the eighth and Paul McIntosh finished the scoring with an RBI single in the ninth.

After Bermúdez departed, Adam Laskey and Raffi Vizcaíno combined for 3.0 scoreless innings of relief. Roberts walked the bases full in the ninth, but struck out hot-hitting Mike Boeve as the potential tying run to end the game.

The Blue Wahoos continue their series in Biloxi on Wednesday. First pitch from Shuckers Ballpark is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.

Blue Wahoos Fall In Another One-Run Series Finale Loss To Smokies

May 27, 2024

written by Bill Vilona

Bennett Hostetler tossed his bat aside in frustration as the game’s final out became a pop out.

It was that kind of day, this kind of week, as the Blue Wahoos fell 3-2 Sunday against the Tennessee Smokies, ending their homestand in a glum way and extending a difficult trend.

A capacity crowd (5,038) on Memorial Day weekend at Blue Wahoos Stadium watched the Smokies complete their fifth win of the six-game series. It was also the fifth consecutive one-run difference in the low-scoring games between these teams.

With their bats in continued slumber, the Blue Wahoos missed on rally chances in the seventh inning with bases loaded. And then in the eighth with two runners on base and one out.

The Blue Wahoos (23-22) will have the Monday holiday off, then a short road trip Tuesday to Biloxi in hopes of getting some offensive spark and stringing some wins. They are 3-9 in the past two series.

But away from the scoreboard, it was a weekend full of wins.

The Blue Wahoos filled the ballpark Sunday for the third consecutive day. It was the 13th capacity crowd at Blue Wahoos Stadium in 27 home games this season.

The pregame featured a parade of school children who completed the popular Kazoo’s Reading Program. There was also a re-enlistment ceremony for a local resident joining the U.S. Air Force.

And, the Blue Angels again elicited a thunderous cheer when the famed jets buzzed over the stadium early in the game, after returning from a weekend show.

The sixth inning “roach run” had massive participation and a large portion of the crowd stayed to the end. Children ran the bases and families tossed soft baseballs in the outfield.

The Blue Wahoos again received quality pitching, this time from five different relievers on a pitching-by-bullpen-committee outing. Chandler Jozwiak, normally a middle reliever, absorbed a hard luck loss after working the first two innings and allowing a run on a sacrifice fly.

The Smokies (27-18) got their second run in the third inning on a leadoff triple by No. 9 hitter Josh Rivera, who then scored on Christian Franklin’s sacrifice fly.

The Blue Wahoos halved the deficit without getting a ball in play. Jorge Caballero was hit by a pitch, Jakob Marsee walked, Paul McIntosh was hit by a pitch, then Caballero scored on a two-out balk.

In the seventh inning, Harrison Spohn walked, then Tanner Allen and Caballero singled to load the bases. But Smokies reliever Alex Troop struck out Marsee swinging on a slider and got McIntosh to strike out on a changeup.

Joe Mack then lined a shot off Troop’s leg and the ball caromed into foul territory to score Spohn and force Troop to leave the game. Michael Arias entered and got Hostetler to end the inning on a flyout.

In the eighth, with two on, one out, Allen lined a pitch hard, but right at Rivera at shortstop. Caballero struck out to end the inning.

McIntosh was then stranded in the ninth after a one-out single.

Both teams went with relievers starting the game. The Blue Wahoos used Jozwiak and Tennessee countered with righthander Trey Supak, who worked four innings.

GAME NOTABLES

— Students, teachers and parents from area schools were able to take a lap around the field during the pregame ceremony that highlighted the reading program.

— The Milton High baseball team had its fundraiser day at the ballpark.

.

WHAT’S NEXT?

WHO: Blue Wahoos vs. Biloxi Shuckers

WHEN: Tuesday (May 28) thru Sunday (June 2).

WHERE: Shuckers Ballpark, Biloxi, Mississippi.

Blue Wahoos’ Bats Come Alive, But Smokies Win

May 26, 2024

written by Bill Vilona

Kevin Alcantara appears well on a path for an eventual opportunity with the Chicago Cubs.

He’s certainly blazed a trail this week in Pensacola.

Alcantara, 21, a 6-foot-6 rising star outfielder, who is the No. 3-ranked Cubs prospect, did damage again to Blue Wahoos pitching, blasting a 3-run, go-ahead homer in the seventh, then doubling and scoring the winning run in the ninth as the Tennessee Smokies took a 5-4 win Saturday night at Blue Wahoos Stadium.

A sellout crowd of 5,038 continued the Blue Wahoos season trend of large weekend crowds. This one watched the teams combine on 21 hits and back-and-forth big moments.

Most of the crowd stayed for the post-game fireworks show, which completed an event-filled game.

The Blue Wahoos wore colorful specialty uniforms as part of Marvel ’s Defenders of the Diamond program. The fifth inning was paused to feature a powerful Home Run For Life, saluting a 5-year-old girl who overcame a massive surgical procedure and long odds. And there was the overall festive scene a filled stadium brings.

The Smokies (26-18), who boast 12 of the Cubs’ top 30 prospects, have now won four of the five games this week heading to Sunday’s finale.

The Blue Wahoos (23-21) received another gritty outing from starter M.D. Johnson. Though he walked four and allowed six hits, Johnson worked six innings, had a 3-1 lead and was in line for the win. In each of the first four innings, the Smokies had two runners on base, but Johnson made big pitches to end threats.

But in the seventh, Alcantara, who went 4-for-4 in Tennessee’s win Friday, came up with one out and two runners on base against Blue Wahoos reliever Zach McCambley. On a 2-0 pitch, McCambley’s fastball was met with a loud connection, resulting in a 441-foot, 3-run homer for the lead.

The Blue Wahoos had built their lead on a sacrifice fly RBI from Nathan Martorella in the fourth inning, then loaded the bases in the fifth and got a sacrifice fly from Harrison Spohn. A throwing error on a fielder’s choice grounder by Joe Mack scored Jacob Marsee with the inning’s second run.

Paul McIntosh tied the game again in the eighth inning on his leadoff home run. Martorella then hit a two-out triple, but a strikeout against Sean Roby ended the inning.

Alcantara led off the ninth with a double against Blue Wahoos reliever Patrick Murphy. He moved to third on a single. Murphy, a lefthander, then was on his way to working out of the jam. He struck on the next two batters. But he was called for a balk, allowing Alcantara to score and raising the ire of the crowd and Blue Wahoos manager Kevin Randel.

After the umpires consulted, the call stood. In the bottom of the ninth, the Blue Wahoos were retired in order.

The team will close out the well-contested series – matching the two Southern League championship series opponents the past two seasons — in Sunday’s final game of the homestand.

Pregame activities and ceremonial first pitches will begin at 3:40 p.m. with the actual first pitch of the game set for 4:05 p.m..

GAME NOTABLES

— When their daughter, Hannah, was only 3-weeks old in 2018, Layne and Ryan Lillie of Santa Rosa Beach had their daughter rushed from a local care center in Walton County to emergency room at The Studer Family Hospital at Ascension Sacred Heart.

Doctors conducted multiple surgeries, discovering that Hannah’s small intestines were twisted, a condition called volvulus, and she was in septic shock as a result. Over 99% of Hannah’s intestines had to be removed. Hannah spent five months in the hospital. But she is now fully recovered and active.

She easily circled the bases Saturday in a poignant moment as both teams lined each baseline and greeted her.

— Among those throwing out a first pitch prior to Saturday’s game was Robert Roberts, father of Blue Wahoos reliever Austin Roberts, who happened to be his catcher on the ceremonial first pitch. The family is from Sacramento, California.

— The Marvel-themed game jerseys worn by the players were auctioned during a live auction at the top of the sixth inning. Four other players’ Marvel jerseys are being auctioned online.

— There were five youth teams gathering on the field during pregame and having team members join Blue Wahoos players on the field for the National Anthem. Teams were Coastal 28, Bill Bond Rookie Warriors, Crestview Marlins, USA Prime Panhandle and the Gulf Shores (Ala). 12-under All-Stars.

WANT TO GO?

WHO: Tennessee Smokies vs. Blue Wahoos

WHEN: Sunday, 4:05 p.m.

WHERE: Blue Wahoos Stadium

Tate High’s Lucas Williams Signs College Basketball Scholarship

May 25, 2024

Lucas Williams, a three-year varsity basketball player at Tate High School, recently signed a full-ride scholarship with Owens Community College (Perrysburg, Ohio) recently.

For more photos, click here.

Williams was named PNJ All-Area First Team and to the Pensacola Sports’ All-Star Basketball Game. Named the Aggies’ MVP, the point guard led the team in points, assists, and steals.

Photos by Tate High School Yearbook for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Blue Wahoos’ Tough Luck At Plate Continues In 2-1 Loss To Smokies

May 25, 2024

written by Bill Vilona

For a split-second, the capacity crowd Friday at Blue Wahoos Stadium was instantly energized as leadoff batter Joe Mack connected on a ninth-inning pitch with a resonating crack.

Alas, his laser drive smacked right into the glove of Tennessee Smokies right fielder Cole Roederer as the stadium groaned.

Nothing more typified the Blue Wahoos’ night at the plate, as the Tennessee Smokies took a 2-1 victory and extended the home team’s recent trend of offensive struggles.

Four Smokies pitchers held the Blue Wahoos to three hits in a loss that knocked Pensacola into second place in the Southern League division standings. It was the sixth time in the last 10 games the Blue Wahoos were held to two or less runs.

The only inning when the Blue Wahoos had two runners on base happened in the seventh. That’s when the 5,038 at the ballpark on Giveaway Friday became most excited.

Cody Morissette sliced a pitch down the left field line. The ball, however, bounced over the wall for a ground-rule double that scored Mack, but thwarted Zach Zubia from scoring the tying run while rounding third base.

Reliever Cam Sanders then struck out Harrison Spohn to end the inning. The Blue Wahoos went down in the order in the eighth and ninth innings.

Blue Wahoos starter Evan Fitterer overcame a rocky first three innings to deliver another quality start. His only blemish happened in the third inning when the Smokies’ Kevin Alcantara and Luis Verdugo connected on back-to-back doubles. The latter was a bouncer that hugged the third-base line.

Fitterer absorbed the loss after working six innings, allowing six hits with four strikeouts. The Blue Wahoos bullpen arms of Lincoln Henzman and Raffi Vizcaíno tossed three shoutout innings, allowing just one hit.

The win enabled the Smokies (25-18) to take a 3-1 lead in the series that now shifts to

WANT TO GO?

WHO: Tennessee Smokies vs. Blue Wahoos

WHEN: Saturday, 6:05 p.m.

WHERE: Blue Wahoos Stadium

Wahoos Combine For Three-Hitter In 1-0 Win Over Smokies

May 24, 2024

by Erik Bremer

Four Pensacola Blue Wahoos pitchers combined for a three-hit shutout in a 1-0 win over the Tennessee Smokies on Thursday night.

Angel Macuare, Adam Laskey (W, 1-0), Anderson Pilar and Chandler Jozwiak (S, 1) faced just two batters over the minimum as the Wahoos got back in the win column against the defending Southern League Champions.

Sean Roby, activated from the injured list earlier in the day, hit a solo home run in the third inning off Smokies starter Matthew Thompson (L, 1-1) to account for the only run of the night.

One night removed from ninth-inning heartbreak, 4,085 fans at Blue Wahoos Stadium almost saw Pensacola fall to a similar fate. Against Jozwiak in the ninth, Smokies catcher Pablo Aliendo sent a drive destined for a game-tying blast before Blue Wahoos left fielder Jorge Caballero leapt at the wall for a home run robbery.

The game took place in a brisk 1 hour and 56 minutes, the fastest nine-inning game of the season for the Blue Wahoos and just two minutes shy of tying a team record for the fastest game in team history.

The Blue Wahoos will look to make it two wins in a row against the Smokies on Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05,

Tate High’s Neal Croom Inks College Baseball Scholarship

May 23, 2024

Neal Croom, a pitcher with the Tate Aggies, recently signed a full-ride scholarship with Palm Beach State College. Croom led the Aggies in strikeouts and innings pitched this past season. An honors student and member of student council, Croom was named to the Pensacola Sports All-Star team. Photos by Tate High School Yearbook for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Blue Wahoos Honor State Champ Jay Royals Before Comeback Rally Is Spoiled

May 23, 2024

by Blll Vilona

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos honored the 1A state championship Jay High Royals baseball team Wednesday night.

The Wahoos were an out away from their best comeback win so far this season.

And then a gut-punch happened.

Reliable closer Austin Roberts, the league saves leader, was unable to protect a two-run lead just delivered for the ninth inning, leading to the Tennessee Smokies celebrating a 6-5 victory Wednesday at Blue Wahoos Stadium.

A crowd of 4,144 saw plenty of fireworks before the actual show – the first Wednesday school’s out display of the season. But in this case, the Smokies produced the grand finale.
After the Blue Wahoos, who were held to one hit the first seven innings, exploded with a 5-run rally in the eighth inning, a probable win turned the other way in the Smokies’ final at bat.

After yielding a one-out walk, then two-out single that put runners on the corners, Roberts left a fastball too much over the plate and Tennessee first baseman Haydn McGeary crushed it deep into the night sky for a no-doubt, three-run bomb over left field. McGeary is one of 12 players on this team ranked among the Chicago Cubs’ top 30 prospects.

He jumped on Roberts’ first pitch for the game-deciding moment. It was Roberts’ first blown save after producing eight saves this season.

The stadium went from anticipated winning cheer to silence. The Blue Wahoos were retired in order in the bottom of the inning and sustained their sixth loss in the past eight games.

But the crowd then saw the Jay High School baseball team, honored for winning the school’s first state championship in 54 years, come on the field a second time Wednesday to help the countdown and ignite the fireworks display

The Royals’ players spent hours before the game watching both teams take batting and fielding practice and were recognized at home plate in pregame ceremonies.

When the game began, Smokies starter Kyle McGowin, a former Major League reliever with the Washington Nationals, was in command. He retired the first 12 Blue Wahoos batters in order, before Zach Zubia drew a one-out walk. McGowin struck out Harrison Spohn with the bases loaded to end the threat.

Meanwhile, Blue Wahoos starter Luis Palacios had a strong outing, save for one mistake curveball. Shortstop Josh Rivers blasted that pitch for a 3-run homer in the fifth inning.

After McGowin exited following the seventh inning, the Blue Wahoos lit up reliever Michael Arias. Four of the first five batters he faced reached base. Jacob Marsee had a one-out RBI single. Joe Mack followed with the Blue Wahoos’ biggest hit, a two-run double to tie the game. Jacob Berry then hit a go-ahead single to further electrify the crowd.

Cody Morissette, who had the Blue Wahoos first two hits, was then hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force in a fifth run.

But it didn’t stand. The Smokies now have a 2-0 lead in the series that shifts to Mullet Thursday with the Blue Wahoos taking on their alternate identity as the Pensacola Mullets for a game that begins at 6:05 p.m.

GAME NOTABLES
— Senior Ethan McDonald, a three-sport athlete (football, basketball and baseball) for Jay HS, threw out a ceremonial first pitch, after his baseball teammates lined the field, along with five coaching staff members. McDonald was a leader in Jay’s championship run that included semifinal wins against higher ranked Class 1A teams.
The players all were able to be on the field during both teams’ batting practices to study how high-level professionals prepare for a game.
“It’s meant the world to them,” said second-year head coach Duane Raley. “It’s been awesome. It’s opened their eyes, because their starting to understand that ‘hey you (Raley) said that. You said if we do this it would work.’ It was kind of neat because they saw we do the same thing in practice (as two pro teams).’
— The Bayside Academy baseball team in Daphne also attended the game with a fundraiser event after playing at the stadium earlier this spring.
— State senator Doug Broxson also was part of the group of ceremonial first pitch throwers and he visited with Jay’s team.

WANT TO GO?
WHO: Tennessee Smokies vs. Blue Wahoos
WHEN: Thursday, 6:05 p.m.
WHERE: Blue Wahoos Stadium

Brett McCullough Named New Tate Aggies Baseball Head Coach

May 22, 2024

The Tate Aggies have named Brett McCullough as their new head baseball coach.

McCullough is a Class of 2002 Tate High School graduate. He has six years of head coaching experience. He also has seven years experience as an assistant coach for the Aggies.

McCullough compiled a 79-53 record at Pine Forest High School from 2018-2022. He was an all-state first team pitcher at Tate before pitching for Lipscomb University, Alabama Southern and the University of West Florida.

It’s an honor and absolutely privilege! Excited to get to work,” McCullough said in a social media post Tuesday night. ‘I’m extremely lucky because alot of people call their profession a job, I get to call mine home! Aggie nation it’s time to get to work!”

Photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Next Page »