Blue Wahoos Fall In Extra Innings To Birmingham

May 16, 2021

The Blue Wahoos recreated a Saturday night experience devoid a year ago.

Absolute perfect weather. Overflow crowd. Festive mood. Post-game fireworks.

All this checklist lacked was a win.

After the Blue Wahoos carried a 3-0 lead into the seventh inning, the Birmingham Barons rallied to tie the game in the eighth inning, then scored six runs in the 10th for a 9-3 victory.

The crowd at Blue Wahoos Stadium filled both ends of the stands, the party decks and the grass berm behind the outfield.

The night also included Blue Wahoos president Jonathan Griffith getting his COVID-19 vaccine on top of the visitors’ dugout during the seventh inning stretch.

And he led the crowd in “Take Me Out To the Ballgame” while doing it, as part of a free vaccination opportunity provided by the Department of Health in Escambia County.

The Blue Wahoos will conclude their first homestand of 2021 with an afternoon game (4:05 p.m.) against the Barons.

The night began well on the field. Blue Wahoos starting pitcher Will Stewart was outstanding, pitching six scoreless innings and leaving with a 3-0 lead.

After retiring the Barons in order in the first inning, Stewart pitched with runners on base in the next five innings without allowing a run.

In throwing 85 pitches, he gave up only four hits, two walks and struck out three strikeouts. He made big pitches to end innings in the second, fifth and sixth.

It was a turnaround performance from his first start last week at Mississippi. That night he gave up seven hits and five earned runs in five innings.

Unfortunately for him, it became a no-decision.

The Blue Wahoos had a 3-0 lead in the seventh. Centerfielder Peyton Burdick led off the first inning with a walk, advanced on a wild pitch and scored on two groundouts.

In the sixth, Jerar Encarnacion tripled to score JJ Bleday and Nick Fortes followed with an RBI single.

But with two outs and two runners on in the seventh inning, the Barons’ Xavier Fernandez hit a fly ball off reliever Brien McKenna that seemed to cross up two Blue Wahoos outfielders.

Center fielder Peyton Burdick’s diving attempt had the ball pop out of his glove, scoring two runs.

In the eighth, second reliever Tyler Stevens gave up a bases-loaded walk on a 3-2 pitch to tie the game.

After the Blue Wahoos were retired in the ninth, the Barons exploded for six runs in the 10th inning to blow open the game.

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