Wahoos Fall In Series Finale With Mississippi

June 7, 2021

Jake Eder was dialed in Sunday during a masterful second outing this week for the Blue Wahoos.

“Honestly, I was locked in and it was kind of a blur,” he said after the game.

The former Vanderbilt star reliever tossed five perfect innings in his sixth professional start, facing the minimum 15 batters while recording eight strikeouts. Unfortunately for him, the Blue Wahoos bullpen followed with a rare lapse and it resulted in a 4-3 loss against the Mississippi Braves.

The teams split their six-game series at Blue Wahoos Stadium that was highlighted by quality pitching. Eder helped provide the Blue Wahoos a 4-3 win five days earlier in the series-opener when he worked 4.2 innings, allowing one run with eight strikeouts.

“The only thing we changed is that we didn’t throw a bullpen in between, but other than that everything was the same,” said Eder, a fourth round pick by the Miami Marlins in 2020, after making two starts in the same series.

When Eder left after five innings Sunday, he looked like a pitcher seeking to rapidly wrap up a game before rain clouds opened.

The Wahoos had a 1-0 lead.  Eder had not allowed a ball out of the infield in his 63-pitch day. It was as great of performance as one might imagine.

“Guys were asking me some specific things after I came out and I was like, ‘I don’t know man, I don’t really remember.’ I was just locked in, and in a good rhythm,” said Eder, who has an 0.73 earned run average in 30 innings pitched – the second best ERA in all levels of Minor League Baseball.

“I evaluate right after I come out of the game every time, then take what I learn from it and put it backyard and move on to the next one pretty swiftly,” said Eder.

“The only thing I am thinking about is inning 31 (his next start).”

The weekend ended with Miami Marlins general manager Kim Ng watching two of Miami’s most touted prospects shine on the mound in Pensacola.

Saturday night, the Marlins’ No. 1 draft pick in 2020, Max Meyer, dazzled his way to a third win as the Blue Wahoos won 4-1 in front of sellout crowd with Ng watching from the press box.

“I think I saw her (Saturday) but it didn’t change anything as far as going into (Sunday),” Eder said. “For me, it is like stretching a rubber band and piece them to get one right after the other.

“Once one is over it’s on to the next one.”

The next one will happen later this upcoming week when the Blue Wahoos travel to face the Chattanooga Lookouts — the Cincinnati Reds affiliate –  who boast two top pitching prospects of their own.

Sunday’s game and the crowd energy changed when the M-Braves touched up the Blue Wahoos first reliever, Jose Mesa Jr. for three runs in the sixth inning, then got an unearned run off Andrew Bellatti in the eighth. That one proved decisive.

Mesa began the inning by walking leadoff batter Drew Lugbauer, then giving up the first hit when Jalen Miller singled. After Mesa tossed a wild pitch to move both runners, Riley Unroe’s ground out tied the game. Mesa then gave up a triple and a double, followed by a hit batter, before being pulled.

The Blue Wahoos tied the game in the seventh on a RBI single from Bubba Hollins and slow rolling groundout by Devin Hairston.

In the ninth, the Blue Wahoos had two on, none out, after a pair of walks. They had runners on second and third after a wild pitch. But M-Braves closer Brandon White struck out Hairston and got Peyton Burdick to ground out to end the game.

Burdick hit a solo home run into the wind in the first inning.

by Bill Vilona, Blue Wahoos senior writer

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