Friday’s Wahoos Game Postponed, Will Try For Saturday Afternoon Doubleheader

June 19, 2021

Friday night’s game between the Pensacola Blue Wahoos and Montgomery Biscuits at Blue Wahoos Stadium was postponed due to inclement weather. The two teams will try for a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m.. Gates will open 3 p.m. and both games will be seven innings.

Fans with tickets to the postponed game may exchange them at the Blue Wahoos Stadium box office for tickets to any remaining 2021 regular season game (pending availability, excluding Saturday, July 3).

File photo.

Mahan, Bleday Drive in 5 Runs In Wahoos Win

June 18, 2021

Max Meyer pitched on a tightrope, putting himself in difficult situations with seven walks and his earlier-than-planned exit.

But as another progressive sign in his rookie pro career, he didn’t give up a run and his Pensacola teammates, led by fellow top pick JJ Bleday responded at the plate to build a lead that held up for a 5-3 victory Thursday night against the Montgomery Biscuits.

With this being a Thursday, Pensacola transformed into the Mullets with their colorful uniforms in a nod to the fans’ No. 2 choice for a name back in the inaugural 2012 season.

A crowd of 4,403 watched the Blue Wahoos rebound from a 7-3 loss Wednesday and entertain on Thirsty Thursday.

Meyer, 22, the third overall pick in the 2020 draft from Minnesota, threw a pro-career high 90 pitches in just four innings, but only 40 of those were strikes.

It led to those seven walks, plus he hit a batter in the second inning. A week ago against Chattanooga, Meyer’s four walks were his season high.

But despite his erratic location, Meyer battled his way through the four innings, giving up just one hit. In three of those innings, the Biscuits had two baserunners.

That was proved pivotal as the Blue Wahoos improved to 23-16 and took a 2-1 lead in this homestand at Blue Wahoos Stadium

The Blue Wahoos scored runs in the first, second and fourth to build a lead, then added two more in the seventh.

Bleday and second baseman Riley Mahan had big night, both going 2-for-4 at the plate and accounting for all five RBI. Bleday’s two-run single in the seventh-inning proved decisive.

Dylan Bice followed Meyer on the mound with three scoreless innings, allowing just one hit to earn his third win. Colton Hock threw a clean eighth inning.

In the ninth, Tyler Mitzel, who joined the Blue Wahoos from the High-A Beloit Snappers, hung on after hitting a batter and giving up a two-run single.

The series is set to continue Friday with Edward Cabrera, the Miami Marlins No. 4 rated prospect, set to make his Double-A debut in Pensacola.

The Blue Wahoos are constantly monitoring the tropical weather system in the Gulf of Mexico that is expected to impact the Pensacola area.

As of early Friday morning, the expectation is to complete the weekend series as scheduled.

The Blue Wahoos gave Meyer immediate support.

With one out in the first inning, Peyton Burdick walked, then went to third on an errant pickoff throw from Biscuits starter Tabias Meyers.

Bleday followed with a run-scoring single to left field.

In the second, Lazaro Alonzo doubled down the left field line. Mahan followed with a RBI single to center.

In the fourth inning, Mahn had an RBI double. He was robbed of a three-hit night in the eighth by a diving catch from left fielder Cal Stevenson.

by Bill Vilona, Blue Wahoos senior writer

Biscuits Beat The Wahoos 7-3 In Second Game Of Series

June 17, 2021

A night after a signature, walk-off win, the Blue Wahoos played a game Wednesday they will quickly seek to forget.

They committed five fielding errors and assorted other miscues in a 7-3 loss against the Montgomery Biscuits in the second game of their week-long series.

The game included 312 pitches, including 165 by the Wahoos’ four pitchers. The Blue Wahoos had nine hits, including a 3-for-4 night from first baseman Lazaro Alonso.

It was a contrast to Tuesday when catcher Nick Fortes’ dramatic two-run homer in the ninth produced a 5-4 comeback win and on-field celebration.

Blue Wahoos starting pitcher Will Stewart worked out of a bases-load jam in the first and overcame a leadoff error in the second inning. The biggest damage occurred in the fifth inning when the Biscuits took extended a 2-0 lead with three runs.

Stewart finished the night working 4.2 innings, giving up seven hits and four runs, all off singles.

Jerar Encarnacion got the Blue Wahoos back in the game on a two-run double in the sixth inning. The Blue Wahoos then had the tying run at the plate in the seventh after Nick Fortes and Alonso began the inning with singles.
After coming up empty in that inning, however, the Biscuits added two more runs in the eighth to put the game away.

The series continues Thursday with the Blue Wahoos sending Max Meyer, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2020 draft, to the mound for his eighth start this season. Meyer has a 1.38 earned run average which is the fourth best in Double-A among starters.

On Friday, Edward Cabrera, the Marlins’ No. 4 rated overall prospect by MLB Pipeline, will make his first start for the Blue Wahoos as he progresses in his fifth minor league season.

by Bill Vilona, Blue Wahoos senior writer

Nick Fortes Provides Walk-Off Blast In Ninth For The Blue Wahoos

June 16, 2021

His previous at-bats Tuesday night had left Blue Wahoos catcher Nick Fortes frustrated at himself.

One sweet swing in the ninth inning changed that feeling.

Fortes squared up on a 3-1 fastball and powered it over the left-center wall for a two-run, walk-off, home run that lifted the Blue Wahoos to a dramatic 5-4victory against the Montgomery Biscuits and wowed a bayfront stadium crowd staying around to see it happen.

It was the first time in his career Fortes ended a game with a home-run stroke.

“It is honestly kinda crazy,” said Fortes, who also drove in the Blue Wahoos second run on a fielder’s choice play.  “You kinda black out for a little bit rounding the bases.

“I remember hitting first and a snap of the fingers I’m already at home greeting my teammates. It is a pretty cool feeling.”

This became the Blue Wahoos (22-15) third walk-off win in 19 home games. It continued the team’s success in one-run games. They are now 11-4 in that category after Tuesday’s series-opening win. The teams will continue a six-game set at Blue Wahoos Stadium through Sunday.

“It’s exciting. It makes for some really good baseball games,” Fortes said. “You can just tell the intensity picks a little bit once we get to the later innings.

“Obviously we would like to have those at-bats through the entire game, but it is really encouraging to see us not do so well early on, but then be able to lock it in, and put together good at bats later in the game and pull out some wins.”

While Blue Wahoos starting pitcher Jeff Lindgren gave up four runs in his five innings, he avoided worse damage in the second and fourth innings after yielding home runs.

The Biscuits (16-20), the Tampa Bay Rays Double-A affiliate, took a 3-0 lead in the second on shortstop Ford Proctor’s 3-run homer that kept carrying until clearing the left field wall.

Leadoff batter Garrett Whitney hit a solo home in the fifth. Three Blue Wahoos relievers produced shutout innings. Zach Wolf earned his first win by stranding Whitney at third base in the top of the ninth after he was hit by a pitch, advanced on a wild pitch, then moved to third on a groundout.

The Blue Wahoos got a pair of runs in the fourth on JJ Bleday’s double and Fortes’ one-out grounder. They got another in the eighth when Demetrius Sims hit into a double-play with runners on the corners.

In the eventful ninth, after Bleday grounded out, Jerar Encarnacion singled off Biscuits reliever Ivan Pelaez. Up stepped Fortes, who worked a 3-1 count and saw a 88-mph fastball that he left no doubt where it was heading after contact.

“It was a great feeling.  My first three at-bats weren’t my best,” Fortes said. “Just really happy to go up there and put a good swing on one and send us home with a win.

“Honestly, we just had a feeling we were going to get ‘em in the ninth. A bunch of the guys were like, ‘Don’t worry about it, we’re going to get them.’

“From the seventh inning on we had some good at-bats. Everyone just had a feeling we were going to make some noise in the ninth.”

The Blue Wahoos had several roster moves prior to the game, led by the arrival of pitcher Edward Cabrera, the Miami Marlins No. 4 rated prospect by MLB Pipeline. The move provides the Blue Wahoos with three of Miami’s top four rated prospects in 2021.

Outfielder JJ Bleday (No. 2) and pitcher Max Meyer (No. 3) are the others.

by Bill Vilona, Blue Wahoos senior writer.

Register Now For Tate Cheerleaders’ Lil Aggies Summer Camp

June 15, 2021

The Tate High School Cheerleaders’ Lil  Aggies Summer Camp  is coming up the last week of the month, and now is the time to register.

The registration forms and payment are due by Wednesday, June 23. The camp will take place at Tate Monday, June 28 through Wednesday, June 30 from 8 a.m. until noon each day. The camp Tate Aggies cheerleaders will each atheletes the property stretch techniques, sideline cheers and chants, proper jump techniques and motion placement, as well as stunting and tumbling skill building. There will also be fun games, engaging activities, snacks and drinks.

For registration information, click or tap here.

NWE 8U Baseball Wins District Championship

June 13, 2021

The Northwest Escambia 8U Baseball All-Stars won the district championship Saturday with a 9-3 win over Flomaton. With the win, NWE advances to the state tournament in Theodore, Alabama on June 26. Photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Blue Wahoos Offense Sputters In 6-1 Loss At Chattanooga

June 13, 2021

The Blue Wahoos offense sputtered again for the Wahoos as they fell 6-1 to the Lookouts on Saturday night at AT&T Field.

In another highly anticipated pitching matchup, neither starter turned in the performance many expected.

Jake Eder (L, 1-2) battled with his command early in his start and was tagged with a pair of runs in the first inning. Chattanooga would add another run in the second inning to make it 3-0. Eder finished the night with six innings pitched and allowed four runs (3ER) with two walks and five strikeouts. He tied his career-high with 88 pitches.

Eder—who entered today’s start with the lowest ERA in the Double-A South—now has an ERA of 1.26, which is the second-lowest in the league.

Chattanooga starter Nick Lodolo looked poised to turn a solid inning up until an injury derailed his outing. Lodolo had seven strikeouts 3.1 innings before a 2-1 slider to J.D. Osborne forced the former first round pick to exit the game due to injury.

After Lodolo left the game, the Lookouts used four different relievers to hold the Blue Wahoos to one run despite having 10 hits on the night. Pensacola went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left 14 men on base.

Offensively, JJ Bleday led the way for the Wahoos tallying three hits on the night while Nick Fortes went 2-for-5. Pensacola avoided being shutout for the second night in a row courtesy of a sac fly to right field by Jerar Encarnacion in the top of the ninth inning.

The series concludes tomorrow afternoon before the Wahoos return home to Pensacola. LHP Brandon Leibrandt (1-3, 8.17) gets the green light for the Wahoos and he will be opposed by Randy Wynne (1-1, 6.14). First pitch is scheduled for 1:15 PM CT.

by Chris Garagiola, Pensacola Blue Wahoos

Lookouts Edge The Wahoos In A Pitching Showdown

June 12, 2021

Lookouts win 1-0 on Robinson’s solo home run

In a highly anticipated pitching showdown between two of baseball’s top prospects, the Lookouts edged past the Wahoos 1-0 on Friday night at AT&T Field.

Hunter Greene (W, 5-0), the league leader in wins and strikeouts (60) took the mound for the hosts against Wahoos ace Max Meyer. It was matchup that featured a second overall pick in 2017 (Greene) and a third overall pick (Meyer) in 2020.

The pitching matchup lived up the hype, as evidenced by the final score.

Meyer lasted only five innings on a night where his command at times tried to betray him. During his outing, Meyer yielded four walks and only struck out three, but escaped peril numerous times throughout his start.

In the bottom of the first, the Lookouts loaded the bases with only out. Meyer fell behind Brian Rey 3-0; however, Rey hit into an inning ending double play on a 3-0 fastball to end the threat. In the second inning the Lookouts had runners on first and second with two outs before Meyer induced a groundout to end the inning. Meyer ran into the same issue in the fourth, but stranded two more base runners when Leonardo Rivas ended the inning with a groundout Lazaro Alonso.

Despite the nine strikeouts from Greene, the Wahoos had chances to score against the Reds top pitching prospect.

In the top of the first inning, Jerar Encarnacion doubled to right and Nick Fortes walked to set up first and second with two outs. The inning came to an end when Greene struck out Alonso with a 101 mph fastball. In the fourth, the Wahoos opened the inning with back-to-back walks against Greene. Unfortunately for the Wahoos, the rally would go no further as the right-hander retired the next three Wahoos in a row to end the inning.

The only offense in the game came after Meyer departed the contest. Zach Wolf (L, 0-2) surrendered a solo home run to Chuck Robinson to put the Lookouts 1-0. That was the only hit the Wahoos bullpen allowed on Friday.

In the top of the ninth inning against another former first round pick, Pensacola got the tying run in scoring position against Nick Howard S, 3). After a walk to Riley Mahan, the Wahoos used Jhon Nunez as a pinch runner, who advanced to second on a wild pitch. The game came to end after Howard struck out Peyton Burdick to end the game.

Saturday night will feature another star-studded pitching matchup at AT&T Field. LHP Jake Eder (1-1, 0.61) will face LHP Nick Lodolo (2-0, 1.01). Eder has the second-lowest ERA in all of MiLB, and Lodolo was the seventh overall pick in 2019 out of TCU.

by Chris Garagiola, Pensacola Blue Wahoos

File photo.

Wahoos Take Down Lookouts In Rain-Shortened Opener

June 9, 2021

The Blue Wahoos offense exploded in the first inning scoring seven times against Lookouts starter Matt Pidich (L, 0-3) en route to a 9-3 win on Tuesday.

The onslaught began right from the get-go, as each of the first four batters for the Wahoos reached base safely. Peyton Burdick and Jerar Encarnacion both had base hits before JJ Bleday walked to load the bases with nobody out. Nick Fortes then came to the plate and laced a two-run double to center to put the Wahoos ahead 2-0. That was just the beginning, as Pidich was removed with two outs in the first after Burdick recorded his second base hit of the inning.

By the time the top of the first came to a close, the Wahoos had seven runs on six hits.

Brandon Leibrandt (W, 1-3) was never under any serious pressure from the Lookouts despite the hosts scoring one run in the first and second inning. Leibrandt finished the night pitched a season-best 5.1 innings and striking out four as the left-hander earned his first win of the season.

After an RBI base hit from Mariel Bautista off Wahoos reliever Zach Wolf, the Lookouts would score no more runs for the rest of the night.

In the top of the eighth inning, Burdick came to the plate as the rain came pouring down. JC Keys clipped with a fastball that appeared to slip out of his hands, which prompted the umpires to suspend play due to rain. After the mandatory thirty-minute delay, the game was called for the Wahoos.

Tomorrow the series continues as RHP Jeff Lindgren (2-2, 3.38) takes the mound for Pensacola against LHP Connor Curlis (1-2, 6.14)

Catch High School All-Star Baseball and Softball Games Wednesday, And Here Are The Rosters

June 8, 2021

Pensacola Sports’ high school all-star baseball and softball games are Wednesday.

The game will feature seniors from Escambia County on the west softball and baseball teams, and seniors from Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties on the east teams.

Tickets are $10 or $5 for students and can be purchased online at pensacolasports.org/hsasbaseball. The softball game will begin at 6 p.m. while the baseball game will begin at 6:30 p.m. Both are at Pensacola State College.

NorthEscambia.com photo.

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