Mom Watches Escambia Firefighter Son Save A Life During Mother’s Day Brunch

May 10, 2021

An Escambia County firefighter made his mom extra proud during Mother’s Day brunch Sunday.

“So it’s not everyday that a mom gets to watch one of her children save someone’s life,” Madeline Willis wrote in a social media post. “But that happened to me today. What an amazing Mother’s day!”

Willis is in Pensacola visiting with her son Jacob Hoskins, an Escambia County Fire Rescue firefighter assigned to the Ensley Fire Station.

They were at a McGuire’s for Mother’s Day brunch when a woman began to choke. Hoskins jumped into action, and saved the woman’s life.

“So saving people’s lives is something he does on a daily basis…but for me to observe this humble son of mine do his ‘job’ was an experience I’ll never forget,” Willis said. “So proud!”

Pictured: Madeline Willis (front left) watched her firefighter son Jacob Hoskins (middle right) save a choking victim during Mother’s Day lunch on Sunday. Courtesy photo for, click to enlarge.

Wahoos Drop Game To The Braves, Bring Series Win Back To Pensacola

May 10, 2021

Pensacola dropped the finale of their first series of the year in a 6-2 game shortened by rain.

Home runs were the story once again for the M-Braves as they scored five of their six runs via the long ball on Mother’s Day. C.J. Alexander hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the first off Wahoos starter Will Stewart (L, 0-1) to put the M-Braves up 3-0.

Jerar Encarnacion had a quick response when he led off the second inning with a spectacular solo home run that landed in the parking lot well beyond the left field bullpen.

However, it was Mississippi who homered again, and this time Jacob Pearson hit a two-run shot off Stewart in the bottom of the fourth, pushing the M-Braves lead to 5-1. They would add another run in the sixth, and after the Wahoos scored in the seventh to make it a 6-2 game, the skies opened up and the game was called due to a heavy downpour.

RHP Matt Withrow made his first start for the M-Braves in almost four years, dating back to May 21, 2017 against the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. He pitched four innings, and allowed just the one run on two hits while striking out two.

Pensacola leaves Mississippi with its first series win in hand as they prepare for back-to-back homesteads, the first beginning on Tuesday, May 11th against the Birmingham Barons.

by Chris Garagiola, Pensacola Blue Wahoos

Mississippi Braves Beat The Pensacola Wahoos

May 9, 2021

Shea Langeliers delivered a three-run home run in the eighth inning of Saturday’s contest to propel Mississippi to their first win of the season at Trustmark Park.

The M-Braves struck first in the bottom of the fourth courtesy of a couple of defensive miscues by Pensacola. Braden Shewmake reached on an infield single and took second on a throwing error by Wahoo starter Jason Alexander. After a Trey Harris single, Langeliers hit what looked like a double play; however, Riley Mahan’s throw to first was too high for Lazaro Alonso to corral. The play allowed Shewmake to score from second.

Jeff Lindgren (L, 0-1) came in relief for the Wahoos and pitched well, despite taking the loss. His only two mistakes came to Langeliers.

The first was in the sixth, when after Lindgren retired the first two batters, Langeliers lifted a solo shot into left to give Mississippi a 2-0 lead.

Despite a two-run seventh inning by the Wahoos, Langeliers struck again in the eighth after Shewmake and Harris led off the inning with back-to-back hits. He sent an 0-2 pitch over the left-center field wall to give Mississippi the eventual winning score of 5-2. The loss is Pensacola’s first of the season.

Pensacola drew eight walks in the loss, with Victor Victor Mesa and JJ Bleday combining for half of that.

The opening series for the Wahoos concludes tomorrow afternoon when LHP Will Stewart (0-0, 0.00) makes his 2021 debut for the Wahoos. He will be opposed by RHP Matt Withrow (0-0, 0.00), who pitched two scoreless innings earlier in the series. First pitch is scheduled for 2:05 PM CT.

After Sunday’s contest, the Wahoos will return home to kick off their 2021 season opener on Tuesday, May 11th with a six-game set against the Birmingham Barons, the Double-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox.

Northview Shuts Out Paxton, Holmes County Tops Jay In Regional Semifinals (With NHS Gallery)

May 8, 2021

Josh Landis tossed a two-hit, complete game shutout Friday night as Northview beat Paxton 6-0 in the Region 1-1A semifinal.

Landis allowed no runs and two hits while striking out three and walking five.

Rustin Pope led at the plate for the Chiefs, going 2-4 with an RBI. Bryce Korinchak went 1-3 with two RBIs.

Northview sealed the win with double plays to end both the sixth and seventh innings.

For a photo gallery, click here.

Northview coach Jeremy Greenwell said his Chiefs fed off the excitement of a sold out crowd.

“We’ve got the whole community, as many people as we could get in here,” he said of the crowd, which was limited due to the pandemic.  “They made it a great environment…The players played exactly how we expected them to; they played up to they hype. We don’t expect any less as a program.”

Also Friday night, Jay lost to Holmes County 3-2. That sets up a regional final Tuesday night with Northview travelling to Bonifay to face  Holmes County.

“We are not going to try to instill anything new, just stay with fundamentals,” Greenwell said of the teams prep for Tuesday. “We’ll hold a short practice on Monday to get ready for Bonifay on Tuesday.”

For a photo gallery, click here. photos, click to enlarge.

Escambia County Honors Late Baseball Hall Of Famer Don Sutton, Former Molino Resident

May 7, 2021

The Escambia County Commission issued a proclamation Thursday night honoring the late baseball Hall of Fame pitcher and former Molino resident Don Sutton. He passed away in January at age 75.

Members of Sutton’s family and members of the 1962 Tate High School baseball state championship team stood by as District 5 Commissioner Steven Barry read the proclamation and presented it to Don Sutton’s brother, Ron Sutton. (Read the complete proclamation below.)

“When Don talked about coming back here, he was coming home,” an emotional Ron Sutton told the commission. “The thing is his career is a testament to my mom and dad who taught us if you have a good work ethic, and you try hard enough, anything is possible.”

About the family’s move to Molino in 1950, Ron Sutton said, “My daddy always said we came to the land flowing with milk and honey, and I believe that.”

Sutton was born April 2, 1945, in Clio, Alabama. He attended Molino Junior High School for nine years and graduated from Tate High School as the Class of 1963’s “Most Likely to Succeed.” He played basketball, football and led two Aggie baseball teams to two state championship games. In 1962, he pitched 13 innings for the Aggies in their state championship win

During his career as a right-handed pitcher, he won 324 games, including 58 shutouts and earned the seventh place spot on baseball’s all-time strikeout list with 3,574. Sutton played over a decade with the LA Dodgers, and also played for the Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland A’s and California Angels before returning for one last season with the Dodgers. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998.

“My mother used to worry about my imaginary friends ‘cause I would be out in the yard playing ball,” Don Sutton said in his Hall of Fame induction speech in 1998. “She worried because she didn’t know a Mickey, or a Whitey, or a Yogi, or a Moose, or an Elston, but I played with them every day.”

Sutton also had a successful 29-year broadcasting career, working for major networks including TBS and NBC, along with the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals.

The Don Sutton Ballpark in Molino is named in his honor, and a portion of Highway 29 in Molino is known as the Don Sutton Highway. There is also a display devoted to Sutton in the Molino Museum in the Molino Community Complex.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are wearing the number 20 on their uniforms this season to honor Sutton.

Photos for, click to enlarge.

Regional Softball: Chiles Eliminates Tate; Jay Tops Freeport By 10

May 7, 2021

Region 1-6A
Chiles 5, Tate 1

The Tate Lady Aggies fell behind early in a 5-1 Region 1-6A quarterfinal loss Thursday at Tallahassee Chiles.

Abbie Burks allowed five runs and seven hits in six innings, walking one.

Michayla Kent led the Aggies at the plate, going 2-3 with one run. Hannah Halfacre and Courtney Adams had one hit each for Tate.

Chiles will host Lincoln in the regional semifinals on May 11.

Region 1-1A
Jay 11, Freeport 1

The Jay Royals beat Freeport in the Region 1-1A semifinals 11-1 Thursday night in Jay.

Mattie Cochran earned the victory for Jay, going give innings, allowing one run and three hits will striking out nine and walking one.

Caitlyn Gavin (pictured above) had a fifth inning home run for the Royals. It was her ninth dinger of the season.

Brett Watson went 3-4 for the Lady Royals, and Audrey Barnes was 2-3 the plate. Jay also had hits from Gavin, Ella Nelson, Cochran, Madison Mathis and Kassidy Nevels.

Jay will travel to Holmes County on Tuesday in the regional finals.

Pictured: Caitlyn Gavin had a fifth inning home run for the Jay Royals Thursday night, her  ninth homer of the season. Photo for, click to enlarge.

NWE Celebrates Northview Chiefs Baseball As They Head Into Regionals

May 7, 2021

Many of the little league players at Northwest Escambia (NWE) in Walnut Hill dream of one day playing baseball for the Northview High School Chiefs.

The NHS Chiefs are headed into the first round of regional playoffs Friday night. So Thursday night, the NWE players decided to celebrate them and wish them the very best.

NWE players presented each district champion NHS Chief with a goody bag that included treats like sports drinks and sunflower seeds, inspirational quotes, and notes of encouragement.

Northview will host Paxton at 7 p.m. Friday in Bratt. The winner will face either Jay or Holmes County in the regional final on May 11.

Submitted photos for, click to enlarge.

Wahoos Take Two On The Road Over Mississippi

May 7, 2021

The Blue Wahoos swept a doubleheader over the Mississippi Braves Thursday. The Wahoos won the first game 5-1 and shut out the Braves 6-0 in the second. Photo for, click to enlarge.

Northview And Jay Athletes Headed To State Track And Field Finals

May 6, 2021

Athletes from both Northview and Jay High schools will compete in the state track and field finals.

Jay will complete on Friday in Class 1A, and Northview will compete in Class 2A on Saturday. Both finals are at the University of North Florida Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville.

From Northview:

  • Sarius Davis will complete the 100 meter and the 400 meter sprints (pictured top left).
  • John Michael Ward will complete in the shot put (pictured top right)

From Jay:

  • Jillian Thornton, ranked first in the state, will complete in the high jump. She also set a new school record at regionals (pictured below left).
  • Issac Black will compete in pole vault (pictured below middle).
  • Landry Cato will compete in pole vault (pictured below right).

Photos for, click to enlarge.

Max Meyer Dazzles In Pro Debut To Lead Blue Wahoos To Season-Opening Win Over Mississippi

May 6, 2021

Max Meyer was sensational for the Blue Wahoos in his much-anticipated professional debut as one of the baseball’s top prospects.

The relievers who followed were nearly as good.

It meshed perfectly into a 2-1 victory Wednesday night in Pearl, Miss. against the Mississippi Braves in a season-opener unlike any other. This one followed 605 days from the last Blue Wahoos’ game, following the 2020 shutdown from the coronavirus pandemic.

The opener also began Pensacola’s new era as the Miami Marlins Double-A affiliate.

Meyer, a Minnesota native, who became the third overall pick by the Marlins in the 2020 Major League Baseball draft, showed no sign of nerves or rustiness in his near flawless performance.

He yielded just one hit in five innings and two baserunners, while recording five strikeouts. He dazzled in front of a crowd of 2,307 at Trustmark Park, which included his parents, who traveled from Minnesota to see the special moment.

“Obviously, the standout performance was Max going five (innings),” said Blue Wahoos manager Kevin Randel. “He was very efficient with his pitches and seemed to get better as the game went along as well.

“I think it’s just his persona. It’s like he knows where he needs to be… and he knows where he’s going, most importantly. He never pitched in the Florida State League (High-A) or Low-A. It’s just the minor leagues to him and he feels he needs to be in the big leagues, he’s got the best stuff and that’s just how he pitches and we saw it (Wednesday).”

He was followed by three Blue Wahoos relievers – Sean Guenther, Anthony Maldonado and Colton Hock, who combined to allow just four hits, one walk and five strikeouts.

In the ninth, Hock earned the save with the M-Braves potential, game-winning run on first base. Hock, a fourth-round pick by the Marlins in 2017 out of Stanford, gave up a two out single and walk to get into trouble. But he then recorded the final out when getting next batter CJ Alexander to ground out, ending the game.

Meyer, meanwhile, was pitching in his first game that counted in 424 days – all the way back to March 6, 2020 as a junior at the University of Minnesota when he pitched what became his final collegiate game against Utah before the COVID-19 shutdown.

After waiting an extra day, following Tuesday’s rainout, Meyer flashed why he entered as the No. 23-rated overall prospect in all minor league levels by

The only hit Meyer allowed was a single in the fifth inning. He yielded just one walk and faced one batter above the minimum, leaving a memorable first impression. Both his slider and fastball were spot on. He kept hitting the corners with his fastball and the slider was curve-dropping into an unhittable pitch.

“The first two innings were nice, he’s was getting some swing and miss on his slider, but they weren’t really landing in the (strike) zone when he wanted to,” Randel said. “But about the third inning, he started landing some more breaking balls and he just got better as the game went along.”

The Blue Wahoos got their two runs in the first two innings. JJ Bleday, the Marlins No. 1 pick in 2019 out of Vanderbilt, drove in Victor Victor Mesa, who led off the game with a triple on the second pitch.

In the second inning, Lazaro Alonso laced a one-out single to score catcher Nick Fortes, who led off the inning with a double. The Blue Wahoos had four hits in the first two innings, but the M-Braves pitched check Pensacola on four hits the rest of the way.

“I think right away, right of the bat, just the offense getting going,” Randel said. “First time competition, underneath the lights, in however many days and we put up some good at bats early.”

The teams will play five more games before the Blue Wahoos return to make their home debut on May 11 against the Birmingham Barons.

by Bill Villona, Pensacola Blue Wahoos

Photos for, click to enlarge.

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