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Big Bats, Ober Lead Blue Wahoos to 8-2 Victory

August 21, 2019 - Southern League (SL) - Pensacola Blue Wahoos News Release

The stars in the Blue Wahoos batting order lit back up with a fury and the team's newest starting pitcher continued to dazzle.

Together, they produced a shining matinee performance Wednesday in the Blue Wahoos 8-2 victory against the Mississippi Braves, clinching this road series at Trustmark Park.

The pop at the top were Alex Kirilloff, Royce Lewis, and Trevor Larnach, combining to go 7-for-13 with five RBI. That was part of the team's 13-hit day, more than enough offense for 6-foot-9 righthander Bailey Ober, who followed his first official start and win five days ago with one better.

Ober (2-0, 0.64 ERA) allowed just three hits in seven shutout innings, along with no walks and matched his career-high with 12 strikeouts. Ober, 24, joined the Blue Wahoos on Aug. 9 from the Fort Myers Miracle, but had his first start wiped out by inclement weather in Mobile after one inning.

The win was the Blue Wahoos eighth in the past nine games. They are 4-1 in this extended series, which concludes Thursday night in Pearl, Miss.

It continues a stretch where the Blue Wahoos (71-57 overall, 33-25 2nd half) have won 10 of their past 12 games to climb back into the Southern League second half division chase. They exited Wednesday's win trailing first-place Biloxi by 2.5 games, pending the Shuckers outcome later Wednesday night against the Montgomery Biscuits.

The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp are two games behind Biloxi in the South Division race, pending outcome of their game against Birmingham.

But the Blue Wahoos have now eliminated their division rivals for the wild card playoff spot if Biloxi wins the second half division title.

The Shuckers won the first half division race. If a team wins both halves, their playoff opponent is the one with the next-best overall record, which is Pensacola by a wide margin.

The Blue Wahoos started Wednesday's run barrage in the third inning. With two out and Taylor Grzelakowski on second base, Kirilloff produced an RBI single. Lewis drove home Kirilloff by following with a double. Larnach scored Lewis with his RBI single.

That meant all three of the Minnesota Twins' first round picks from 2016-18 factored into the first three runs.

In the fourth inning, Mark Contreras and Jimmy Kerrigan hit back-to-back solo homers. Larnach then hit a bases-loaded, two-out single to score two more runs.

Ober cruised through the M-Braves lineup, retiring 15 of the first 16 batters he faced.

Blue Wahoos reliever Tom Hackimer finished the game, allowing three hits and the two M-Braves runs, but getting three strikeouts.

Images from this story

Trevor Larnach of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos signs autographs
Trevor Larnach of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos signs autographs

Pensacola Blue Wahoos pitcher Bailey Ober
Pensacola Blue Wahoos pitcher Bailey Ober


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Southern League Stories from August 21, 2019

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