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 Pensacola Blue Wahoos

Blue Wahoos Hold off Lookouts to Provide Chance at First Half Division Crown

June 22, 2024 - Southern League (SL)
Pensacola Blue Wahoos News Release


Pensacola Blue Wahoos in action
Pensacola Blue Wahoos in action
(Pensacola Blue Wahoos)

Pensacola, Fla. - The Blue Wahoos will now play the final game of their first half schedule on Sunday with another playoff berth at stake.

They can thank Diego Infante's slide and Jakob Marsee's triple for helping make it happen.

Infante avoided being tagged on a sixth inning steal attempt, then scored on a Marsee triple in Pensacola's 5-4 victory Saturday night on a Copa initiative game against the Chattanooga Lookouts, making the post-game fireworks provided by PenAir Credit Union even more of a celebratory element.

Taking on their alternate identity Saturday as the Pensacola Pok Ta Pok, honoring the first ballgame of the Americas centuries ago as part of the Minor League Baseball Copa de la Diversión series, the Blue Wahoos got the win and got some help to make Sunday a dramatic finale to the first half schedule.

That's because the Birmingham Barons knocked off the Montgomery Biscuits 4-1 in 10 innings, enabling the Blue Wahoos to move to within a half-game of the Biscuits in the league's South Division.

The Biscuits at home have a half-hour head start Sunday before Pensacola's 4:05 p.m. weekend finale against Chattanooga.

Half of the Southern League will end the first half in playoff contention Sunday. The Tennessee Smokies had a walk-off win Saturday against the Mississippi Braves to pull within a half-game of Birmingham, so it's the same scenario in the North Division.

After the Lookouts (19-49), who wore their own Copa de la Diversión uniforms, rallied in the middle innings from a 4-0 deficit to tie Saturday's game, the Blue Wahoos (38-28) answered with a decisive run.

Infante led off the sixth inning by reaching base on a wild pitch from a swinging strikeout. With two out and Marsee at the plate, Infante took off on a steal attempt. The throw beat him to the bag, but his deft move on the slide avoided the tag and he was ruled safe.

Two pitches later, Marsee connected to send a ball into the left-center gap, easily scoring Infante for the go-ahead run on an eventual triple.

That became the game-winning run.

Relievers Anderson Pilar (4th hold), Matt Pushard (7th hold) and closer Austin Roberts with his league-best 11th save, combined to shut down the Barons lineup to seal the win. The trio allowed just two hits, one walk and five strikeouts.

Roberts struck out the side in the ninth and reacted with natural emotion as the Blue Wahoos knew they will now play a potential decisive game Sunday to determine the South Division first half winner. The Blue Wahoos have won the first half the past two seasons and reached the league championship series both times - winning the title in 2022.

Blue Wahoos starter Luis Palacios, who struggled in both starts last year against Chattanooga, allowing eight earned runs in 11 innings, fared much better Saturday.

He carried a shutout into the fifth when the Lookouts scored two runs off fielding errors. But Palacios made a big pitch to end a bases-loaded situation in that inning.

In the top of the sixth, Austin Hendrick tied the game with a one out homer run that just cleared a leaping attempt by Infante in right field.

Seven different Blue Wahoos players each had one hit.

GAME NOTABLES

--- Game sponsor PenAir Credit Union had more than 500 of its employees and families attending the game, filling three of the stadium's main party decks.

--- Lewis Garvin, corporate communications manager for PenAir, threw out a ceremonial first pitch and was interviewed on the game broadcast which aired on Blab TV.

--- Robin Lowe from PenAir performed the National Anthem

--- The Blue Wahoos welcomed several youth league teams including one from Navarre and another from Niceville.

--- This was the third time the Blue Wahoos have won the Pok Ta Pok uniforms this season.

WANT TO GO?

WHO: Chattanooga Lookouts vs. Blue Wahoos

WHEN: Sunday, 4:05 p.m.

WHERE: Blue Wahoos Stadium

PROMOTION: Military Family Sunday. Active and retired military members receive a ticket discount. Children 12 and under are allowed to run the bases following the game and families can toss soft baseballs in the outfield for 30 minutes in a dual promotion sponsored by Great Clips and WKRG News5.

TICKETS: Reserved seats for games available through www.bluewahoos.com/tickets.

AUDIO BROADCAST: Available on www.bluewahoos.com/radio with Blue Wahoos broadcasters Erik Bremer and Carter Bainbridge. The broadcast is also available on the MiLB App.

LIVE TV: The game will be available on a video stream through Bally Live and MLB.TV (subscription required).





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Pensacola Blue Wahoos in action
Pensacola Blue Wahoos in action

  

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Southern League Stories from June 22, 2024


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