Ninth-Inning Homer from Sims Keeps Wahoos Alive in Postseason Hunt
MADISON, ALABAMA - Demetrius Sims broke a 2-2 tie in the top of the ninth with a solo home run as the Wahoos came from behind to win the series opener 3-2 on Tuesday night at Toyota Field.
With the win, coupled with Birmingham's loss to Montgomery, the Blue Wahoos are now 2.5 games out of the final AA-S playoff spot with only five games remaining in the season.
In the top of the ninth the Trash Pandas brought in Zach Liginfelter (L, 0-1) to try and keep the game at 2-2. With one out, Demetrius Sims belted a solo home run to right center to give Pensacola the winning run. Even though it was only Sims's fourth home run of the season, it is the second time in two weeks that Sims has hit a go-ahead home run in the ninth inning.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, Colton Hock (S, 19) grinded his way to his league-leading 19th save of the year. After back-to-back one-out singles in the bottom of the ninth, Hock turned a spectacular double play to end the game. Luis Aviles Jr. smashed a ground ball up the middle that Hock somehow stopped with the glove. After a clean throw to second, Sims threw out Aviles out at first for a game-ending double play.
The Blue Wahoos took the lead in the bottom of the first thanks a double from Kameron Misner and a sac fly from JJ Bleday. Misner now has four doubles in his last three games for the Wahoos.
Pensacola's 1-0 lead was short lived. After a leadoff single from Aviles, the Trash Pandas used a hit-by-pitch and a pair of walks from Kyle Nicolas to score Aviles and tie the game at 1-1.
After Rocket City took a 2-1 lead, the Wahoos tied the game in the top of the fourth. With Griffin Conine at third, Sims singled to right to bring home Conine and tie the game at 2-2. Sims finished the night with three hits tying his season high.
Kyle Nicolas grinded through five innings for the Blue Wahoos in what appears to be his final start of 2021. He allowed two runs on two hits in five innings of work. Despite walking five he also struck out five in the no decision.
The Blue Wahoos will try to make it four wins in a row in the Wednesday's contest. Pensacola ace RHP Max Meyer (6-2, 2.56) will make his 20th start of the year and he will be opposed by RHP Christopher Molina (5-1, 4.36). Coverage of Wednesday's game is available at ESPN Pensacola and bluewahoos.com.
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