Pitching Falters in 8-4 Setback
The Blue Wahoos' late-season surge in August has been ignited by a consistent element.
Their starting pitchers haven't yielded big innings. Reliever Marcos Diplan had not yielded runs.
Saturday night became the anomaly.
The Jackson Generals produced six runs in the middle innings, including three runs off Diplan, then received their own strong effort from the bullpen in an 8-4 win against the Blue Wahoos, amid a second straight sellout crowd (5,038) at Blue Wahoos Stadium.
The loss, coupled by wins by the Biloxi Shuckers and Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, caused the Blue Wahoos to drop to third place in the Southern League South Division race. They are now three games back of Biloxi with eight games to play, while Jacksonville trials Biloxi by two games.
It was the final Saturday night home game and post-game fireworks show of the season. The night included a Home Run For Life featuring an 8-year-old Pensacola girl, who battled her way back to good health.
The Generals, however, took over the game with a power display. They hit three home runs, beginning with the biggest one, a two-out, three-run shot off Diplan in the sixth inning by No. 9 hitter Galli Cribbs Jr.
It was only his second homer of the season, but this one turned the game. Diplan (3-5) who absorbed the loss, had allowed just one run in his five previous appearances in August. He had given up only four runs in the past nine relief opportunities.
The Blue Wahoos had just retaken the lead, 4-3, in the fifth inning on an RBI single by Royce Lewis and bases-loaded walk issued to Trevor Larnach.
Ryan Costello started the Blue Wahoos with a 2-0 lead through four innings on his two-run homer in the third inning into the right field berm.
On the mound, Bryan Sammons was cruising. He retired the Generals in order in the second and third innings, and escaped jams in the first and fourth innings without allowing a run.
He extended a trend where Blue Wahoos starting pitchers had thrown 51 innings and allowed just eight earned runs with 57 strikeouts.
In the fifth inning, that changed. He gave up a leadoff walk, then a doubled by Jeffrey Baez to scored Camden Duzenack with the first run. Daulton Varsho had an RBI single and scored on Pavin Smith's double, which ended Sammons' night after he worked six innings the previous two starts.
His teammates rallied to take the lead in the bottom of the fifth, but that became their last production. Two Jackson relievers, Kevin McCanna and Cole Stapler combined to throw five innings and allow just one hit, two walks and two strikeouts.
The Generals have essentially wrapped up the wild card spot in the Southern League North Division. They trail Montgomery by five games in the second half, but the Biscuits were up 7-1 on Chattanooga in a suspended game and have played two more games.
The Blue Wahoos were held to just six hits in the game.
The season's final fireworks show was sponsored by the Bodacious Shops, part of the Studer Family of Companies. Prior to the show, fans received 3D glasses by sponsor Columbia Southern to give the fireworks event an extra dimension.
The Pace High color guard participated in the National Anthem as two sisters, ages 8 and 6, sang the anthem to loud applause.
Images from this story
Pensacola Blue Wahoos celebrate a Ryan Costello home run
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Southern League Stories from August 25, 2019
- Abbott Shines as Smokies End Barons Postseason Hopes - Tennessee Smokies
- Wild Ending - Shuckers Walk off on Wild Pitch - Biloxi Shuckers
- Late Rally Falls Short as Barons Downed by Smokies - Birmingham Barons
- Bullpen Shines in 1-0 Loss on Sunday - Mississippi Braves
- Lookouts Sweep Doubleheader - Chattanooga Lookouts
- Lookouts Take Two from Biscuits - Montgomery Biscuits
- Pfeifer Promoted to Gwinnett, De Paula to Mississippi - Mississippi Braves
- Generals Gameday: August 25 at Pensacola - Jackson Generals
- Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp: Game Notes, August 25 vs. Mobile - Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp
- Pitching Falters in 8-4 Setback - Pensacola Blue Wahoos
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