Stranded Runners Cost Wahoos
The Blue Wahoos kept producing baserunners and scoring opportunities in their six-game series against the Montgomery Biscuits.
But the inability to finish those chances cast a dour mood.
They stranded nine runners Tuesday, including a pair each in the seventh and eighth innings of their 4-2 loss against the Biscuits at Blue Wahoos Stadium.
"It's not been happening for us right now," said Blue Wahoos manager Ramon Borrego. "We can't get that big hit, the big inning, something to get everyone going."
A crowd of 4,887 on Mardi Gras Night was treated to a miniature parade of krewes, beads and Moon Pies tossed on the concourse before the game. A post-game fireworks show, sponsored by Silver Airways, followed the game.
Unfortunately for the Blue Wahoos, they couldn't get that kind of festive atmosphere generated during the game. It resulted in Montgomery taking five of the six games in this extended homestand. An off day occurs Wednesday, then the Blue Wahoos begin a four-game road series against the Mississippi Braves.
"That should be good for us," Borrego said. "We need to regroup, go play well there and get back going again."
Tuesday's game featured the Double-A debut of left fielder Trevor Larnach, the Minnesota Twins' No. 1 draft selection in 2018 after helping lead Oregon State to the 2018 College World Series title.
He is the No. 4 rated prospect in the Twins organization.
After traveling Tuesday via two plane flights from Fort Myers, Larnach was in the starting lineup, batting third, and stroked a two-out single in his first at-bat. He later reached on an error.
He described the night as being an eye-opening experience.
"It's definitely different," Larnach said. "The pitching is so good and you can tell that right away. It's going to be an adjustment, but it's great to be here."
Larnach stayed busy in left field while experiencing the challenges from varying winds at the bayfront ballpark.
In the top of the first inning, Biscuits' left-handed batter Josh Lowe hit a pitch from Blue Wahoos starter Bryan Sammons to left field. The ball just kept carrying and carry as Larnach watched it clear the wall for a home run.
The past several days when the wind was blowing in, that could have been an easy out.
"Yeah, the guys were telling me about that," Larnach said. "We didn't take (batting practice) on the field and I really didn't have a feel for how the ball was carrying."
In the sixth inning with Blue Wahoos newcomer Edwar Colina pitching, the Biscuits added two more runs after a one-out single, then back to back RBI doubles against Colina.
The Blue Wahoos trimmed that deficit to 3-2 on one swing by Lewin Diaz. His opposite field homer to left field happened with Larnach on first base, after reaching on a throwing error. It was Diaz' fourth homer with the Blue Wahoos.
"Lewin is fun to watch play," Larnach said. "Just a great guy, a great player."
The Biscuits got the fourth run in the seventh inning when Lowe led off with a double, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly.
The Blue Wahoos had two on with two out in the seventh; two on with one out in the eighth. Each time, they left without scoring.
The Biscuits used six pitchers in the game, combining to give up only six hits and three walks. They overcame three errors by teammates.
Diaz finished 2-for-4 in the game as the team's only multiple hit player. Sammons (2-3) absorbed the loss, despite going only two innings and giving up just one run on two hits.
A lucky fan won a pair of round-trip plane tickets to the Bahamas, courtesy of game sponsor Silver Airways. The airline has direct service from Pensacola to Fort Lauderdale with a connecting flight to the Bahamas.
The Mardi Gras parade was part of the third annual theme night on a Fat Tuesday style celebration in the middle of July.
Rather than floats, there were 10 shopping carts with trinkets and decorations led by Kazoo in a Mardi Gras outfield. Beads were tossed from the press box as well as on the concourse area.
For the second night in a row, Titus Culbreth sang the National Anthem. He was part of the Pensacola's Got Talent array of local singers who were selected in the March event. After the Blue Wahoos' four game series against the Mississippi Braves, they will return home to face the Mobile BayBears on July 22-July 26 in the final time the teams will play in Pensacola. The BayBears franchise is being transferred into the Rocket City Trash Pandas and relocated to Madison, Ala. near Huntsville where a new stadium awaits in the 2020 season.
Images from this story
Trevor Larnarch debuts for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos
Lewin Diaz of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos
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Southern League Stories from July 17, 2019
- Homestand Highlights: July 18-21 vs. Pensacola Blue Wahoos - Mississippi Braves
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- Stranded Runners Cost Wahoos - Pensacola Blue Wahoos
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