Pensacola’s four-game winning streak was ended by one swing of the bat from Mississippi’s Drew Waters, as the Braves #8 overall prospect launched a two-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to hand the Wahoos a 5-3 loss in game two of their ten-game road trip.
Jorge Alcala started on the mound for Pensacola fresh off being named the Minnesota Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Week. He provided a solid but unspectacular outing, allowing three runs on eight hits over 5.0 innings and struck out three.
Pensacola scored first in the game for the 24th time this season in 31 games. Luis Arraez led off the game with a double to center, extending his ongoing hit streak to eight games. Alex Kirilloff pulled a ground ball to the right side, moving him over, and Miguel Sano plated Arraez with a sacrifice fly to center.
The Wahoos extended their lead in the second. Caleb Hamilton was hit by a pitch leading off the inning. A fielding error by Mississippi on a ground ball off the bat of Tanner English put runners at the corners. Taylor Grzelakowski then bounced into a double play, scoring Hamilton from third and putting Pensacola up 2-0.
Missippi used a walk, a stolen base, and a single to cut Pensacola’s lead in half in the home half of the second. In the third, Christian Pache launched a two-run home run to give the M-Braves a 3-2 lead.
The Blue Wahoos tied the score up in the fifth inning. Kirilloff led the inning off with a walk, and Sano followed with a double. With one out, Travis Blankenhorn lofted a sac fly to center, scoring Kirilloff and making it 3-3.
Despite putting at least runner on in each of the last four innings, including getting two runners in scoring position with just one out in the top of the ninth, Pensacola didn’t score again.
After Huascar Ynoa escaped the jam in the top of the ninth for Mississippi, Waters launched his two-run walk-off shot off Alex Phillips with one out in the bottom of the ninth.
Mississippi received a quality start from top prospect Joey Wentz, who allowed three runs (two earned) over 6.0 innings on five hits. Ynoa, a former Twins prospect, threw 3.0 shutout innings to earn the win in relief.
After receiving 5.0 innings from Alcala, the Twins turned to Adam Bray out of the pen. The Minneapolis native was brilliant, throwing 3.0 hitless innings of relief and striking out four.
Phillips took the loss, allowing two runs (one earned) on the Waters homer in the ninth.
Sano was 3-4 with a pair of doubles for the Wahoos. Kirilloff was 1-4, his fifth straight game with a hit.
After the loss, Pensacola’s record sits at 21-11 while Mississippi improves to 16-14. The two teams will continue their five-game set tomorrow morning at 10:35 AM in a showdown of top pitching prospects between Brusdar Graterol (3-0, 2.23 ERA) and Tucker Davidson (0-0, 1.46 ERA).
***This report provided by Daniel Venn, Media and Public Relations Manager for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos