It had been over a full calendar year since the last time a Blue Wahoo hit two home runs in a game. Tonight, a pair of Wahoo sluggers went deep twice, but the Blue Wahoos still fell 6-4 to the Mississippi Braves.
In game three of a five-game set at Blue Wahoos Stadium, the M-Braves took an early 2-0 lead over Pensacola in the first inning against opener Williams Ramirez. With two outs, Tyler Neslony tripled to right, barely beating a rapid relay from the outfield and sliding under the tag at third. The next batter, Ryan Casteel launched a two-run home run.
The score stayed locked at 2-0 until the fourth inning when Pensacola cut the lead in half with a towering home run off the bat of Ben Rortvedt.
The Braves answered immediately in the top of the fifth, stringing together singles by Christian Pache and Drew Waters with two outs before Neslony drilled a three-run shot off Jorge Alcala, his second home run in as many days against the Wahoos.
Prior to the fifth, Alcala had pitched strong in relief of Ramirez, throwing 3.0 scoreless innings on just two hits. He finished the night with a line of 5.0 innings pitched, five hits and three runs allowed, two walks, and six strikeouts. For Alcala, it was his third straight outing following an opener, a role in which he holds a 6.59 ERA with 17 strikeouts in 13.2 innings pitched.
Trailing 5-1, Jaylin Davis lofted a no-doubt solo shot in the sixth inning for Pensacola to keep the Wahoos in the ballgame.
Davis would strike again in his next at-bat, lining another solo shot over the left field wall in the eighth.
The Braves also added a run in the eighth on back-to-back doubles by Riley Unroe and Luis Valenzuela off reliever Sam Clay, who struck out six over 3.0 innings of relief.
The Wahoos made it interesting in the ninth. With one out, Rortvedt knocked an opposite field solo home run, his second of the night. With the score now 6-4, Caleb Hamilton followed with a single up the middle.
With the tying run at the plate, the Braves turned to Jeremy Walker in relief to try and close out the game for the second straight night. For the second straight night, he delivered, retiring the next two batters to preserve the win for Mississippi.
Over in Biloxi, Brewers prospect Trey Supak came within one out of a no-hitter in a 3-0 win for the Shuckers over the Tennessee Smokies. With the Wahoos loss and Biloxi’s win tonight, Pensacola’s lead in the Southern League South Division is down to just 1.0 game.
The Wahoos and Braves will play again tomorrow night at 6:35 PM at Blue Wahoos Stadium with righty Andro Cutura (0-2, 6.87 ERA) on the mound for Pensacola against Braves #2 pitching prospect Ian Anderson (2-3, 3.38 ERA).
*** This report was provided by Daniel Venn, Public Relations Manager for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos