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BLX 4, PNS 5; Blue Wahoos rally back to win it in extras

Courtesy of Pensacola Blue Wahoos

With the regular Marlins game vs. the Rockies postponed due to rain, we’re recapping a great minor league game instead. The Pensacola Blue Wahoos faced off against the Biloxi Shuckers on Tuesday and opened up their homestand with a comeback win.

On the mound, A.J. Ladwig faced off against Lucas Erceg.

Making his first start since signing with the Marlins organization, Ladwig struggled as he only went 3.1 IP with one strikeout. Ladwig gave up 6 hits and just seemed to never get into a rhythm. Luckily, only 3 runs were scored and the game wasn’t too out of hand.

For the Shuckers starter, Erceg went a short 2.0 IP allowing 2 hits and no runs. He struck out 4.

It didn’t take long for the Shuckers to get it going offensively. Tristen Lutz doubled in the top of the 2nd inning scoring Thomas Dillard who had singled in the previous at-bat and Jakson Reetz who doubled previously as well. The third run of the game scored on a sac fly from Gabe Holt.

Left-hander Jefry Yan entered the game in relief of Ladwig. Yan faced a season-high 10 batters did not allow a hit to any of them. His outing is the big reason why the Blue Wahoos were able to keep hope alive.

The Wahoos offense was fairly quiet until the third inning when Troy Johnston and Paul McIntosh singled setting the stage for Griffin Conine, who doubled scoring Johnston and moving up McIntosh to 3rd base.

In the bottom of the 5th inning, José Devers earned a walk and stole second base. Thanks to a throwing error from Jakson Reetz, Devers advanced to third. Johnston came up to bat and hit a sac fly driving in Devers to make this a one-run game.

Both bullpens did their jobs until the bottom of the 8th inning when Harold Chirino entered the game to face Paul McIntosh. In a 3-2 game, McIntosh came through in the clutch and hit a home run to tie the game up. It had an exit velocity of 110 MPH off the bat.

After that, neither team scored and the game went into extra innings. In the top of the 10th, the Shuckers manufactured a go-ahead run against Colton Hock. With a man automatically placed on second base, Thomas Dillard grounded out advancing Noah Campbell to 3rd base. A Tristen Lutz single scored Campbell giving the Wahoos a 4-3 lead.

Pensacola had another chance to respond. The inning began with a Johnston single advancing the speedy Devers who was the runner on second base. McIntosh flew out, but not deep enough to bring Devers home.

Conine was the next batter up. With a 2-strike count, he singled up the middle, tying the game at 4-4.

Ray-Patrick Didder then hit a sac fly driving in Johnston to win the game.

The Blue Wahoos improved their record to 21-20. The win puts them back in first place of the Southern League South division. This also was their second walk-off of the season.

Courtesy of Pensacola Blue Wahoos

I had the chance to listen to Pensacola’s postgame press conference as Griffin Conine and Troy Johnston spoke to the media. Conine was wearing a black polo shirt from the 2017 MLB All-Star Game that was held at Marlins Park.

Conine and Johnston were both asked about that bottom of the 10th inning.

Conine: “I wanted to be as small as I could, as far as swing speed. I don’t wanna take big swings. The last thing I wanna do is get back here and miss a pitch I should have hit.”

Conine then reiterates the need to “go small” when he was attempting to drive in the runner on 3rd who was José Devers.

Johnston was told that there was a chance that Didder could “potentially bunt” on the play so he was considering that as a possibility.

The Blue Wahoos play the Biloxi Shuckers once again Wednesday at 7:35 pm EST. Eury Pérez will face off against Justin Bullock.