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Wahoos Wait Out Rain, Beat Lookouts 5-3

(Nino Mendez / Pensacola Blue Wahoos)
September 3, 2023

Pensacola, Fla.– A long day and tough week ended in a gratifying way for the Blue Wahoos. After the start of Sunday’s game at Blue Wahoos Stadium was pushed back nearly two and a half hours, the Blue Wahoos jumped to an early lead, then had their bullpen hold under

Pensacola, Fla.– A long day and tough week ended in a gratifying way for the Blue Wahoos.

After the start of Sunday’s game at Blue Wahoos Stadium was pushed back nearly two and a half hours, the Blue Wahoos jumped to an early lead, then had their bullpen hold under pressure in a 5-3 victory against the Chattanooga Lookouts. A good portion of the crowd of 3,425 waited out the weather and remained at the end of the game.

It earned the Blue Wahoos (70-54) a series split against a team they may see again in the Southern League playoffs. This year’s Blue Wahoos team now becomes the fourth in franchise history to attain 70 or more wins. The club record is 81 wins.

The Blue Wahoos won a championship last year with just 68 wins.

The Lookouts (68-57), the Cincinnati Reds affiliate, won the first half North Division in the Southern League. Their deep lineup of hitters enabled wins in nine of the 12 games in regular-season meetings this season with the Blue Wahoos.

Sunday’s game was to start at 4:05 p.m. By the time it finished, the time was 9:35. Continuous bands of rain kept pushing back the start time and forcing the Blue Wahoos grounds crew of staff members into extra duty to keep the field dry with tarp pulls. It was the fifth time in the week that inclement weather affected either pregame workouts for each team, or the game itself.

Once Sunday’s game began, the Blue Wahoos gained an early edge.

Victor Mesa Jr. continued his strong production with a two-run homer in the first inning that followed a leadoff walk from Nasim Nuñez.

Will Banfield made it 3-1 in the third with a solo homer, his 20th of the year.

Mesa later produced a 4-1 lead with successful gamble on the basepaths. He was on second when an errant pickoff attempt from Lookout catcher Matheu Nelson bounced away from shortstop Jose Torres. Mesa raced around third and made a terrific slide to avoid Nelson’s tag at the plate on Torres’ throw.

The Blue Wahoos got their fifth run when Paul McIntosh reached on a walk, went to second on a wild pitch, stole third and scored on an errant throw.

Blue Wahoos starter Evan Fitterer picked up his seventh win by working into the sixth. He got out of a bases loaded jam in the fourth inning with a 95 mph fastball to strike out Torres.

In the sixth, with two runners on, Blue Wahoos reliever Brady Puckett recorded a strikeout to end that inning. In the eighth inning, after two out, reliever Zach McCambley allowed three consecutive walks before freezing Torres with a fastball to escape another jam.

And in the ninth, after a leadoff homer by Blake Dunn and a single that followed, closer Luarbert Arias recorded his second save with a pair of strikeouts, including the final out against Quincy McAfee.

Following the game, children ran the bases on Family Sunday provided by WKRG News5. Prior to the game, the Blue Wahoos hosted Women In Sports Day featuring area women’s collegiate coaches, along with Blue Wahoos athletic trainer Melissa Hampton and three female members of the Blue Wahoos front office staff in a panel forum inside the Season Ticket Member lounge.

The win pushed the Blue Wahoos' second half record to 29-27 with 12 games to play. They will leave late Monday morning for Madison, Alabama to begin a six-game series against the Rocket City Trash Pandas on Tuesday.

Their final series of the regular season will be at home, beginning on September 12 against the Mississippi Braves. The Southern League divisional playoffs begin September 19 with the Blue Wahoos having home field in the final two games of the best-of-three series against either Biloxi or Montgomery.

The games at Rocket City will be available with an audio broadcast on BlueWahoos.com, the MiLB First Pitch app (radio), Bally Live, and MiLB.tv (video).

Single-game playoff tickets are now on sale.

For more information, visit BlueWahoos.com or contact the box office at (850) 934-8444.