The Pensacola Blue Wahoos broke a 2-2 tie in the last of the eighth inning with eight runs to win going away 10-2 over the Jacksonville Suns in front of 4,591 fans on Thursday night at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium.
Entering the eighth tied at two, Pensacola erupted for eight runs on seven hits against Arquimedes Caminero and Scott McGough. Donald Lutz led off the inning with a triple and scored on a double by Travis Mattair to give the Wahoos a 3-2 lead. After two walks to load the bases, Steve Selsky brought home a run with a single, Tucker Barnhart drew a bases loaded walk to score another one and Devin Lohman blasted a two-run double. The next two batters were retired before Lutz batted for a second time and launched a ground rule double to make it 9-2. Mattair followed with his second hit of the inning, a single that the left fielder misplayed, allowing Lutz to score the eighth run of the inning. The final carnage was eight runs on seven hits, three walks and an error.
The eight-run frame set a new franchise record for runs scored in a half inning and the 10 overall runs tied a franchise-high set twice last season.
Prior to the eighth inning eruption it was a game marked by highlight reel defensive plays and timely hitting. Barnhart drove home Bryson Smith in the second inning on a sacrifice fly and again in the fourth inning on a single to right. Barnhart was a perfect 2-for-2 with a run scored and three RBI. Lutz and Smith contributed three hits apiece as the Wahoos tallied a season-high 13 base knocks.
Pensacola's defense kept the Suns off the board in multiple frames as Smith made a sliding catch with a runner on third and two outs to save a run in the second. With a runner on third and one out in the fifth, Taylor Krick lifted a fly to center that Ryan LaMarre hauled in. LaMarre then uncorked a strike to home plate to Barnhart who caught the ball and survived a collision with the runner Jake Smolinski to finish off an 8-2 double play.
Despite the defensive gems, the Suns tied the game in the seventh on a two-out double from Krick that plated two with one scoring when the ball was mishandled in right field.
Chad Rogers received a no-decision despite yielding just one run on two hits over 6.2 frames. Drew Hayes (1-0) picked up the win despite giving up an unearned run in 1.1 innings.
Caminero (1-1) gave up seven runs (all earned) on four hits and three walks in just a third of an inning.
With the Wahoos scoring more than five runs, fans can take advantage of Papa John's special offer. All fans can get 50% off online orders tomorrow by going to papajohns.com and entering promo code: WAHOOS to redeem their offer.
The blowout sets up an intriguing rubber game on Friday at 7:00 p.m. Ryan Dennick (1-0, 2.45) will go for the Blue Wahoos against the Suns' Sam Dyson (0-1, 0.96). The first 2,000 fans through the gates will receive a team hat courtesy of Landrum Human Resources.
NOTES: 2012 Blue Wahoos pitcher Tony Cingrani earned his first career win for the Reds today, striking out eight in five innings in Cincinnati's win over Miami. In addition, 2012 Blue Wahoos shortstop Didi Gregorius launched his first career home run at Yankee Stadium tonight in Arizona's game against New York.