Mobile, Ala. - The Blue Wahoos dropped the opening series of the season after getting swept in Sunday's doubleheader in Mobile.
Pensacola played well enough to win game two, but their late-game rally fell just short.
Shed Long turned in a monster 2-for-4 performance with all hits going for doubles. He would've been 3-for-4, except after hitting what seemed like a first-inning double, was instead ruled an out after Long did not touch first base.
Blue Wahoos starter Jesus Reyes (L, 0-1) ran into trouble in the third inning when the BayBears sent nine men to the plate. Taylor Ward had a two-out, two-RBI double that made it 3-2 before Wade Wass's single made it 4-2.
Pensacola rallied in the fifth when CJ McElroy reached on an error and then scored on Long's would-be third double of the game to make 4-3.
In the sixth, Nick Longi led off the inning with a single off Greg Mahle (W, 1-0), but with Aristides Aquino at the dish, Longhi was picked off by the lefty's deceptive move to first. Aquino then singled, but the rally never came to fruition.
Jake Jewell (S,1) pitched a perfect seventh inning to seal the sweep.
In the opening game of the doubleheader, the Blue Wahoos again fell victim to a big inning.
In the fourth inning, starter Vladimir Gutierrez (L, 0-1) began to struggle with his command. Hutton Moyer led off the inning with a four-pitch walk and promptly stole second base. After a Michael Bearish single, Connor Justus walked and Moyer scored on a wild pitch to put Mobile up 2-0. Gutierrez then induced Jose Rojas to hit into a double-play.
With two outs the inning it appeared Gutierrez worked out of trouble when Brendon Sanger grounded out to the pitcher; however, Chad Tromp was dinged for catcher's interference and that error allowed the inning to continue.
Carlos Navas replaced Gutierrez with the bases loaded and promptly surrendered a bases-clearing double to Matt Thaiss, which broke the game open at 6-0. Moyer capped the scoring with a two-run homer in his second at-bat of the inning to make it 9-0. By the time inning came to a close the BayBears sent 11 men to the plate and scored eight runs in an inning for the first time since May of 2014.
BayBears starter Jose Rodriguez (W, 1-0) was excellent in his Double-A debut earning the win by holding Pensacola to a pair of hits over five innings.
Longhi has a nine-game hitting streak (.423, 11-for-26) dating back to last season and has a hit in every game of his Pensacola career except his Blue Wahoos debut on July 7 (10 games).
The Blue Wahoos bullpen has already pitched 15.2 innings in relief and have held the BayBears to a total of five runs (2.87 ERA).
Had Shed Long not been ruled out for not stepping on first base it would have been the first time in his career that he had three doubles in a game.
The Blue Wahoos will close out the series tomorrow night when Double-A newcomer Wyatt Strahan goes head-to-head with Mobile's Dylan Unsworth. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 and can be heard on 97.1 The Ticket and 1490 Milton
- Pensacola Blue Wahoos -
The Pensacola Blue Wahoos are the Double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. The Blue Wahoos open their home schedule on Wednesday, April 11 at BlueWahoos Stadium. Group packages, season tickets, mini plans and single-game tickets are available for the 2018 season by calling (850) 934-8444 or online. Follow the Blue Wahoos at bluewahoos.com, facebook.com/PensacolaBlueWahoos, and twitter.com/BlueWahoosBBall
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.