The Blue Wahoos opened up the 2013 campaign with a bang, smacking four home runs en route to a 7-3 triumph over the Tennessee Smokies. The sellout crowd of 5,038 was the first of the season and 41st in 69 home dates in the history of the Pensacola franchise.
Pensacola was in control for nearly the entire game thanks to its balanced attack and powerful hitting. Travis Mattair started the show launching the first pitch he saw in Double-A deep over the left field wall in the second inning. Bryson Smith followed suit a frame later, sending a line drive shot over the left field fence to square the game at two. In the fourth, it was Tucker Barnhart who crushed on 0-1 pitch off the batter's eye in center field to put the Wahoos on top 3-2, a lead they would never relinquish. Donald Lutz joined the home run party in the seventh, lifting an opposite field shot to left to open the score up to 5-2.
The Wahoos also had RBI's from Ryan LaMarre, with an RBI groundout in the fourth, and Devin Lohman, who added a two-RBI single in the eighth to cap the scoring.
Tennessee's offense centered around shortstop Arismendy Alcantara. The Dominican native accounted for all three of the Smokies' RBI's, including a two-out, two-run tater in the top of third that gave Tennessee its only lead of the game at 2-1.
Chad Rogers (1-0) earned the win for Pensacola, tossing five innings of four-hit ball while striking out four and allowing two runs. Yohan Pino, Drew Hayes, and Lee Hyde all earned holds in relief, with Hyde getting the powerful Justin Bour to ground out with the tying runs in scoring position in the top of the eighth.
Tennessee starter Dallas Beeler was harmed by three home runs in 5.1 innings and took the loss to fall to 0-1 on the season.
The balanced Wahoos attack saw eight of the nine starters record at least one base hit, including the pitcher Rogers. Barnhart and Brodie Greene attributed two base hits apiece while Lohman had the lone multi-RBI game.
With the Wahoos scoring seven 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 series continues tomorrow as Josh Smith takes the hill for the Wahoos against Alberto Cabrera for the Smokies. First pitch is set for 7:00 PM. The first 2,000 fans through the gate at Bayfront Stadium will receive the one-of-a-kind Billy Hamilton Bobblelegs Giveaway compliments of Fisher Brown Bottrell Insurance.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.