PENSACOLA, Fla. - The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (5-8) fell to the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (10-3) by a 7-5 score in the third game of the five-game series at Blue Wahoos Stadium on Wednesday night.
Jacksonville carried a 5-3 lead into the bottom of the eighth, only to see the Wahoos score four runs with two outs in the frame to pick up the two-run win, Pensacola's fifth straight victory, and Jacksonville's fifth straight loss. The Blue Wahoos have won the first three games of the series, giving them a series victory in Pensacola.
Jacksonville reliever Tyler Higgins (0-1) took the loss, as he left in the eighth with the bases loaded, then reliever Tayron Guerrero allowed the inherited runners to score. Wahoos reliever Alex Powers (1-1) earned the win, with Geoff Broussard working a perfect ninth to earn his second save of the series.
Jacksonville took the game's first lead in the top of the second, thanks to an Austin Nola RBI single to give the Shrimp a 1-0 lead. An inning later in the bottom of the third, the Wahoos tied the game on an infield RBI single by Blake Trahan. Pensacola took the lead in the bottom of the fourth when Eric Jagielo had an RBI single to give Pensacola a 2-1 edge. The Wahoos also added a run in the sixth inning when Alex Blandino grounded into a force out but scored Adrian Nieto to put the score at 3-1.
The Jumbo Shrimp comeback started in the seventh inning, when Alex Yarbrough delivered an RBI single to cut Pensacola's lead to 3-2. An inning later in the eighth, Jacksonville tied the game when Jeremias Pineda scored as John Norwood reached on a fielder's choice/error by the second baseman. The Jumbo Shrimp took the lead on an RBI single by David Vidal to make it 4-3, before Taylor Ard hit an RBI single as well to put the score at 5-3 heading into the eighth.
Higgins left the mound in the eighth with the bases loaded and a 5-3 Shrimp lead with two outs as Guerrero came in. Guerrero walked Blake Trahan to cut Jacksonville's lead to 5-4, and then Josh VanMeter delivered a bases-clearing single to right field, and combined with an error by Norwood in right three runs scored to put Pensacola's lead at 7-5, which would be the final.
Jumbo Shrimp starter Omar Bencomo had a no decision, going five innigns where he allowed two runs on eight hits with a walk and seven strikeouts. Wahoos starter Keury Mella was impressive as well, going six innings where he allowed a run on four hits with no walks and seven strikeouts.
The Jumbo Shrimp and Blue Wahoos will continue their series with the fourth game of the five-game series on Thursday at 7:35 p.m. ET. Left-handed pitcher Mike Kickham (0-1, 3.60 ERA) will start for Jacksonville against Pensacola right-hander Deck McGuire (0-0, 1.80 ERA). Fans can listen to the game on the Jumbo Shrimp Network presented by Community First, beginning at 7:20 p.m. ET with the pregame show "Shrimp On Deck" on FM 100.3 & AM 1600 The Biz, the TuneIn Radio app, and www.jaxshrimp.com.
ABOUT THE JUMBO SHRIMP: With their home opener Wednesday, April 12, at 7:05 p.m., the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp are beginning a new era of affordable family fun with the 2017 season presented by Community First Credit Union at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. With a new lineup of ticket and group options, there is a reason for everyone to get part of the action by calling the Jumbo Shrimp at (904) 358-2846 or visiting www.jaxshrimp.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.