JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jumbo Shrimp center fielder Braxton Lee had a seventh-inning single and ninth-inning double to become the second Jacksonville player - and first in 26 years - to win the Southern League batting title, but the Pensacola Blue Wahoos won a 5-1 regular season finale in front of 3,987 at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville Monday afternoon.
Lee grounded out twice and had a sacrifice in his first three plate appearances, but he singled to left field with one out in the seventh inning against Blue Wahoos right-hander Domingo Tapia. In the ninth inning with two outs and the bases empty against right-hander Zack Weiss, Lee grounded a 3-1 pitch down the third-base line - the last of Jacksonville's 13 hits. Lee raised his batting average for the season - split between Montgomery and Jacksonville - to .309 (.30882), edging Chattanooga's Jonathan Rodriguez (.30876 before his promotion to Triple-A). Lee's 147 hits also led the league by one over Jackson's Kevin Cron. The first Jacksonville player to win a batting title was Jim Bowie, who hit .310 in 1991.
Miami Marlins first baseman Justin Bour, playing his third straight game of a rehab assignment with the Jumbo Shrimp, played seven innings at first base and went 2-for-4 with two singles. He is 3-for-9 with a home run for Jacksonville.
The Blue Wahoos (34-36 second half, 74-66 overall) opened the scoring in the first inning against Jumbo Shrimp right-hander James Needy (0-1). Shortstop Blake Trahan hit a one-out single to right field and went to second base on Needy's two-out balk. First baseman Gavin LaValley hit an RBI single to right field, and right fielder Aristides Aquino hit a two-run home run to the left field. Pensacola added two runs in the fourth inning, as LaValley singled and Aquino doubled to left field. Center fielder Jonathan Reynoso hit a sacrifice fly, and catcher Joe Hudson hit a two-out RBI double to right field. Needy finished four innings, allowing all five earned runs on six hits and no walks with four strikeouts. Jumbo Shrimp relievers went five shutout innings. Jeff Kinley worked two. Andy Beltre, Daniel Schlereth and Tyler Kinley each went one.
Blue Wahoos right-hander Jesus Reyes (2-4) went five innings and allowed the only Jumbo Shrimp run in the fourth inning, Third baseman David Vidal and second baseman Alex Yarbrough each singled, and Vidal scored on a double play.
UP NEXT: The Jumbo Shrimp's 2017 playoff run presented by Community First Credit Union opens with Game 1 of the best-of-five South Division Championship Series in Pensacola at 7:35 p.m. Wednesday. The first home playoff game is Game 3 on Friday, Sept. 8, at 7:05 p.m., and tickets are on sale. Fireworks shows follow each home playoff game. Game dates and times are subject to change based on weather and travel. Ticket plan holders may reserve their seats for all potential home playoff games by calling (904) 358-2846 or at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville box office.
ABOUT THE JUMBO SHRIMP: 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.