MONTGOMERY, Ala. - On what was an emotional night in the Biscuits' (86-48) first game since Blake Bivens' family tragedy on Tuesday, the Butter and Blue rallied and broke a 2-2 tie in the eighth to defeat the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (74-61), 5-2, on Thursday night at Riverwalk Stadium. The win secured the Biscuits' a Second Half Championship for the seventh time in their history, and the Second Half North Division title for the fourth time in the last five years. The win also equaled the city record of 86 set by the Montgomery Rebels in 1955 and 1977.
Ryan Thompson opened for the fifth time this season, and, after wiggling out of bases-loaded jam unscathed in the first inning, the right-hander allowed an RBI-single to Alex Kirilloff in the second inning to put the Blue Wahoos ahead early, 1-0.
Twins number nine prospect Jhoan Duran started on the other side for Pensacola, and after working a scoreless first, the right-hander served up a Jim Haley single and then a Miles Mastrobuoni RBI-double to tie the game at one in the second.
Paul Campbell entered the game for Thompson in the third, and the first batter he faced was Trevor Larnach. The former Oregon State Beaver launched a solo home run to straightaway center to put the Wahoos back in front at 2-1. Campbell allowed just the one run over five impressive innings, tallying six strikeouts.
Duran struck out the side in the second, and had six strikeouts through five innings, scattering just four hits, and retiring eight straight between the third and fifth innings. Marcos Diplan came on for Duran in the sixth and surrendered a lead-off double to Brett Sullivan. Johnny Davis then came on to pinch run for the catcher and stole third, inducing a wild throw by Pensacola catcher Caleb Hamilton that allowed Davis to score the tying run on the same play.
Vidal Brujan led off the bottom of the eighth with a walk against Andrew Vazquez (1-1) and then advanced to third on a wild pickoff attempt by the southpaw. After David Rodriguez walked, Tristan Gray chopped one to first where Kirilloff panicked and airmailed a throw home, even though Brujan wasn't running down the line. Brujan scored on the error to make it 3-2, and then a Josh Lowe two-run double to left padded that lead to 5-2.
Dalton Moats came on in the ninth after a scoreless eighth by Ian Gardeck (1-1) and set the Wahoos down in order, clinching the Biscuits' third-straight half in the North Division. The Biscuits will now host Games 1, 2, 4, and 5 if necessary of the 2019 North Division Championship Series against the Jackson Generals, which begins Wednesday, September 4 at Riverwalk Stadium.
The Biscuits will play a doubleheader on Friday beginning at 4:00 PM CT with Kenny Rosenberg (11-4) slated to start the first game against Bryan Sammons (5-6), and Joe Ryan (0-0) against Griffin Jax (4-4) in the second game when it will be Charities Night & MAX Fireworks.
The rest of the series will include Varsity Blues 20th Anniversary Celebration & MAX Fireworks on Saturday, August 31; 2020 Schedule Poster Giveaway on Sunday, September 1; and Fan Appreciation Day on Monday, September 2.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.