MOBILE, Ala.- The Mobile BayBears spoiled the Blue Wahoos encore to their Southern League Championship with a 9-4 win over Pensacola on Opening Day at Hank Aaron Stadium on Thursday night.
Daniel Wright suffered the shortest outing of his professional career as the Wahoos lost on Opening Day for just the second time in team history.
After a clean opening inning for Wright and the Blue Wahoos, things quickly turned south in the second.
The BayBears opened the scoring early in the inning. Double-A debutant, Michael Barash, homered off the first pitch he saw in the second to give the hosts a 1-0 lead. Connor Justus and Zach Gibbons fired back-to-back singles before Bo Way doubled Mobile's advantage with an RBI groundout.
With two outs, the BayBears rallied for five additional runs thanks to a pair of BayBear hits and a pair of Blue Wahoos errors. Wright had a chance to end the second when Thaiss hit a weak grounder towards first but Wright's flip to Gavin LaValley sailed over the first baseman's head allowing Brennon Lund to score.
Two batters later Hutton Moyer made the Blue Wahoos pay when he crushed his first home run of the season to make it 7-0.
Pensacola tried to climb back into the game when they plated a pair of runs in the third. LaValley's two-run single gave the Blue Wahoos a brief surge of momentum.
The BayBears proved to be relentless as they answered Pensacola's two runs with two of their own in the bottom of the inning.
There were several bright spots that could be extracted from Thursday's contest. Nick Longhi, in his first game since injuring his elbow, went 3-for-4. LaValley and Gabriel Guerrero both reached base twice.
The bullpen also turned in a solid effort after the seven-run rally. Brennan Bernardino, in his second season with the Blue Wahoos, pitched two near-perfect innings while newcomer Jose Rafael De Paula did not allow a run over his two innings of work.
Pensacola will put this game behind them and get ready for tomorrow when RHP Keury Mella gets the ball for the Blue Wahoos opposite RHP Luis Pena. First pitch is set for 7:05 at Hank Aaron Stadium in Mobile, Ala.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.