During the Blue Wahoos two weeks on the road, the calendar turned with some significant events.
May became June. Schools let out for the summer. Graduation ceremonies were completed. The Memorial Day weekend passed as the annual lead point of summer vacation season.
What remained constant, however, was the Blue Wahoos sizeable first place lead with the best record in the Southern League.
The club split the 12-game, two series trip, wrapping up with Sunday’s foiled comeback in a 6-5 loss against the Biloxi Shuckers. Last week’s series at MGM Park in Biloxi featured four games decided by two runs or less. It included a season-high four homer barrage by four different players in Pensacola’s 11-2 win last Saturday.
There are now 18 games left in the first half of the season to determine a playoff spot. The Blue Wahoos (31-20) have a five-game lead over the Shuckers and the Montgomery Biscuits – the team in town this week to start the Blue Wahoos two week, 12-game homestand.
The Blue Wahoos are 25-10 since a late-April ignition. They’ve done it with solid pitching and increased production at the plate. Patrick Monteverde won his sixth game and lowered his ERA to 2.16 in Saturday’s win – both totals are the best in the Southern League.
This week at Blue Wahoos Stadium features a pair of post-game, fireworks shows, including the first of the midweek, Wednesday night displays, now that schools are out for the summer. It will include pet dogs at ballpark Tuesday, bingo on Wednesday, the Mullets on Thursday and a 2022 championship T-Shirt giveaway Friday.
The Blue Wahoos will also honor baseball history in Pensacola on Sunday by wearing the retro uniforms of the Pensacola Seagulls when the team was an association member of Negro League Baseball. It will be part of Minor League Baseball’s “The Nine” initiative to honor and celebrate the historic impact of African-American baseball pioneers.
MARLINS CLOSER REHABBING – Miami Marlins reliever A.J. Puk, acquired in February in a trade with the Oakland A’s for former Marlins’ No. 1 pick, outfielder J.J. Bleday, who played for the Blue Wahoos in the 2021 season, was with the Blue Wahoos last week in Biloxi. He made three appearances in relief, allowing one run, which was an inside-the-park homer against the Shuckers. A former Florida Gators star, Puk was the No. 6 overall pick by the A’s in 2016. He sustained a nerve irritation in his left (throwing) elbow in early May with the Marlins.
CELEBRITY SIGHTING – While registration is filled for the renewal of the Fred Waters Youth Baseball Clinic on June 10, as part of the MLB Play Weekend nationwide at ballparks, the public is welcome to watch the event from 9 am to 12 p.m at Blue Wahoos Stadium. The event will feature some of Pensacola’s all-time greatest baseball players, including four former players – Kevin Saucier, Tim Spooneybarger, Greg Litton and Adron Chambers – who played in a World Series. They will be joined by other former MLB players from Pensacola, including Phil Hiatt, Hosken Powell, Billy Sadler, Dennis Lewallyn. Former Miami Marlins manager/general manager Dan Jennings will also be among the instructors with UWF baseball coach Mike Jeffcoat and Pensacola State baseball coach Brian Lewallyn.
BLUE AND BLUES – Last week, the Blue Wahoos front office staff visited NAS Pensacola to watch the Blue Angels in a special June 1 practice. The staff also visited the reopened National Naval Aviation Museum. Two weeks earlier, nine players from the team were part of a morning visit to watch the Blue Angels practice. Later this season, the Blue Wahoos will wear specialty Navy uniforms.
MYERS MIGHT – Blue Wahoos outfielder Dane Myers was named Southern League Player of the Week after going 10-for-25 last week against Biloxi with three homers and 10 RBI. Myers was acquired by the Miami Marlins in December during the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft, after being placed on waivers by the Erie SeaWolves, the Detroit Tigers Double-A affiliate. He was drafted by the Tigers in the sixth round of the 2017 draft out of Rice. Myers, 27, grew up in Columbus, Texas and played collegiate baseball at Rice as both pitcher, infielder and outfielder.
THIS WEEK: The Blue Wahoos began their longest home stretch of the season Tuesday night with 12 games in 13 days at Blue Wahoos Stadium. They have a six-game series this week against the Montgomery Biscuits, the Tampa Bay Rays affiliate. This is the third meeting between the teams this season, The Blue Wahoos opened the season April 7-9 at home against the Biscuits, going 1-2 in the weekend series. But they took five of six games against the Biscuits in Montgomery on April 25-30, igniting a stretch where the Blue Wahoos won 17 of 18 games to take a commanding lead in the South Division.
The Biscuits split a series last week against the Rocket City Trash Pandas and enter the week five games back of the Blue Wahoos. The Biscuits are the fourth best hitting team in the Southern League (Pensacola is No. 2) and fifth in team pitching (Pensacola is No. 2).
WANT TO GO?
WHO: Montgomery Biscuits vs. Blue Wahoos.
WHERE: Blue Wahoos Stadium
WHEN: Tuesday (June 6) through Sunday (June 11)
GAMETIMES: Tuesday Thru Friday games start at 6:35 p.m. Saturday at 6:05 p.m., Sunday at 4:05 p.m.
LIVE AUDIO: A live broadcast of each game will begin five minutes before first pitch on www.bluewahoos.com and the MiLB First Pitch App.
LIVE VIDEO STREAM – A live video broadcast is available through Bally Live and MiLB TV (subscription required).
PROMOTIONS: Tuesday – Doggone Tuesday presented by Anderson Subaru and Pepsi. A one price ticket of $18, purchased in advance, provides best available seat, a hot dog, chips and a drink. Plus fans permitted to bring their beloved dog as guest.
Wednesday – Winning Wednesday presented by Hill Kelly. The first school’s out, midweek, post-game fireworks show follows the game. During game, fans can play ballpark bingo for prizes.
Thursday – Mullet Thursday. Blue Wahoos will become Pensacola Mullets and wear specialty jerseys. There will be drink specials throughout the game for adults.
Friday – Giveaway Friday. The first 1,000 fans will receive a Blue Wahoos Southern League Champions T-Shirt sponsored by Total Fire Protection.
Saturday -- Fireworks Saturday with a post-game display sponsored by Hancock Whitney Bank.
Sunday – Family Sunday presented by WKRG News-5 with children able to run the bases following the game, plus families able to play catch in the outfield for 30 minutes after the game. Plus, it will be celebration of The Nine and Pensacola’s link to Negro League Baseball with the team wearing commemorative Pensacola Seagulls uniforms.
TICKETS: Available for all Blue Wahoos home games through the season are available through www.bluewahoos.com/tickets, along with visiting the stadium box office Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. through the game each night and Saturday (2 p.m. opening), Sunday (12 p.m. open) or by calling 850-934-8444.
SOUTHERN LEAGUE STANDINGS
(Prior To Games On June 6)
Tennessee Smokies (Chicago Cubs) – 28-23
Chattanooga Lookouts (Cincinnati Reds) – 27-23
Rocket City Trash Pandas (LA Angels) 24-27
Birmingham Barons (Chicago White Sox) – 17-34
Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Miami Marlins) 31-20
Biloxi Shuckers (Milwaukee Brewers) 26-25
Montgomery Biscuits (Tampa Bay Rays) 26-25
Mississippi Braves (Atlanta Braves) 24-26