PENSACOLA, Fla. - After a sluggish performance Thursday night, the Wahoos showed their grit with a hard-fought, 8-7 win in Friday's 11-inning contest at Riverwalk Stadium.
After neither team was able to score in the 10th inning, T.J. Friedl broke a 6-6 tie with an RBI triple that put the Wahoos ahead. He later scored on Brian O'Grady foul sacrifice fly that extended Pensacola's lead to 8-6.
The bottom of the 11th was not without drama. Montgomery began with a runner on second base, and Victor Payano was brought in the game to try and close out the win. After Dalton Kelly grounded out, Peter Maris tallied an RBI single to make it 7-6 Pensacola. After Nick Solak flew out to center, Payano had a 1-1 count on Nate Lowe before grimacing on the mound. He was looked at by the Wahoos athletic trainer before lifted from the game. Alejandro Chacin became the fifth relief pitcher used by Jody Davis and was able to induce Lowe to foul out to Cassidy Brown to end a wild game.
Pensacola got off to a dream start against one of the premier pitching prospects in the Rays system in Genesis Cabrera. Friedl opened the game with a single, and after a walk to Jose Siri, Shed Long drove home Friedl with an RBI single to center. The Wahoos doubled their advantage after Narciso Crook's sac fly to center field scored Siri.
Seth Varner took the hill in the first inning with a 2-0 lead and did not squander it. Despite fighting his command early, the Cincinnati-native battled his way through five innings and only yielded one run. Michael Brosseau tagged Varner with a triple in the fourth inning and later scored on David Rodriguez's sac fly to make it 3-1.
The Wahoos quickly countered with three runs in the fifth. Crook picked up his second RBI with a single that brought home Siri, and after a wild pitch from Matt Krook, Taylor Sparks delivered a two-out RBI single that made it 6-1 Wahoos.
Montgomery slowly chipped at away the Wahoos lead over the final four innings. They scored one run in the sixth, and three runs in the seventh all of Rafael De Paula, which cut the Wahoos lead to 6-5. There was a scary moment in the top of the seventh inning when Long was hit in the helmet with a pitch from Matt Krook. After being checked by the athletic trainer for several minutes, Long was helped off the field and replaced by O'Grady.
Alex Powers entered the game in the ninth inning with a chance to wrap up his ninth save of the year, but he and the Wahoos watched their one-run lead evaporate with Nick Solak's 12th home run of the season which tied the game at 6-6.
The series concludes Saturday with the Wahoos hoping to clinch their sixth consecutive series win. RHP Vladimir Gutierrez (5-8, 4.95) has been stellar as of late for Pensacola and he will be opposed by RHP Sam McWilliams (3-4, 4.57). Fans can catch tomorrow's game on the radio at 97.1 The Ticket/1490 AM Milton, and www.bluewahoos.com. First pitch is slated for 6:05 p.m. After the game, the Wahoos will head home for a four-game series against the Mobile BayBears.
- Pensacola Blue Wahoos -
The Pensacola Blue Wahoos are the Double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. The 2018 season is underway at beautiful Blue Wahoos Stadium on Pensacola Bay. Group packages, season tickets, mini plans and single-game tickets are available for the 2018 season by calling (850) 934-8444 or online. Follow the Blue Wahoos at bluewahoos.com, facebook.com/PensacolaBlueWahoos, and twitter.com/BlueWahoosBBall
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.