Blue Wahoos right-hander Daniel Corcino fired eight solid innings and gave up just one earned run, while center fielder Ryan LaMarre, third baseman David Vidal and left fielder Bryson Smith all homered to lead Pensacola to a 6-1 victory over the Jackson Generals in front of another sellout crowd of 5,038 on Friday night at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium.
The win evens the series between the two teams at 2-2 and also bumps the Fish's overall record up to 39-39, as well as 5-4 since the All-Star break. The defeat drops Jackson to a 47-32 mark in 2012, in addition to a 5-4 tally in the second half. The capacity crowd was the second straight for Pensacola in the series, as well as their 25th overall in 38 home openings this year as they maintained their lead in attendance in the Southern League.
In his first start in Pensacola since firing the first eight innings of the first no-hitter in team history just under two weeks ago, Corcino (8.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 SO) was stellar again for the Fish, yielding just five hits and two walks while also fanning seven in his solid eight frames. Reliever Justin Freeman (1.0 IP, 1 SO) finished off the Generals with a perfect ninth frame, while Jackson starter Brandon Maurer (5.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 3 SO) suffered the loss to fall to 5-2 after allowing four earned runs on five hits in five innings of work.
The Blue Wahoos jumped out to an early two-run advantage in the first frame with LaMarre starting the rally with a leadoff double. After walks from 2B Brodie Greene and 1B Beau Mills loaded the bases, LF Josh Fellhauer bounced a ground ball through the hole between shortstop and third base to plate both LaMarre and Greene.
LaMarre would increase the margin to 3-0 in the next inning, launching his third roundtripper of the year over the left field wall, while his run-scoring groundout in the fourth push the Blue Wahoos ahead 4-0. Pensacola then tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the sixth with the longball. Vidal began the frame with his second big fly of the season, while Smith blasted his first homer of the year for Pensacola in just his second game since being promoted from High-A Bakersfield.
The Generals brought across their lone tally in the eighth to dash the Blue Wahoos' shutout hopes. LF Kalian Sams reached with a base hit up the middle and moved to third on 1B Jharmidy De Jesus' double, before he was sent home on an RBI groundout by SS Gabriel Noriega.
Smith (3-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI) led all hitters with three base knocks in the contest, while LaMarre (2-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI) also collected a multi-hit effort for the Blue Wahoos in the win. Jackson CF Denny Almonte (2-4) totaled two of the Generals' five hits in the contest.
With the series even at 2-2, the two teams will square off in the rubber match on Saturday night, with first pitch set for 6:30 pm at the bayfront stadium. The Blue Wahoos are expected to send RHP J.C. Sulbaran to the mound, while Jackson is expected to counter with RHP Taijuan Walker, who was tabbed by Baseball America before this season as the top prospect in the Seattle Mariners' organization.
All Blue Wahoos home games can be seen online on MiLB.TV, while the broadcast can also be heard on 1450 AM ESPN Pensacola or online at espnpensacola.com.
Fans are encouraged to dress in their 60's attire for Saturday night's contest in honor of 60's Night at the stadium and stay for the post-game fireworks show presented by PenAir Federal Credit Union. Several players will also be on hand at Hill Kelly Dodge Saturday from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm signing autographs and taking pictures with fans, while Kazoo will also be on hand. There will be free hot dogs served and fans can receive a free Blue Wahoos t-shirt for test driving the new Dodge Ram pickup.