KODAK, Tenn. - Pensacola missed out on a chance to win the second-half title with a 3-0 loss to the Smokies on Labor Day at Smokies Stadium.
Offense was hard to come by for both teams on Monday. All three of Tennessee's runs came in the third inning after the Wahoos ran into injury trouble. Wyatt Strahan (L, 7-12) started the game and left with one out in the bottom of the third due to a blister on his pitching hand. Rafael De Paula replaced Strahan and with his third pitch to P.J. Higgins, he struck in the hand by a line drive, which forced him to leave the game. Higgins's single loaded the bases, and it forced Carlos Navas to enter the game. He allowed a bases-clearing double to Eddy Martinez to give the Smokies a 3-0 lead.
Keegan Thompson (W, 6-3) pitched five shutout innings and allowed one hit while striking out five. Only twice were the Wahoos able to move runners into scoring position; however, the Wahoos were unable to cash in on either of those opportunities.
Pensacola's bullpen was nothing short of brilliant given the circumstances of Monday's contest. After Navas allowed the double to Martinez, the bullpen pitched 5.2 hitless innings. Nick Howard pitch three innings after making an appearance in Sunday's win and Alejandro Chacin closed out the eighth inning in order.
Pensacola and Biloxi will open the 2018 Southern League Playoffs on Wednesday at MGM Park. The Shuckers won both halves, which means that four of the five games will be played in Biloxi if needed. Neither team has disclosed who will start the playoff opener, which is expected to begin at 6:35 p.m. CT. Wednesday's playoff opener can be heard on 97.1 The Ticket/1490 AM Milton, and www.bluewahoos.com.
- Pensacola Blue Wahoos -
The Pensacola Blue Wahoos are the Double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. The 2018 season is coming to a close, but single-game playoff tickets are now available. For postseason ticket packages or 2019 season-ticket plans, call (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.