Roman Borrego has managed baseball teams across the globe.
Saturday night, however, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos manager experienced a first with the weather conditions. The wind was blowing in from the Gulf of Mexico at 14 mph with gusts into the 20s. The flags in center field never slowed in the relentless breeze. Even some fog rolled in off Pensacola Bay.
"I'll tell you, I've been around for many years already. And that's the first time I have ever seen wind like that," the 40-year-old Borrego said afterward. "We had gone over it before the game, but honestly by game time I think the wind got worse."
With the wind blowing in their faces, the Blue Wahoos bats fell silent in a 1-0 loss to the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.
"Pitching was great. We had some chances, but we couldn't manufacture any runs."
The game's only run was pushed across by Jacksonville in the eighth inning. Magneuris Sierra had a two out single off Blue Wahoos reliever Adam Bray. He then stole second. Justin Twine drove in Sierra with a single.
In the ninth, the Blue Wahoos' Brian Schales drew a one-out walk. Pinch hitter Brian Navarreto laced a line drive, but right into a game-ending double play. It was the first time this season the Blue Wahoos (6-3) did not score the game's first run. The Blue Wahoos stranded three runners in scoring position among the three hits and three walks they produced.
But the loss didn't take away from other aspects of the game. Blue Wahoos starter Griffin Jax, the Air Force Academy graduate, threw six scoreless innings, allowing just three hits and two walks to go with four strikeouts. Jax has not allowed a run in two starts.
"He was fantastic again," Borrego said.
The sellout crowd on the imperfect night continued the Blue Wahoos franchise trend. They have sold out every Saturday night game since their inaugural season in 2012. The post-game fireworks, sponsored by Marcus Pointe Baptist Church followed after the game despite the relentless wind.
"It is very special to see that," Borrego said about the crowd. "And we saw it Wednesday and Friday, too. As players and coaches, you are really excited when you see that kind of crowd."
With the wind blowing so hard, both teams' outfielders advanced forward to make the field even shorter. No fly ball resulted in backing up an outfielder.
"That was really something," Borrego said.
About 30 minutes before the game's first pitch, sponsor Hill-Kelly Dodge treated the early-arriving crowd to a two-lap parade by their Clydesdale horses. The team, called the "Hill-Kelly Hillsdales", pulled a bright, red wagon featuring Blue Wahoos mascot Kazoo standing on top waving to fans.
It was the first time the Clydesdales had performed in front of a crowd, following a couple days of practice. But the horses seemed unfazed.
Marcus Pointe sponsored the first of its season-long fireworks shows on Saturday. In addition, the church will host next Saturday's massively popular Egga-Wahooza. Children from infants who can walk through fifth graders will be able to prowl the soft grass fronting the stadium at Community Maritime Park to hunt for Easter eggs.
The Shoal River Middle School Choir from Crestview sang the National Anthem behind home plate.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.