KODAK, Tenn. - Pensacola scored four runs in the 10th inning to surge past the Smokies for a 10-6 win Saturday night at Smokies Stadium.
It was the second consecutive extra-inning game for the Wahoos and they didn't let Saturday's game slip away. With Jose Siri starting on second base, Mitch Nay reached on an infield single to set up runners on the corners with only one out. Jordan Minch walked Aristides Aquino to load the bases before he walked Shed Long to bring home the go-ahead run. After a sac fly from Gavin LaValley gave the Wahoos an 8-6 lead, Chris Okey brought home a pair with a two-out single to give Pensacola the eventual winning scoreline of 10-6.
Aquino had a monster night at the plate hitting a pair of home runs and driving in four. His first dinger came in the first inning off Thomas Hatch to put the Wahoos up 3-1. Then in the eighth, Aquino took Brad Markey deep, which put Pensacola ahead 6-3 at the time.
But despite insurance, the Aquino's bat offered, the Wahoos were unable to sustain either of those three-run leads. With the Smokies trailing 3-1, P.J. Higgins homered in the fourth off Tony Santillan to cut Tennessee's deficit to one. The Smokies tied the game in the fifth after Conner Myers singled before Hatch doubled him home.
Tennessee's big rally came in the eighth when they sent all nine men to the plate. After a leadoff single, Wynton Bernard hit a routine groundball to short, but Luis Gonzalez's sent an errant throw towards second that sailed pass Shed Long for his league-leading 30th error of the season. Higgins followed with a two-run triple and later scored on a fielder's choice from Jesse Hodges to tie the game at 6-6.
With a double in the sixth and a single in the ninth, Higgins became the third Southern League player this season to hit for the cycle and did so in reverse order. He reached in all five of his plate appearances, and even drew a walk giving him an even rarer "super cycle."
Pensacola picks up a half-game over Mobile as they were washed out today and are scheduled to play a doubleheader on Sunday. As it stands, the Wahoos have a two-game lead in the wildcard with the BayBears having a game in hand. Biloxi earned another win over the Barons to maintain their 1.5 game lead over Pensacola.
The series continues Sunday night and the Wahoos will send veteran RHP Daniel Wright (7-10, 4.12) to the hill. Tennessee will go with RHP Michael Rucker (9-6, 3.74) in the penultimate game of the series. Sunday's contest can be heard on the radio at 97.1 The Ticket/1490 AM Milton, and www.bluewahoos.com. First pitch is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. E.T.
- 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.