Pensacola, FL. - For the third straight game the Blue Wahoos had a late-game threat, and for the third straight game, they came up empty.
The Blue Wahoos played catchup for a majority of Sunday's finale and left the tying run on in the ninth to lose their second-straight series to open the season.
Wyatt Strahan (L, 1-1) was roughed up in his second start and Lookouts starter Kohl Stewart (W, 2-0) briefly flirted with a perfect game.
In Sunday's matinee, Chattanooga scored first for the first time in the series by cashing in on an error by Gavin LaValley combined with an RBI-single by T.J. White.
White wasn't done there, because when he came to the plate in the third inning with a man out, he crushed his second homer of the year to make it 3-0. White finished the game with three of Chattanooga's five RBIs. Zander Wiel also had a big day at the plate going 3-for-4 and getting hit by a Strahan pitch.
Meanwhile, Stewart was tremendous to open the game for the Lookouts. He retired the first 13 Blue Wahoos he faced before Josh VanMeter walked for the Wahoos' first baserunner. Aristides Aquino ended the no-hitter bid on the next pitch when he roped a double into left to put to men in scoring position. The Wahoos would only settle for one run in the fifth thanks to Brian O'Grady's RBI groundout.
Pensacola rallied for two more in the sixth when Nick Longhi homered off Stewart to score Shed Long and make it a one-run game. Again, the Wahoos had the tying run in scoring position but stranded him there when Aquino ended the inning with a flyout.
Ryan Walker's eighth-inning home run proved to be a massive insurance run because in the bottom of the eighth, Long and Longhi opened the frame with singles and then advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch. LaValley hit a sac fly to make it 5-4 and Longhi was at third base with only one out in the inning; however, Gabby Guerrero and VanMeter were both retired to end the threat.
The Wahoos made one final push in the ninth when Aquino led off the inning of the ninth with a double, but Harper retired O'Grady and Garrett Boulware before Williams Ramirez (S, 2) struck out pinch-hitter CJ McElroy for his second save of the year.
The Blue Wahoos head to Pearl, MS for a five-game set against the M-Braves. Daniel Wright (1-1) is expected to take the mound for the Wahoos and duel against Kohl Stewart (0-1). First pitch is slated for 7:00 PM CT and can be heard on 97.1 The Ticket and on Bluewahoos.com through the TuneIn app.
- 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.