BILOXI, Miss. – C.J. McElroy had a game to remember as the Blue Wahoos outfielder finished Wednesday’s contest 4-for-5 and drove in the game-winning run in the Wahoos series-clinching 3-2 win over the Shuckers at MGM Park.
— Pensacola Blue Wahoos (@BlueWahoosBBall) May 17, 2018
It was the Blue Wahoos first extra-inning game of the season with the new extra-inning rules put in place by MiLB. The pitcher, Brennan Berardino (W, 1-0), began the 10th on second base, and manager Jody Davis rolled the dice by allowing left-handed hitter Shed Long to swing the bat rather than lay down a sacrifice bunt. Long advanced Bernardino with a ground ball to second, and McElroy put the Wahoos ahead 3-2 with a run-scoring single off Jon Olczak (L, 1-3) to cap off his season-best four-hit game. He joins Gavin LaValley as the only two Wahoos this season to register a four-hit game.
It looked the Shuckers had the series secured with a 2-1 lead in the eighth inning. However, a leadoff walk to Luis Gonzales proved costly for Biloxi, especially after Nick Ramirez’s errant pickoff attempt allowed Gonzalez to move from first to third with nobody out. LaValley then scored Gonzalez with a sacrifice fly to center, tying the game at 2-2. Juan Martinez and Bernardino worked scoreless eighth and ninth innings respectively for the Wahoos to send the game to extras. Prior to this afternoon, the Blue Wahoos were 0-14 when trailing after seven innings.
Both team’s starters were excellent in Wednesday’s series finale. Wyatt Strahan continued his good run of form on the road with six innings of seven hit, two run ball. Like his previous start against Birmingham, his only runs allowed were from home runs. Shuckers centerfielder Corey Ray led off the game for Biloxi with his sixth homer of the season to give the hosts a quick 1-0 lead, and Strahan’s only other blemish came in the bottom of the sixth when Troy Stokes Jr. took the USC grad deep for the Shuckers second run of the game. Over his last two starts, Strahan has pitched 13.0 innings for the Wahoos, which is a massive improvement from his 11.1 total innings across his three starts from April 25 through May 6.
Biloxi’s starter Kodi Medeiros was also up the task on Wednesday, scattering one run and six hits across six innings of work. His only blunder was in the top of the sixth inning when LaValley snapped out of a 0-for-19 slump with his fifth round-tripper of the season to tie the game temporarily at 1-1.
Pensacola’s triumph secured their third series win of the season and their second on the road. The Wahoos have also won each of the last three series at MGM Park dating back to 2017.
The Blue Wahoos finally return home for their first 10-game homestand of 2018. The series kicks off with five games against the Jackson Generals, beginning tomorrow at 6:35 p.m. Daniel Wright (2-2, 5.45) will start the opener for Pensacola and will be opposed by Generals right-hander Justin Donatella (1-2, 3.16). Coverage of tomorrow’s game can be found on the radio at 97.1 The Ticket, 1490 AM Milton, and www.bluewahoos.com while the televised broadcast can be seen on CST.
– Pensacola Blue Wahoos –