Blue Wahoos boast down but never out mentality

As the second half of the Southern League season rolls into its final weeks, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos haven’t taken a step back in terms of the way they battle each and every night.

Nine times this season the first-half champion Blue Wahoos have won a game in walk-off fashion, including a thrilling 4-3 win in the 11th inning of a game against the Mississippi Braves Aug. 1. They have won a total of 21 games by a run.

It’s one of the many ways Pensacola finds ways to grind out wins in what has been a successful Southern League season.

“It doesn’t always have to be pretty,” Pensacola manager Pat Kelly said. “Our pitching keeps us in games. That is what is huge for us.”

No doubt about it. The Blue Wahoos have the best ERA in the Southern League and rank among the leaders in strikeouts as well.

“Our offense doesn’t always score a lot of runs but our pitching keeps us in games,” Blue Wahoos catcher Chad Wallach said.

Not only does pitching play a pivotal role in a team’s success but defense matters as well.

Whether it’s robbing a hitter of a home run with a leap against the wall or diving in the dirt to keep a ball from zipping into the outfield, the Blue Wahoos find ways to limit an opponent’s scoring chances.

“Our guys play excellent defense,” Kelly said. “They have been making plays all year. You always have a chance to win with great pitching and great defense.”

Read more  in the Aug. 18 edition of Navarre Press or subscribe online here.

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