This special season for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos didn’t end the way they hoped it would; their dreams of a Southern League championship dashed by Biloxi in a best-of-five divisional series.
The curtain was lowered on the season Saturday night in a 7-5 loss to the Shuckers in Game 3 at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium.
And while being swept was difficult to digest, Blue Wahoos manager Pat Kelly couldn’t say enough about the effort of his team, its will to keep battling regardless of the circumstances.
His team was a long way from the playoffs in June after finishing the first half of the season in last place and with only 25 wins in its pocket. But Pensacola was a different team after the All-Star break, winning the second-half South Division crown and clinching a playoff berth for the first time.
“I love the playoffs. It’s my favorite time of the year to coach,” Kelly said. “The problem with the playoffs is there is finality to it. Only one team goes home happy. Unfortunately, things didn’t go our way, but I’m proud of the character our team showed and proud of their perseverance.”
That character and that perseverance were on display Saturday night. The Blue Wahoos came in down 2-0 in the series, staring at a do-or-die situation. It looked hopeless in the seventh inning with the Shuckers leading 7-1, but Marquez Smith revived hope with one swing of the bat.
Read the full story in the Sept. 17 edition of Navarre Press or subscribe online here.