Wahoos Weekly: Bats surge, pitching falters in Wahoos tough road trip

Eury Perez, shown signing autographs at a recent Blue Wahoos home game, was placed on injured last Saturday and has uncertain future the rest of the season following a tough outing against Montgomery last Friday.
Eury Perez, shown signing autographs at a recent Blue Wahoos home game, was placed on injured last Saturday and has uncertain future the rest of the season following a tough outing against Montgomery last Friday.

The Blue Wahoos swung the bats last week against the Montgomery Biscuits as well as any series this season.

But the pitching side went through a tough learning experience.

It resulted in the Biscuits taking five of six games at Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery, including two walk-off wins and four games where the Blue Wahoos scored five or more runs, yet weren’t able to close out a win. In terms of run production, it was a breakthrough week at the plate, except for a 9-0 loss in the first game of a doubleheader.

The Blue Wahoos roster has undergone a massive overhaul since mid-July, including four new players last week.

The team returns on Tuesday to open a six-game series against the Birmingham Barons in a homestand that features a variety of promotional elements. Friday is a back-to-school, backpack giveaway, Saturday is post-game fireworks, plus a specialty jersey night where each player will wear a separate jersey designed by children or adult fans to be auctioned.

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There are 18 home games – three homestands left – in the Blue Wahoos’ 2022 season, before they begin a playoff series against the second-half South Division winner on Sept. 20. They are 50-47 overall, but 15-18 in the second half of the season.

Last Week's Recap

Aug. 3 – After Tuesday’s game was rained out, Griffin Conine’s 3-run homer in the sixth inning game the Blue Wahoos a 5-2 lead in the series, opener Wednesday, but the Biscuits got a run back in the bottom of the sixth, then scored three runs in the ninth against relievers Josh Simpson and Dylan Bice for the walk-off 6-5 win. Simpson had pitched two scoreless innings, but gave up a leadoff walk, the a game-tying homer by Greg Jones. Another walk and single put runners on the corners and Bice’s wild pitch enabled Montgomery to get the walk-off win.

Aug. 4 – J.D. Osborne cracked a three-run homer in the fifth inning and the Blue Wahoos got their best pitching of the series to take a 4-2 win and split the doubleheader. The Biscuits rolled to a 9-0 win in Thursday’s first game of the doubleheader. The Blue Wahoos only hit in that game was an single by newcomer Nasim Nunez.

In the second game, Jefry Yan made his first pro start and the lefthanded reliever tossed three scoreless innings. Andrew McInvale, who followed Yan, earned the win and Sean Reynolds closed out the seventh.

Aug. 5 – In what became the roughest start of Eury Perez’ pro career, the Biscuits scored six runs off him in first 1.1 innings, en route to building a 10-2 lead and eventually 11-9 win.

The Blue Wahoos rallied back with a season-high 16 hits, including two home runs. They got a two-run homer from Troy Johnston in the first inning to take a quick lead before the Biscuits took over. Jose Devers hit a 3-run homer for the Blue Wahoos in the fourth inning. J.D. Orr went 3-for-4 and newcomer Davis Bradshaw had three hits, including two doubles for his first Double-A level hits.

Aug. 6 – Patrick Monteverde made his first Double-A start for the Blue Wahoos, after being promoted from High-A Beloit Sky Carp, but had tough debut. He gave up seven runs on 11 hits in an eventual 8-7 loss.

The Blue Wahoos tied the game twice. They trailed 4-1 when Bubba Hollins, J.D. Osborne and Thomas Jones hit RBI doubles, then trailed 7-4 when tying the game in the eighth on Hollins’ solo home run which sent the game into extra innings. In the 10th, however, Montgomery held the Blue Wahoos scorless in the top of the inning, then got a game-winning run off new reliever Robinson Martinez to end the game.

Aug. 7 – Demetrius Sims drove in five runs, the best RBI single-game total for the Blue Wahoos this season, but the bullpen was unable to hold a late lead in a 7-6 loss in the series finale.

Demetrius Sims, left, shown with Troy Johnston, returned to the Blue Wahoos last week and produced a team-best 5 RBI night in loss to Biscuits.
Demetrius Sims, left, shown with Troy Johnston, returned to the Blue Wahoos last week and produced a team-best 5 RBI night in loss to Biscuits.

The Blue Wahoos took a 6-4 lead in the eighth on Sims’ RBI double. The Biscuits, however, rallied against reliever Tyler Mitzel, who was making his second appearance in relief for the Blue Wahoos, after being promoted from Beloit. He surrendered a 2-run, game tying homer with two outs in the eight, then a go-ahead RBI double later for the eventual final score.


ROSTER REVAMP – The Blue Wahoos roster undergone significant change since July 22.  A total of 13 players have played first games this season in Blue Wahoos uniforms, including two Miami Marlins pitchers, Anthony Bender and Jimmy Yacabonis, on rehab assignments. Three others, Justin Evans, Demetrius Sims, Tyler Mitzel, returned from last season. Eight where called up from High-A Beloit to make their Double-A debuts (Will Banfield, Robinson Martínez, Nasim Nuñez, Davis Bradshaw, Patrick Monteverde, Chandler Jozwiak, Josan Mendez, Marcus Chiu).

EURY IN QUESTION – Star pitcher Eury Perez was placed on the injured list Saturday, following his rough outing the previous night. He joined catcher Paul McIntosh, who had been one of the Blue Wahoos top hitters. It is uncertain when either may return. Perez had struggled in his last home start, as well, before getting hit hard in Montgomery.

BURDICK BLAST – After making his MLB debut for the Miami Marlins on Friday, former Blue Wahoos outfielder Peyton Burdick hit his first major league home run in the team’s 3-0 win Sunday against the Chicago Cubs. Burdick, who was named the Marlins’ Minor League Player of the Year in 2021, following his season in Pensacola, joined fellow Blue Wahoos alum J.J. Bleday as newcomers to the Marlins lineup. Burdick was the 15th former Blue Wahoos player to make a big league debut this year.

SAUCIER SALUTED – Blue Wahoo scout concierge Kevin Saucier, who was part of the Philadelphia Phillies 1980 World Series championship team as a reliever, was in Philadelphia the past weekend as part of the Phillies reunion of that team. It was the Phillies’ first World Series title team.

Saucier was part of a group of players signing autographs for Phillies fans Sunday as each player was announced one by one to enter the field. Saucier, an Escambia High grad, won a pair of high school state titles at Escambia, then was drafted in 1974 by the Phillies. He pitched in Game 4 of the 1980 World Series.

He now works each home game meeting with pro baseball scouts, providing a welcome letter from team owner Quint Studer, along with a gift card, plus other benefits to help the scouts feel welcome. Saucier retired from the MLB scouting bureau after the 2019 season.

THIS WEEK: The Blue Wahoos face the Birmingham Barons beginning Tuesday. This will be the last North Division opponent this season at Blue Wahoos Stadium. The Blue Wahoos split the previous series at Birmingham, winning three of the first four games. They are a phenomenal 22-8 against the North Division, which is the reason the Blue Wahoos have a winning overall record. They will later play the Chattanooga Lookouts and Tennessee Smokies on the road in back-to-back series on Aug. 30 through Sept 11.


WHAT: Blue Wahoos Baseball Homestand

WHO: Birmingham Barons vs. Blue Wahoos

WHEN: Tuesday through Sunday (Aug. 14).

WHERE: Blue Wahoos Stadium

GAMETIMES: Tuesday through Friday games begin at 6:35 p.m. Saturday’s game starts at 6:05 p.m., Sunday at 4:05 p.m.

TICKETS: Available online at Or at stadium box office during regular business hours Monday through Friday or by calling 850-934-8444.

RADIO: ESPN-Pensacola (99.1 FM and 1330 AM and WYCT 98.7 HD4).

TV: YurView (check provider) and (streaming) through with subscription discount using BLUE WAHOOS.


Tuesday: Fat Tuesday – A $27 ticket provides admission to game and allows a 90-minute buffet on the Winn-Dixie Party Deck with unlimited soft drinks.

Wednesday: One Price Wednesday – All available seats at $18 and includes a hot dog, chips and soda.

Thursday: Pensacola Mullets Night and Thirsty Thursday: Team wears Pensacola Mullet uniforms, alcoholic drink specials for adults will occur throughout the game.

Friday: Giveaway Friday – The first 1,000 fans will receive Blue Wahoos backpack, provided by sponsor Columbia Southern University.

Saturday: Fireworks Saturday and D.I.Y Jersey Night – Each Blue Wahoos player will take field in a different, specialty jersey designed by fans. An in-game auction will occur.  Post-game fireworks follow.

Sunday: Family Sunday – Kids can run one lap around the bases following the game and families can toss baseballs in the outfield for 30 minutes following the game.



(Through Games On August 7)

North Division

Tennessee Smokies – 18-15

#-Rocket City Trash Pandas – 17-16

Birmingham Barons – 15-18

Chattanooga Lookouts – 12-21

South Division

Montgomery Biscuits – 20-13

Mississippi Braves – 18-15

Biloxi Shuckers – 17-16

#-Pensacola Blue Wahoos – 15-18

#--Denotes first half winner and post-season qualifier.

Bill Vilona is a retired Pensacola News Journal sports columnist and now senior writer for Pensacola Blue Wahoos. He can be reached at

This article originally appeared on Pensacola News Journal: Wahoos Weekly: Pensacola Blue Wahoos stumble during tough road trip