By Steve Kolbe
Pensacola shortstop Billy Hamilton hit the first inside-the-park home run in team history, and the Blue Wahoos evened the series against the Suns with a 6-2 win on Sunday afternoon at Bayfront Stadium.
Suns lefty Jose Alvarez came off the disabled list to make his first start since July 2nd, when he was forced to leave a game against Pensacola with a groin injury. The Blue Wahoos jumped out to the lead in the second inning against Alvarez. Bill Rhinehart led off with a double, but Alvarez was able to retire the next two Blue Wahoos batters. Miguel Rojas drew a two-out walk to put runners on second and third, and Mark Fleury then doubled down the right field line with both Rhinehart and Rojas scoring to give Pensacola a 2-0 advantage. Fleury entered the game batting just .143 against left handed pitchers. Blue Wahoos starting pitcher Daniel Corcino helped his own cause by driving in Fleury with a RBI-single to make the score 3-0. The Blue Wahoos improved to 38-14 when scoring the first run of the game, the Suns dropped to 10-37 when allowing the first run.
The Suns scored their first run of the day in the second inning when Paul Gran drove in his 19th run of the season, with Jake Smolinski scoring to cut the Blue Wahoos lead to 3-1.
Pensacola tacked on a run in the fourth when Beau Mills doubled and went to third on a single by Miguel Rojas. With runners on the corners, Fleury drove in his third run of the game when he grounded into a double play, with Mills scoring to pad the lead to 4-1.
Shortstop Billy Hamilton made Pensacola history in the seventh, when he hit a ball to right-center field off of Suns reliever Mike Ojala. Right fielder Kyle Jensen made a diving attempt only to have the ball deflect off his glove, hit center fielder Donnie Webb, and roll all the way to the warning track. Hamilton was given the green light, rounded third, and scored standing up to put Bayfront Stadium’s first inside-the-park home run in the books.
Beau Mills hit a solo home run in the eighth to increase the Blue Wahoos lead to 6-1. Kyle Jensen hit a solo home run in the ninth for the Suns to make it 6-2. It was Jensen’s 12th homer of the season.
Daniel Corcin0 (7-4) allowed one run on five hits over six and a -third innings for the win. Jose Alvarez (2-5) took the loss surrendering four runs on six hits in his four innings of work.