Tyler Twirls Gem In 2-1 Rocket City Victory
Behind a dominant pitching performance from starter Kyle Tyler and closer Connor Higgins, the Rocket City Trash Pandas beat the Pensacola Blue Wahoos 2-1 on Wednesday night at Blue Wahoos Stadium to even their six-game series at one game apiece. The pitcher’s duel began with Tyler and Jake Eder of
Behind a dominant pitching performance from starter Kyle Tyler and closer Connor Higgins, the Rocket City Trash Pandas beat the Pensacola Blue Wahoos 2-1 on Wednesday night at Blue Wahoos Stadium to even their six-game series at one game apiece.
The pitcher’s duel began with Tyler and Jake Eder of Pensacola matching each other zero for zero to start the night.
In the first, the Trash Pandas put runners on first and second with one out, but Eder worked around the threat to keep the game scoreless. The Trash Pandas put runners on base in each of the first three innings, however they couldn’t get a runner to third base.
Tyler was just as sharp as the Blue Wahoos didn’t record a hit until the third inning. The Rocket City defense kept it scoreless in the fourth as Lazaro Alonso laced a sinking line drive to left with a runner on first. Charging in quickly, Torii Hunter Jr. made a spectacular diving catch to rob Alonso of a hit then threw back to the infield to double off the runner at first base and end the inning.
Rocket City made the defense pay off in the top of the fifth. Two walks and a Pensacola error loaded the bases with nobody out. Michael Stefanic gave the Trash Pandas the lead with a single to center, scoring Izzy Wilson and Ray-Patrick Didder to put the visitors in front 2-0.
That would be more than enough support for Tyler. He retired the Blue Wahoos in order in the fifth and sixth and got help from his defense again in the seventh as catcher Anthony Mulrine threw out Riley Mahan trying to steal second base for the second out of the frame. Tyler ended his outing by striking out Tristan Pompey two hitters later.
Over 7.0 masterful innings, Tyler (W, 1-1) did not allow a run and gave up just three singles and three walks while striking out five in the longest scoreless outing by a Rocket City starter.
After pitching a clean eighth inning, Trash Pandas reliever Connor Higgins (S, 2) gave up a leadoff home run to Peyton Burdick in the ninth. But the Blue Wahoos would get no closer as Higgins recorded back-to-back strikeouts to end the Trash Pandas first one-run win in team history.
Stefanic went 3-for-4 with a double as the only player on either side to post a multi-hit game.
The Trash Pandas (8-6) meet the Blue Wahoos (7-7) in the third game of their series on Thursday night. First pitch from Blue Wahoos Stadium is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. Josh Caray will be on the call for 103.9 FM THE UMP and 730 AM SportsRadio.