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Berry Delivers Walk-Off Magic For Blue Wahoos With Game-Winning Hit

Jacob Berry (center) is congratulated by his Blue Wahoos teammates following his dramatic winning hit in Pensacola' 5-4 walkoff win Tuesday night against the Biloxi Shuckers (Nino Mendez/Pensacola Blue Wahoos)
April 23, 2024

Pensacola, Fla. - Jacob Berry had reached base twice, albeit without a hit, before stepping to the plate in the ninth-inning with a chance to be the game’s star. He made it happen. With two outs and the crowd at Blue Wahoos Stadium cheering in support, Berry connected on a

Pensacola, Fla. - Jacob Berry had reached base twice, albeit without a hit, before stepping to the plate in the ninth-inning with a chance to be the game’s star.

He made it happen.

With two outs and the crowd at Blue Wahoos Stadium cheering in support, Berry connected on a two-strike pitch and laced a single that got past the glove of Biloxi right fielder Carlos Rodriguez for what became a walk-off 5-4 comeback win Tuesday night against the Shuckers.

It was the Blue Wahoos’ second walk-off win in 10 home games this season and began the second of consecutive homestands in a jubilant way. They had their first walk-off in the second game of the season.

Jacob Berry dries off after being doused in ice water following his dramatic walkoff hit Tuesday night for the Blue Wahoos.Nino Mendez / Pensacola Blue Wahoos

For Berry, producing the game’s deciding hit continued his progression at the plate. After going hitless (0-for-20) in a road series two weeks ago at Montgomery, he’s delivered a hit in six of the seven Wahoos home games during this stretch.

“I’m just trying to put together quality at-bats,” said Berry, the Miami Marlins No. 1 draft pick (6th overall) in 2022, after an All-American season at LSU. “I felt like I barreled up quite a few balls last week, just not a whole lot to show for it and it’s just kinda been the start of my year.

“I’m just trying to put together quality at-bats day in and day out and hopefully good results will happen. Just playing hard here and trying to control what I can control.”

The Shuckers (10-6), who entered with wins in eight of their previous nine games and were tied for the best start in the Southern League, took a 4-3 lead in the ninth when Zavier Warren led off with a single against Blue Wahoos reliever Raffi Vizcaíno. The next batter, Lamar Sparks, walked to put two on with no outs.

Ethan Murray then followed with a run-scoring double and Mike Boeve walked to load the bases.

And then came the game’s pivotal defensive moment.

Shuckers first baseman Ernesto Martinez hit a hard shot down the first base line that Zach Zubia fielded, threw to the plate to get the force out, and Pensacola catcher Joe Mack turned the double play by throwing to Cody Morissette covering first.

Vizcaíno then struck out Justin Dirden to end the inning and pump energy into the Blue Wahoos dugout.

Dalvy Rosario led off the bottom of the ninth with a single. Tanner Allen had a sacrifice bunt to move him into scoring position. With one out, Mack then tied the game with his first Double-A hit, a double into the left-center gap. Berry, who had reached on an error and walk earlier in the game, stayed patient and got a pitch to make solid contact for the game winner.

The Blue Wahoos took a 3-1 lead with a big inning in the fifth. Harrison Spohn and Rosario began with singles. Allen was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Paul McIntosh tied the game with an infield groundout and Mack laced a ball that first baseman Martinez misplayed into a 2-run error.

Blue Wahoos starter Jonathan Bermúdez was again solid with his third start, giving up three hits and recording five strikeouts.

The teams will have a quick turnaround for game two of this season. They will play at 11 a.m. Wednesday in a special Education Day game – one of two this season. The other will occur in the next Blue Wahoos homestand on May 8.

School children from various elementary and middle schools in the three-county area will attend the game with classmates and be treated to lunch and free tickets.

It should make for a festive atmosphere in the stands, something Berry said has been a standout element of playing in Pensacola. He joined the Blue Wahoos on July 25 last season, appearing in 28 games before a foot injury sidelined him the rest of the season.

“We’re pretty lucky in Pensacola,” Berry said. “Obviously the fans are amazing here. It’s a great place to play. I love playing here every day and I’m kinda happy where I am right now.

“It’s pretty cool for a minor league experience for sure. I don’t know too many places we got that pack the house quite like this.”


--- There couldn't have been a better ending for a game where top members of the Miami Marlins front office were in town to begin the week observing and meeting with players. The executive contingent was led by Peter Bendix, the Marlins president of baseball operations and Caroline O'Connor, president of business operations. Both report directly to Marlins majority owner Bruce Sherman.

Also in Pensacola this week is Rachel Balkovec, the Marlins director of player development, who in 2022 became the first female manager of an MLB affiliated minor league team with the Tampa Tarpons, the New York Yankees Low-A team in the Florida State League. Balkovec was in the Blue Wahoos dugout Tuesday night.

Balkovec, 36, who grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, joined the Marlins executive staff in January.

-- This was the second "Doggone Tuesday" where fans are permitted to bring their beloved dogs to the game. It's also the one-price Tuesday promotion where a ticket buys a hot dog, soda, chips and best available reserved seat.


WHAT: Biloxi Shuckers vs. Blue Wahoos

WHEN: Wednesday, 11 a.m.

WHERE: Blue Wahoos Stadium

PROMOTION: Education Day. Area school children will be attending the game.

TICKETS: Seats remaining available for Wednesday’s matinee at and the Blue Wahoos box office which will open early on Wednesday.

AUDIO BROADCAST: Available on or the MiLB app.