The Pensacola Blue Wahoos are champions.
The Miami Marlins’ Double A affiliate won the Southern League crown on Wednesday with an 11-4 win over the Tennessee Smokies in the winner-take-all Game 3 of the championship series.
After dropping Game 1 of the series 4-1 on Sunday and winning Game 2 7-1 on Tuesday, the Blue Wahoos used a pair of four-run innings to pull away in the decisive game.
Third baseman Cobie Fletcher-Vance, acquired off waivers last offseason, hit a go-ahead grand slam in the fifth inning to put Pensacola up 6-3. shortstop Nasim Nunez (the Marlins’ No. 24 overall prospect, according to MLB Pipeline) reached on a fielding error before catcher Will Banfield and outfielder Griffin Conine (Marlins’ No. 25 prospect) both drew walks to set up Fletcher-Vance’s home run. Fletcher-Vance had just four home runs all season before the grand slam.
The Blue Wahoos then scored four more runs in the seventh after each of their first five hitters reached base. Banfield and Norel Gonzalez began the frame with consecutive singles and Conine walked to load the bases. Fletcher-Vance followed with an RBI single and J.D. Osborne opened the floodgates with a bases-clearing double to put Pensacola up 10-3.
Demetrius Sims capped Pensacola’s scoring with a solo home run in the ninth. A Gonzalez double in the first and Conine sacrifice fly in the third accounted for the Blue Wahoos’ first two runs.
Right-handed pitcher Eury Perez, the top prospect in Miami’s system and the No. 9 overall prospect in baseball according to MLB Pipeline, pitched three innings for the Blue Wahoos in his fourth and final outing back after being sidelined for a month due to a minor shoulder injury. Perez gave up three runs on three hits and two walks but also struck out nine.
Pensacola then used four pitchers to handle the final six innings: Robinson Martinez (one hit, three strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings), Chandler Jozwiak (one hit, four strikeouts in 2 1/3 innings), Jorge Mercedes (one earned run allowed in 1/3 inning) and Sean Reynolds (two strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings).