MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) – The Rocket City Trash Pandas let a ninth-inning lead slip away in a 10-8 loss to the Pensacola Blue Wahoos on Space Night at Toyota Field Saturday night.

In the ninth, the Trash Pandas turned to Sean McLaughlin (L, 0-1) in a save situation with an 8-7 lead and the righty got the first two outs with the tying and go-ahead runs on base. But down to their last out, the Blue Wahoos tied the game on an RBI single from former Trash Pandas infielder Ray-Patrick Didder and took the lead at 10-8 on a two-run single from Griffin Conine.

The game started better than it ended for Rocket City. Making his Toyota Field debut in his fourth career Trash Pandas start, righty Chase Silseth was sharp early, striking out two in a scoreless top of the first.

For the second straight night, Trey Cabbage provided the Trash Pandas with a first-inning spark. With Livan Soto on first following a single to left, Cabbage crushed Zach McCambley’s offering deep over the fence in left-center for a two-run blast, his third of the season to put Rocket City in front.

Pitching with the lead, Silseth quickly dispatched the Blue Wahoos in both the second and third. In the fourth, the Blue Wahoos cut the lead in half on Jerar Encarnacion’s solo shot the other way to right.

That would be all Silseth allowed in his start. Over 4.0 innings, the Angels’ 11th round draft pick from 2021 allowed one run on two hits with one walk and six strikeouts. His start marks the eighth consecutive game to start the season in which Rocket City starters have allowed two or fewer runs.

In the bottom of the fourth, Rocket City added to the lead. Jose Gomez singled and stole second before Kevin Maitan walked to put two on with two out. Next up was catcher Zach Humphreys and he delivered his biggest hit with Rocket City to date, a three-run home run off the batter’s eye in center field for his first Double-A blast to put the Trash Pandas up 5-1 after four.

With Silseth out of the game in the fifth, the Blue Wahoos rallied for four runs off Trash Pandas reliever Jack Dashwood to tie the game at five. It didn’t stay tied for long.

When the Trash Pandas came to the plate in the bottom half, Cabbage reached with a one-out walk and Gomez was hit by a pitch. Kevin Maitan came through with the clutch hit the Trash Pandas needed, a line-drive double into the left field corner to score both runners and restore the Rocket City lead. Maitan later came home to score on a wild pitch, giving the Trash Pandas an 8-5 lead after five.

Pensacola again threatened to tie the game in the sixth as three singles to start the inning plated a run and put the tying runs on base. Dashwood induced a double play from Luis Aviles Jr. and got Bubba Hollins to ground out and preserve the Rocket City lead at 8-6.

Cristopher Molina was next out of the Trash Pandas bullpen and struck out the side in the seventh. Pensacola used three more singles in the eighth to make it a one-run game against Molina before rallying with in the ninth off McLaughlin to win.

The Trash Pandas (5-3) and Blue Wahoos (3-5) conclude their six-game set with an Easter Sunday matchup at Toyota Field.

At the conclusion of the game, all kids ages 12 and under were invited to run the bases. After that, a helicopter hovered above Toyota Field and dropped candy onto the outfield where kids ran around and collected it, presented by Refuge Church and Rocket City Helicopters.