(Tennessee Smokies) Preston Morrison came into the game winless, Chattanooga had won eight in a row, and the Smokies had lost their last three. None of those proved to be true following the Smokies thrilling 2-1 win over Chattanooga.
Morrison (1-7) had pitched quality baseball five times but was winless through his first 14 starts. Per usual the offense struggled behind Morrison but gave him just enough to team up with the bullpen and preserve his first win. Morrison outdueled Lookouts ace Fernando Romero in the victory.
Morrison went six innings of three hit, one run baseball. It was his sixth quality start of the season. Brad Markey and Dillon Maples combined to pitch three innings and close out the game, but things would get interesting in the ninth.
The Smokies did all their damage in the fourth inning. Jason Vosler sent a solo shot over the right-center field wall with one out to begin the scoring. The long ball was Vosler’s 15th of the season and his seventh against Lookouts pitching. Yasiel Balaguert would follow with a double off the fence, and would later score on Trey Martin’s RBI single.
Chattanooga would score their only run of the game in the bottom of the fourth, and from there it was a pitchers duel until the ninth inning. Things would get very dicey in the ninth for Tennessee. Dillon Maples walked Edgar Corcino to lead off the inning and gave up a single to the next hitter Lamonte Wade.
A passed ball by Ian Rice set up runners at second and third with nobody out. It looked like the Smokies were in line for a heartbreaking blown save, but Maples had some magic in him. The Smokies closer struck out the next three to end the game and pick up his fourth save of the season.
Tennessee will send RHP Trevor Clifton to the hill tonight.