(Tennessee Smokies) The Smokies broke a two game losing streak on Friday night in walk-off fashion, winning 6-5. Jason Vosler was the hero for the Smokies as he singled in two runs in the bottom of the 11th to secure the win.
After Jackson had gotten a run of their own in the top of the 11th, the Smokies loaded the bases with one out. Down in the count 1-2, Vosler connected and singled to center to score Erick Castillo and Trey Martin.
Thomas Hatch continued the Smokies performance of strong starting pitching outings on Friday night in his second start of the season. Hatch threw five innings, allowing no runs on four hits and struck out three. With his solid outing, Hatch lowered his ERA to 3.00 for the season. Hatch was replaced by James Norwood who pitched a scoreless sixth inning, striking out one.
The top of the lineup for the Smokies started the rally in the bottom of the third inning. After a Zack Short walk started off the inning, Charcer Burks doubled to score Short and Vosler singled in Burks on the very next at-bat to make it 2-0. The Smokies added one more in the inning when Jeffrey Baez singled home Vosler.
After three scoreless innings, Craig Brooks entered the game in relief for Tennessee in the top of the seventh and struggled. Brooks allowed four runs in the inning and allowed the Generals to take a 4-3 lead.
The Smokies didn’t take long to tie the game back up, however. In the bottom of the seventh, Vosler was hit by a pitch to with one out. After an Eddy Martinez single moved Vosler to third, Jesse Hodges came through with two outs to tie the game up at four.
The Smokies experienced the new extra innings rule for the first time this season where a runner starts on second base at the beginning of each extra inning. The Smokies benefitted from the rule, as the tying run started at second to begin the 11th inning.
Dakota Mekkes picked up the win as he pitched the final two innings, allowing one run on one hit and struck out three.
The Tennessee Smokies fell to the Jackson Generals on Saturday night 10-2. The Smokies pitching struggled early in the game and the bats could not keep up.
Oscar De La Cruz got the start for the Smokies and struggled for the second straight time. De La Cruz made it through just two innings, allowing six runs on six hits and striking out one. The Generals jumped on De La Cruz for one run in the first and five runs in the second.
Preston Morrison replaced De La Cruz and threw a scoreless third and fourth, but Jackson tacked on two more runs in the fifth to go up 8-0. The Smokies got those two runs right back though as Trey Martin smacked hit first home run of the season into left field, after a Jesse Hodges single, to make it 8-2.
Scott Effross, who picked up the win in Friday nights game, came in to pitch in the sixth inning and allowed one run but was effective in his two innings of work. Effross struck out three and allowed just two hits in his outing. The Smokies made a push in the eighth as Trent Giambrone hit a pinch-hit double and Zack Short walked with one out. After a fielders choice put runners on the corners, Eddy Martinez walked to load the bases with two outs. But, a Yasiel Balaguert popout to second base ended the threat.
That was the way it went for the Smokies as their offense was stagnant for most of the game, totaling just five hits in the game. Hodges, Martinez , and Giambrone each totaled one hit while Martin had a single along with his home run. Starting second baseman Carlos Penalver pitched the top of the ninth for the Smokies and gave up one run to put the Generals up 10-2. The Smokies went down quietly in the bottom of the ninth.
Sunday afternoon’s series finale between the Tennessee Smokies and Jackson Generals was called off after three innings due to weather. The Generals led the Smokies 4-3 before the game was called off. The game will be made up as a double header in Jackson on a date to be determined.
For the second game in a row, the Smokies struggled in early innings to stop the Jackson offense. Michael Rucker got the start for Jackson, and in his first start at home went three innings allowing four runs, three earned, on four hits while striking out one.
Jackson loaded the bases and scored two runs in the top of the first to go up 2-0. However, the Smokies would respond in the bottom of the second. After a Trent Giambrone single, a Trey Martin walk and an error that allowed Rucker to reach first to load the bases, Zack Short walked to score a run. The next batter, Charcer Burks, singled in another run to tie the game up. Jason Vosler was the next batter, and he walked as well scoring the go ahead run. The Smokies had a chance to add on more runs but Yasiel Balaguert grounded into a double play to end the inning.
Jackson took the lead back in the top of the third, scoring two runs off of Rucker, before the game was called off.
The Smokies will be back in action on Monday as they take on the Montgomery Biscuits in Montgomery. First pitch is scheduled for 7:35 p.m. ET. The Smokies are expected to start Trevor Clifton on the mound while the Biscuits will look to start Genesis Cabrera.