(Tennessee Smokies) The Tennessee Smokies were unable to keep up with the Mississippi Braves offensive pace in game one of the series at Smokies Stadium. Tennessee lost the game 9-5 on Thursday afternoon.
Mississippi grabbed an early lead in the top of the first inning when they scored a run on a wild pitch to score the first run of the game. The Braves added two more runs on an RBI-double in the second inning to make it 3-0.
Tennessee responded in the bottom of the inning, as Ian Rice doubled to right field and Yasiel Balaguert scored to put the Smokies on the board. Jesse Hodges followed with an RBI-single to the second baseman that scored Ian Rice and brought Tennessee within a run. Balaguert then tied the game at 3-3 with an RBI-single in the third inning that scored Charcer Burks.
Mississippi immediately responded with a run in the top of the fifth and the top of the sixth that gave the Braves a 5-3 advantage. Once again, the Smokies answered in the bottom of the frame. Rice hit a two-run home run to left field and Tennessee tied the game 5-5. It was the first home run of the season for Rice. The Braves jumped back in front with two runs in the seventh inning to put them in front 7-5 and added two more in the eighth on a two-run home run that made it 9-5.
Trevor Clifton started on the mound for the Smokies. Clifton threw 5.0 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and one walk. He also struck out four. Clifton was relieved by Scott Effross to start the sixth inning. Effross threw 1.2 innings, giving up three runs on six hits. Tommy Nance came in with two outs in the seventh inning and recorded the final out of the inning before handing the ball over to Ryan McNeil, who made his first appearance with the Smokies this season. McNeil pitched 1.2 innings and gave up two runs on two hits.
Tennessee and Mississippi will be back in action on Friday night at 7:00 p.m. The Smokies will send Duncan Robinson (1-1, 4.17 ERA) to the mound and the Braves are going to counter Robinson with Bryse Wilson (1-0, 4.50 ERA).
Friday will be a Tri-Star Friday presented by Remote Area Medical where the Smokies will wear specialty jerseys and hats. Friday will also feature post-game fireworks as part of the Summer Fireworks Series presented by Coors Light and Pepsi.