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Smokies take pitchers’ duel, 1-0

(Tennessee Smokies) The Tennessee Smokies defeated the Birmingham Barons 1-0 on Wednesday night to even the series up at one game apiece. The Smokies have now allowed just eight hits through the first two games of the series.

Thomas Hatch got the start for Tennessee on Wednesday night and threw six shutout innings. Hatch allowed just two hits in those innings and struck out eight. Hatch lowered his ERA to 3.75 with the outing.

After going scoreless for the first 13 innings to start the series, the Smokies broke through in the top of the fifth. Charcer Burks started the inning with a single to center, and Erick Castillo drove him home with a double to make it 1-0 Tennessee. It was Castillo’s 13 RBI of the season.

Offensively, the Smokies totaled six hits with all six hits coming from different batters. Ian Rice reached base twice for Tennessee with a double and a walk.

After Hatch pitched six innings, Preston Morrison and Wyatt Short pitched a scoreless seventh inning. Short got the first out of the eighth inning as well before turning the ball over to Allen Webster. Webster picked up where the other pitchers left off as he retired the next two batters. Webster pitched the ninth inning as well and, while the Barons had runners on the corners, got out of the jam to close the game out and earn his first save.

The Smokies and Barons will be back in action for game three of the series on Thursday night in Birmingham. First pitch is scheduled for 8:05 p.m. ET. Michael Rucker is the projected starter for that game as he looks for his ninth win of the season, a team-high. Rucker is 5-2 in road starts this season.

Written by Rob Harvey, Broadcast Assistant for the Tennessee Smokies

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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