Smokies weekend wrap-up

(Friday) The Tennessee Smokies (5-2) used RBIs from five different players and eight strikeouts from starter RHP Cory Abbott (W, 1-0) en route to a 7-1 win over the Birmingham Barons (3-5) on Friday night.  

The Smokies exploded in the for four runs in the top of the third inning off LHP Bernardo Flores (L, 0-1). Charcer Burks reached on an error which brought in the first run. Two-batters later, Jared Young knocked in his 6th and 7th RBIs of the season, tying him for the Southern League lead. An Ian Rice double plated Young, handing Abbott a 4-0 cushion.

While Abbott dealt, the Smokies piled on two more runs in the seventh. Connor Myers tripled to drive in Christian Donahue, hit first hit and RBI of 2019. In his Double-A debut, Birmingham native Clayton Daniel added an RBI-single in the frame to extend the lead to 6-1. Daniel finished with three hits on the night.

LHP Wyatt Short handled the later frames, tossing 2.1 scoreless innings in relief. RHP Bailey Clark took care of the ninth for Tennessee.

(Saturday) The Tennessee Smokies (5-3) lost a pair of leads and ultimately fell to the Birmingham Barons (4-5), 4-2 in Birmingham on Saturday night. 

Nico Hoerner wasted no time slapping a run-scoring double in the first inning to give the Smokies an early 1-0 lead. The Barons responded with a run of their own courtsey of a Gavin Sheets’ RBI in the bottom of the first inning, tying the game 1-1.

A P.J. Higgins’ home run in the fourth inning gave the Smokies the lead again, but not for long. With two outs in the bottom of the sixth, Luis Gonzalez line drived a triple to level the game, 2-2. 

RBI-singles from Ramon Torres and Joel Booker gave the Barons a 4-2 lead in the seventh, which would be the eventual game-sealing runs. 

Smokies RHP Scott Effross (L, 0-1) took the loss after three innings of work, giving up five hits and three runs. For the Barons, LHP Matt Tomshaw (W, 1-1) picked up the win tossing 1.1 innings and surrendering a hit. RHP Matt Foster (S, 1) earned his firat save of the season with a scoreless ninth.

(Sunday) The Tennessee Smokies (6-3) stormed back from an early 6-0 deficit to take down the Birmingham Barons (4-6) 7-6 and win the rubber match in Birmingham on Sunday night.

Birmingham jumped out to a commanding 4-0 lead in the first inning. Luis Gonzalez got the Barons on the scoreboard first with a line drive single to bring Joel Booker home. A single and double later, Yermin Mercedes would conclude the inning with a run scoring single.

In the third inning Birmingham would extended their lead to 6-0 after a Gavin Sheets’ run-scoring double and a Trey Michalczewski single to bring Sheets home.

The Smokies catapulted themselves back in the game with a six run performance in the fifth inning. Jhonny Pereda and Connor Myers hit back-to-back solo home runs to start the rally. Run-scoring doubles from Charcer Burks and Roberto Caro tied the game at 6-6. 

The difference in the game proved to be an unforced error. A costly wild pitch from Barons pitcher RHP Danny Dopico (L, 0-1) sent Caro home in the eighth inning to give the Smokies their first lead of the game and cap off seven unanswered runs. 

LHP Manuel Rondon (1-1) picked up his first win of the season for the Smokies, and RHP Craig Brooks (S, 3) grabbed his Southern League best third save on the season.

The Smokies return home for a 10-game home stand starting with a five game series against the Jackson Generals beginning Monday at 7:00 pm ET. RHP Tyson Miller will get the start for the Smokies and face off against RHP Bud Jeter. It is the first Dollar Dog Monday of the season presented by M3 Technology Group. Hot dogs and all 12-ounce fountain drinks are just $1 all night long.

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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