(Game summary courtesy of the Tennessee Smokies) Jared Young delivered a pinch-hit walk off single in the 12th inning for the Tennessee Smokies (51-71, 18-35) to snatch a 5-4 win over the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (59-63, 30-22) Thursday night at Smokies Stadium.
Before the late-inning fireworks, fans were treated to a powerhouse match-up between RHP Cory Abbott for the Smokies and Marlins number one prospect, RHP Sixto Sanchez, for the Jumbo Shrimp.
Abbott dominated in 6.2 innings for his team-leading 23rd start of the season. The 23-year-old dealt a career-high 12 strikeouts and allowed just a single hit. It was his ninth quality start of the year and his eighth start in a row in which he held his opponent to three hits or less. On the other side, Sanchez only allowed two earned runs in six innings with six strikeouts in a no decision.
Both pitchers were able to get involved as well at the plate in the third inning. Sanchez came home to score the first run of the night on an RBI-groundout by Lewin Diaz. Joe Dunand brought home a second run on a sacrifice fly to plate Jazz Chisholm.
In the bottom of the same inning, Abbott bunted Gioskar Amaya in to scoring position to allow Roberto Caro to drive in the Smokies first run of the game with a single. Caro’s 32nd RBI of the season made it a 2-1 ballgame.
One inning later, Tennessee knotted up the score at two apiece. Eddy Martinez poked a single to left field to score Nico Hoerner and run his RBI count to five on the series.
Both bullpens remained steady to send the game in to extra innings. The Smokies had two opportunities in both the ninth and tenth innings with two runners in scoring position but both Amaya and Hoerner struck out to end the frames.
After a scoreless tenth, Joe Dunand broke the stalemate with a two-run moonshot off RHP Bailey Clark (W, 2-1) to give Jacksonville a 4-2 lead. However, The Smokies pushed back in the bottom portion of the eleventh to tie the ballgame thanks to an RBI-groundout from Jhonny Pereda and a two-out single by Christian Donahue to plate Martinez.
Jacksonville was held off the board by Clark in the 12th, and the Smokies pounced on RHP Josh Roeder (L, 1-4). Young batted for Bailey Clark and lined the second pitch he saw into left field to seal a 5-4 extra inning win for the Smokies. It was the Smokies third walk-off of the season and their first since 5/1.
The Smokies and the Jumbo Shrimp duke it out once again on Friday night in game four of the series. RHP Erich Uelmen (0-1, 6.00), will make his third start this season with the Smokies. On the other end, LHP Daniel Castano (5-1, 3.02) will get the ball for Jacksonville. First pitch is set for 7:00 EDT.