Smokies score three in the seventh to win Sunday
SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee Smokies used a three-run seventh inning to beat rival Carolina Mudcats, 4-3, at Smokies Park Sunday afternoon in front 2,892 fans. LF Ty Wright led the Smokies' offense going 2-2 on the day and driving in the game-winning RBI.
The Smokies struggled at the plate, gathering only five hits on the day. Wright and SS Darwin Barney each had two hits for Tennessee. The Smokies' pitchers, Marcos Mateo, James Russell and Vince Perkins countered the lack of offense with a stellar pitcher performance, only giving up four hits, striking out seven and walking five.
Mateo made his 2009 Smokies debut on Sunday. The right-hander tossed 3.2 innings, giving up only one hit. The starter struggled to find control on the mound, walking four and hitting one. However he managed to get himself out of trouble, giving up only one run.
The Mudcats went ahead in the first inning, 1-0. RF Michael Griffin started of the inning with a walk, followed by SS Zach Cozart being hit by a 91mph fastball. With runners on first and second CF Chris Heisey singled to right to load the bases. Griffin scored from third on a LF Todd Frazier groundout, giving the Mudcats the early lead.
The Smokies would tie the game at one in the fourth inning. LF Ty Wright was hit by a pitch, and scored on a 1B Kyle Reynolds double to right field, his first extra-base hit of the season.
Southpaw James Russell relived Mateo in the fourth, and was cruzing along until Carolina struck for two more in the sixth. Heisey reached on an error by Reynolds, and 3B Juan Francisco sent a double to left field, scoring Heisey. Singles by Frazier and 2B Eric Eymann would score Francisco, giving the Mudcats a 3-1 lead.
A wild seventh inning would give the Smokies their first lead of the game. A Welington Castillo walk, a Barney single and second walk of the inning to PH Matt Camp loaded the bases for the Smokies. Then with one out, 3B Jonathan Mota reached on an error by Carolina's 3B Juan Francisco, scoring Barney. Camp would come around to score on a second Carolina error tying the game at three. Wright would push across the eventual game winning run on a single to left, scoring 2B Tony Thomas.
Perkins closed the door on the Mudcats, tossing two scoreless innings and not allowing a hit, while walking one and striking out two. Russell (1-2) would pick up his first win in relief, and Perkins would pick up his first save of the season.
The Smokies will try to clinch another series win Monday night at 7:15 p.m. at Smokies Park. Hung-Wen Chen (2-1, 4.08) will start for the Smokies and Carolina will counter with Justin Mallett (0-0, 0.00). Tickets are available online at www.smokiesbaseball.com or by calling (865) 286-2300.
ABOUT THE TENNESSEE SMOKIES The Tennessee Smokies are the minor league Class AA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. Members of the 10-team Southern League, Smokies baseball has been entertaining families and fans of America's national pastime in the East Tennessee region for almost 100 years. To learn more about the Tennessee Smokies, visit www.smokiesbaseball.com - powered by Comcast.
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