Smokies Power Past Pensacola 4-2

August 31, 2012

The Smokies smacked three home runs to account for all four of their scores, with shortstop Logan Watkins, second baseman Matt Cerda and first baseman Justin Bour all leaving the yard to power Tennessee to a 4-2 series-opening victory over the Pensacola Blue Wahoos on Thursday night at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium.

The loss combined with a Montgomery victory means the Blue Wahoos are now 2.5 games behind the Biscuits for first place in the Southern League’s South Division with four games remaining. The win pushed the Smokies to a 34-32 record in the second half, while the Fish are 33-32 since the league’s midpoint.

The Smokies’ surge began in the opening frame, with Watkins leaving the yard with a solo shot. It was the eighth longball of the season for Watkins, which pushed Tennessee to an early 1-0 advantage.

Pensacola however, countered with two tallies of their own in the third. CF Ryan LaMarre reached on a single and then stole second, prior to coming home when 1B Beau Mills reached on a Smokies error. Mills would then move to third on LF Donald Lutz’s double and eventually come plateward on a 3B David Vidal’s RBI groundout.

Three innings later, Tennessee would grab the lead for good with their second longball of the evening. After the first two hitters were retired, LF Rubi Silva kept the sixth alive with a free pass before Cerda clobbered the 1-1 pitch to left for his third roundtripper of 2012. The Smokies added an insurance run in the in the eighth when Bour blasted a solo big fly to left, increasing the margin to 4-2.

Blue Wahoos 2B Brodie Greene (2-4, 2 2B) recorded a multi-hit effort in his first game back since being activated from the Disabled List, while Lutz (2-4, 1 2B) also collected two base knocks. No Tennessee hitters tallied more than one hit in the contest.

Tennessee starter Dallas Beeler (5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO) earned the victory after allowing just two runs, one of which was earned, on four hits in five frames. Three Smokies relievers would reinforce Beeler by combining to yield just three base knocks in the final four frames. LHP Casey Harman (1.0 IP, 1 H) and RHP Trey McNutt (1.0 IP, 3 SO) each collected holds, while RHP Brian Schlitter (2.0 IP, 2 H, 4 SO) notched his sixth save. Pensacola starter Wirfin Obispo (6.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 5 SO) suffered his first loss of the season after giving up just three earned runs on three hits, adding five strikeouts in six innings.

With the Smokies leading the series 1-0, both teams return to action Friday night with first pitch set for 7:00 p.m. at the bayfront stadium. Pensacola is scheduled to give the nod to RHP Daniel Corcino (8-7, 3.06), while Tennessee is expected to counter with RHP Nick Struck (13-10, 3.30).

By Andrew Green

Pictured top: Brodie Greene recorded two hits in his first game back from the disabled list Thursday. Photo by Chris Nelson for, click to enlarge.


One Response to “Smokies Power Past Pensacola 4-2”

  1. Jim on August 31st, 2012 9:21 pm

    Wat to go Smokies!!!

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