MOBILE, AL - Keon Broxton snapped a 1-1 tie with a two-run home run in the bottom of the 7th inning, and the Mobile BayBears (35-29) were able to survive a 9th inning rally by the Tennessee Smokies (32-32) to win 3-2 on Tuesday afternoon at Hank Aaron Stadium.
David Holmberg (3-3, 2.45) held the Smokies to one run on five hits in seven strong innings, and now sits sixth in the Southern League in terms of earned run average. The left-hander walked just one, struck out three, and allowed just three baserunners over his final four frames.
Eric Jokisch (4-6, 3.67) was as good as Holmberg through six, but faltered in his seventh and final inning of work. He struck out Jon Griffin to begin the 7th, but Griffin reached on a passed ball and then came Broxton's big swing. Jokisch fell behind the BayBears left-fielder 2-0, and Broxton blasted the next pitch over the wall in left-center to give the BayBears the lead for good at 3-1.
Tennessee fought back with a run in the top of the 8th, but Steve Garrison was able to end the inning by striking out Rubi Silva with the tying run on third.
The Smokies had another chance to tie it in the 9th, but a sensational play from Ender Inciarte and Raywilly Gomez sealed the victory for Mobile. Jonathan Mota singled with one out, moved to second on a groundout to first, and Roni Torreyes came up for the second time with the game on the line. He drilled a line drive to center off BayBears closer Kevin Munson, Inciarte came up firing, and Gomez made a diving tag at the plate to get Mota and end the game.
The BayBears have now won nine of their last 11 games, and are currently tied with the Mississippi Braves for first place in the Southern League south division. The BayBears have five games in Pensacola to finish out the first half, while Mississippi has one with Pensacola and five with Tennessee. Both front-runners currently hold identical 35-29 records.
After an off-day Wednesday, Bradin Hagens will take the ball in game one in Pensacola. First pitch is set for 7:00.