Huntsville, AL-The Huntsville Stars rallied Monday afternoon in the bottom of the ninth, to defeat the Tennessee Smokies 5-4 in game one of their five game series at Joe Davis Stadium.
With the Stars trailing 4-3 going into the bottom of the ninth, Josh Prince started the inning against P.J Francescon by singling into centerfield. Nick Shaw advanced Prince to second on a sacrifice bunt. Prince advanced to third base on a wild pitch. Nick Ramirez scored Prince on a sacrifice fly tying the game at 4-4.
D'Vontrey Richardson drew a walk and then stole second base. With the game tied at 4-4 with two outs, Jason Rogers drove a pitch to deep left field. John Andreoli couldn't catch up to the ball against the wall, scoring Richardson, giving Rogers his second game winning hit of the season.
The Stars trailed 3-0 early. Kris Bryant homered to deep left center against Stars starter Tyler Cravy. It was Bryant's league leading 14th homerun of the season.
Tennessee then took a 3-0 lead in the second inning. With runners at second and third base, Wes Darvill hit a ground ball to second baseman Greg Hopkins. Hopkins misplayed the ball and the error allowed Jay-Hoon Ha to score. Jeudy Valdez also had a sacrifice fly in the inning.
Cravy, who took a no decision pitched six innings allowing three hits on three runs, one of which was earned. He also struck out six.
The Stars mounted their comeback in the fifth inning against Smokies starter Joel Pineiro. Ramirez launched his ninth homerun of the season, a two-run shot to deep right cutting the deficit to 3-2.
Mitch Haniger then tied the game in the sixth inning on a solo homerun.
Pineiro took a no decision pitching 6.1 innings and giving up eight hits on three runs.
Arcenio Leon picked up the win out of the Stars bullpen improving to 2-0. Francescon suffered the loss, dropping to 5-3.
Ramirez finished 2-4 with 3 rbi. Shaw, Richardson and Haniger also had two hits for the victorious Stars.
The Stars are now 34-17 with the win, while the Smokies drop to 26-24.
The Stars and Smokies play game two of their series Tuesday night at Joe Davis Stadium in Huntsville. RHP Drew Gagnon(4-1, 2.35) will start for the Stars. Tennessee will have RHP Corey Black(2-4, 3.70) on the mound. Tuesday's game can be heard with Steve Jarnicki starting at 6:15 PM CDT on 92.9 FM, 1450 AM and wtkiradio.com