A capacity July 4th crowd of 8,500 watched as the Barons shutout the division-leading Tennessee Smokies 6-0 Friday night at Regions Field.
Rangel Ravelo continued his torrid hitting with an RBI single in the first inning, giving the Barons an early 1-0 lead. The base hit extended his hitting streak to a Southern League-best 21 games. The streak is the third longest in franchise history behind Sumpter Clarke (33 games, 1922) and Doug Brady (27 games, 1994). The streak is also the 5th-longest in all of Minor League Baseball this season.
The lead grew to 3-0 later in the inning on a fielder's choice groundout by Michael Earley and a two-out RBI base hit by Chris Curley against Smokies starter Dae-Eun Rhee (5-4, 3.27).
Kevan Smith put the Barons ahead 4-0 in the sixth with an opposite field solo home run into the Barons bullpen. The homer was his seventh of the year and was part of a two-hit night for the Barons catcher.
Barons starter Mike Recchia (4-2, 2.83) was dominant over 6.0 shutout innings, allowing just four hits and striking out seven. It marked his first scoreless start with the Barons in nine appearances.
The Barons put the game away with two runs in the bottom of the eighth. Jared Mitchell led off the inning with a double and scored on a base hit by Dan Black. After a base hit by Ravelo, Black would score on a base hit by Kevan Smith, pushing the lead to 6-0.
Relievers Jarrett Casey and Cody Winiarski combined to hold the Smokies scoreless over the final 3.0 innings securing the team's fifth shutout of the season.
With the win, the Barons stretched their winning streak to four games and improved to 9-6 in the second half while closing to within half a game of the first place Smokies. The Barons will send RHP Nick McCully (3-7, 5.87) to the hill in game one against RHP Matt Loosen (4-2, 4.58). First pitch on Saturday is scheduled for 6:30 PM CDT.