Birmingham takes series with 11-inning win in Tennessee
Keon Barnum's two homers led the Birmingham offense to a win on Tuesday night. (Michael Wade)
By Aaron Cheris / Birmingham Barons | June 13, 2018 12:10 AM
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.- Behind clutch performances at the plate and on the mound, the Birmingham Barons (30-34) erased multiple big deficits and survived to win an extra-inning thriller 11-10 in 11 innings over the Tennessee Smokies (33-32) on Tuesday night at Smokies Stadium. The win gives the Barons a series win over their North Division foes.
Turning Point: In the top of the 11th, the Barons scratched out a run on a Bryant Flete RBI single to score Trey Michalczewski, who began the inning on second base. But the decisive blow came two batters later, as Keon Barnum crushed a long three-run homer to right, his seventh of the season and second of the night, to give the Barons an 11-7 lead.
Moments That Mattered: On for his third inning of relief, Jose Ruiz (W, 2-0) struggled in the 11th as the Smokies quickly scored twice to cut the deficit to 11-9. With two runners on base and nobody out, the Barons turned to All-Star Ian Hamilton to try and finish off the game. The closer got into a jam as Tennessee plated another run and loaded the bases with two outs. But Hamilton (S, 11) rebounded to end the game with the tying runs on base by inducing a groundout from Jason Vosler to preserve the win and get the save.
By The Numbers: The Barons proved to be resilient on Tuesday as three runs in the third gave the Smokies an early 4-0 lead. After evening the score in the sixth, the Barons again fell behind 7-4 an inning later. But Flete's double in the eighth scored a pair to even the score at 7-7, setting the stage for the extra-inning thriller. Against his former organization, Flete finished 4-for-5 with two doubles, three RBI, and two runs scored.
Facts and Figures: At the plate, Barnum had his best night of the season, going 3-for-5 with two home runs and a double for 10 total bases to go along with a season-high five RBIs. On the mound, the Barons used six relief pitchers in a bullpen day, with only Hamilton and Ryan Burr posting scoreless outings. Including a rain delay of an hour and 29 minutes in the third inning, the game lasted five hours and 36 minutes, the longest game of Birmingham's season.
Up Next: The Barons end the first half with a five-game home series against the Chattanooga Lookouts. Matt Tomshaw (1-3, 4.56) is set to start for Birmingham against Chattanooga's Lewis Thorpe (2-4, 4.95). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. on Wednesday. Curt Bloom will have the call on 960 WERC News Radio and the iHeart Radio app.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.