KODAK, Ten. - Hunter Wood (3-2) took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, and Justin O'Conner came through with a home run and a late RBI-double to lead the Biscuits (19-16) to a 3-1 win in their series opener with the Tennessee Smokies (22-14) on Saturday night at Smokies Stadium.
Wood, the 23-year-old out of Rogers, Arkansas, put together his most impressive performance of the season, going six shutout innings and surrendering just one hit to Tennessee left fielder Charcer Burks, who broke up the no-no in the sixth with a single. Wood walked two and struck out six, lowering his ERA to 4.54.
The right-hander would get some early offensive help from O'Conner, who took Smokies starter Jen-Ho Tseng (3-1) deep over the left field wall in the second for his third long-ball of the season and first since April 10 to put Montgomery up 1-0. Tseng went seven innings of one-run ball in the loss, the Smokies first that the Taiwan native has started this season.
It would remain 1-0 as Ian Gibaut worked a scoreless seventh and eighth out of the Biscuits bullpen, before Grant Kay's RBI-double off Stephen Perakslis doubled Montgomery's lead in the ninth. O'Conner would bang a double of his own down the left field line to score Kay later in the inning to put the game out of reach at 3-0.
Closer Diego Castillo entered in the ninth, and despite losing the shutout and allowing a run on a Carlos Penalver RBI-single, notched his third save of the season and pulled the Biscuits within two-and-a-half games of first place in the First Half North. Also, Braxton Lee extended his on-base streak to a Southern League-leading 22 games with a single in the first.
Montgomery will try to pull even closer in the standings on Sunday afternoon when Greg Harris (1-2) takes on Trevor Clifton (3-1) at 12:00 PM.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.