A night after mashing four home runs, the Pensacola offense was quieted by Tennessee starter Alberto Cabrera in a 8-2 loss to the Smokies on Friday night in front of another sellout crowd of 5,038 at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium. It was the second straight sellout to open the season.Smokies pitchers had the Wahoos stymied all night, fanning 15 Pensacola hitters in the game.
Cabrera (1-0) was in control from the onset, consistently touching the mid-90s with his sinking fastball, keeping Wahoos hitters off balance all evening. The Dominican righthander set down all but four batters he faced over six frames, needing just 77 pitches to halt the potent Pensacola attack. Cabrera retired 12 of the final 13 hitters in his outing, compiling nine strikeouts overall en route to his first win of the season.
Zac Rosscup continued the trend out of the bullpen for Tennessee, retiring six of the seven hitters he faced, including five on strikeouts in two innings.
Tennessee got all the offense it needed in the fourth off Pensacola starter Josh Smith. Entering the inning trailing 2-1, the Smokies sent nine men to the plate, scoring five times to take a commanding 6-2 lead. The inning featured three doubles, two singles, a sac bunt and a fielder's choice that resulted in a run. Jay Fernandez, Matt Szczur, Jae-Hoon Ha, Justin Bour and Christian Villanueva each picked up an RBI in the five-run frame. Villanueva led the Tennessee offense, going 3-for-5 with a double and 4 RBI.
Smith (0-1) took the loss for the Wahoos as he gave up six runs (all earned) on nine hits in 3.2 frames.
Tucker Barnhart led the Blue Wahoos offense, going a perfect 3-for-3 with a run scored. Barnhart is now 5-for-7 at the dish to start the 2013 campaign.
Pensacola's only runs in the game came in the last of the second. With runners on first and third, David Vidal brought in a run with a groundout to tie the game at one. A batter later, Brodie Greene drove home a run with an infield single to give Pensacola a 2-1 advantage.
The series continues tomorrow with a 6:30 p.m. first pitch. Tim Crabbe gets the call for the Wahoos opposed by Tennessee southpaw Eric Jokish. Tomorrow will be 1920's night at the ballpark and it's the first fireworks show of the season presented by Highpointe Hotels, Marcus Pointe Baptist Church and United Airlines.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.