MONTGOMERY, Ala. - With four one out hits, three for extra bases, in the bottom of the fifth, the Montgomery Biscuits took a 3-0 lead over the Tennessee Smokies and never looked back in a 6-2 win on the season's final day.
Smokies DH Chesny Young (1-2, 1B) started the day with a five point advantage in the race for the Southern League Batting Title. The former Mercer Bear singled to lead off the third before being replaced by DH Stephen Bruno (0-3, FO, SO, Reached on Error) in the top of the fifth. Barring the final result of today's Chattanooga at Jackson contest, Young will claim the batting title.
The title will be Young's second in as many seasons after he claimed the 2015 Carolina League Batting Title. He is the third Smokies player to earn the accolade, and follows Willson Contreras who earned the distinction last season.
RHP Jonathan Martinez (7.0 IP, 8 H 4 R, 4 ER, 5 SO) got the ball on the final day for Tennessee. Making his second career Double-A start, Martinez only allowed a single base hit through the first four frames. The Smokies were not able to get a run across through the game's first five innings on Biscuits starter RHP Jared Mortenson (5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 2 HP, 3 SO).
The Biscuits would get to Martinez in the bottom of the fifth. RF Justin Williams (1-4, 2B, 2 FO, GO) laced a one out double to become the first runner in scoring position of the day. DH Braxton Lee (1-4, 1B, FO, Reached on Error, FC) laid down a bunt single to advance Williams to third. C Jake DePew (2-4, HR, 2B, 3 RBI, FO, SO) came up with runners on the corners and hit a two run double to put the home team up 2-0. 2B Tommy Coyle (2-3, 2B, 1B, RBI, FO) drove in Depew and after five the Biscuits led 3-0.
The Smokies got another runner in scoring position in the top of the sixth off Biscuits LHP Jordan Harrison (2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 SO, 1 BB) who came on in relief of Mortenson, but could not get a run across. Martinez worked a perfect sixth, but the Smokies could not cut into the Biscuits lead in the seventh.
Martinez got the first two batters of the seventh to fly out and there were two down for Jake Depew. Depew added to his great day with a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh and the Biscuits went to the eighth up 4-0. That would end the day for Martinez.
RHP Mark Sappington (1.1 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 H, 2 BB, 1 SO) came out to pitch the eighth for Montgomery and worked around a walk to get through the inning. RHP David Berg (1 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 H, 1 SO) pitched the eighth for the Smokies. The Biscuits added a pair of insurance runs to move the lead to 6-0 going into the ninth.
Things got interesting in the regular seasons' final inning. Sappington started the ninth for Montgomery. LF Daniel Lockhart (1-3, 1B, BB, FO, SO) reached on a lead off walk. Stephen Bruno came to the plate, reaching on an errant throw from 3B Patrick Leonard (0-4, 2 FO, 2 GO) that went into the stands, scoring Lockhart and advancing Bruno to second. That ended the day for Sappington with the Biscuits calling on RHP Jeff Ames (0.0 IP, 1 H) to finish the game.
Ames took a line drive off the forearm off the bat of 2B Ian Happ (1-5, 1B, 3 FO, GO), the first batter he faced, and left the contest immediately. Jake DePew shed the catching equipment and took the mound. Depew gave up a RBI single to the first man he faced RF Kelly Dugan (2-3, 2 HP, 2 1B, RBI), but got out of the jam to finish off the Biscuits 6-2 victory.
The Smokies finish the season with a 58-81 record and a 30-39 mark in the season's second half. Montgomery, the North Division Second Half Champs, finish the regular season with a 76-64 mark overall and a 41-28 record in the second half.
The Smokies open their 2017 home schedule on Wednesday, April 12, starting a five-game series against the Mississippi Braves, the Double-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. The entire 2017 schedule, in addition to season ticket information, can be found online at smokiesbaseball.com.
The Tennessee Smokies Charity of Choice for the 2016 season is Alzheimer's Tennessee. Alzheimer's Tennessee's mission is to serve those facing Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, to promote brain health through education, and to champion global prevention and treatment efforts. For more information on how to join the Tennessee Smokies in helping Alzheimer's Tennessee achieve their mission, please visit http://www.alztennessee.org/smokies/.
ABOUT THE TENNESSEE SMOKIES
The Tennessee Smokies are the Double-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. Members of the ten-team Southern League, Smokies baseball has been entertaining families and fans of America's national pastime in the East Tennessee region for over 100 years. To learn more about the Tennessee Smokies, visit www.smokiesbaseball.com.