Another Three-Run Eighth Helps Smokies Clinch Opening Series

Nico Hoerner Drives in Winning Run the Second Day in a Row

By Frank La Sala | April 7, 2019 6:00 PM

SEVIERVILLE - The Tennessee Smokies (3-1) used a three-run bottom of the eighth inning Sunday afternoon to come from behind and defeat the Mississippi Braves (1-3) at Smokies Stadium. Tennessee sent nine men to the plate in the eighth, and pinch-hitter Nico Hoerner walked with the bases loaded to force in the eventual winning run.

Alejandro Salazar got the M-Braves on the board in the top of the first by driving in Drew Waters with a single to right. Mississippi loaded up the bases with one-out, but Jonathan Morales flied out to left, and Jared Young threw out Cristian Pache at the plate to keep the score at 1-0. Jhonny Pereda's one-out solo home run to right field tied the game at one in the fourth.

The M-Braves took the lead back in the sixth. With runners on the corners and one-out, Morales doubled to left, driving in Salazar and Ray-Patrick Didder to take a 3-1 lead.

Young led off the eighth with an infield single against the shifted infield, and went first-to-third on Vimael Machin's double. Pereda grounded out to second, scoring Young, to cut the deficit to 3-2. After Roberto Caro walked, Erick Castillo bunted the first pitch he saw back to LHP Mike Mader (L, 0-1), who tried to cut down the tying run at the plate, but threw the ball away. Caro went to third on the play and Castillo took second, which forced the M-Braves to intentionally walk Charcer Burks. The Smokies countered by sending up Hoerner to pinch-hit. Hoerner drew a the walk, forcing in the winning run.

LHP Wyatt Short (W, 2-0) and LHP Ian Clarkin (S, 1) both worked around errors and dealt a scoreless eighth and ninth respectively.

The Smokies have won the series, and will try to take 4-out-of-5 against the M-Braves on Monday night at 7 PM ET. RHP Tyson Miller will make his season debut against LHP Tucker Davidson.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

View More