PEARL, MISSISSIPPI - Tennessee fell to Mississippi 3-0 on Thursday night, dropping their season opening game. The Smokies pitching hung tough, but the offense failed to cash in during the loss. Trevor Clifton got the opening day start for Tennessee and made the most of it for five innings. Clifton went 4.2 innings before allowing a hit. In the sixth, Mississippi got to Clifton, scoring three runs in the inning to put them up 3-0.
Clifton was done for the night in the sixth inning where he finished going 5.1 innings, allowing three runs on four hits, and striking out four. Jake Stinnett replaced Clifton, and while he allowed a hit that led to Clifton's last two earned runs, he was able to pitch out of the jam. Stinnett would stay in the game and pitch a scoreless seventh inning, striking out two, before being replaced by James Norwood. Norwood entered the game in the eighth inning and struck out the side.
The Smokies offense got off to a slow start to begin the season as they were shutout. The Smokies had their opportunities as they totaled five hits in the game but were unable to make the most of them. Tennessee was patient in their at-bats as they drew eight walks. Eddy Martinez reached base three times for Tennessee on two walks and a single, while Jason Vosler reached base twice on two walks.
In the third inning, with the score 0-0, the Smokies loaded the bases with two outs on a Trey Martin single and two walks. However, Yasiel Balaguert struck out to keep the game scoreless. The next scoring opportunity for Tennessee came in the eighth inning. Charcer Burks and Vosler walked to start the inning, but a great play by Mississippi third baseman Michael Snyder got the Braves out of the inning.
Tennessee had one last chance in the ninth inning after a walk, and an infield single started the inning. The Smokies brought the tying run to the plate but were unable to bring a run across, giving Mississippi the win.
The Smokies are back on the road against Mississippi tomorrow night as they look to get their first win of the season. First pitch is set for 8 p.m. ET. Duncan Robinson is expected to start for the Smokies while Touki Toussaint is expected to be on the on the mound for the Braves
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
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.