KODAK - The Tennessee Smokies (49-67, 16-31) fell for the second straight night to the Biloxi Shuckers (69-47, 28-18) in a 7-4 loss on Thursday night at Smokies stadium that featured four ties and three lead changes.
Biloxi wasted no time getting on the board. They led off the game with four straight hits to plate two runs. Joantgel Segovia doubled to jumpstart the inning and touched home plate from a home run by Cooper Hummel. It was Hummel's 15th blast of the season, propelling him to fifth in the Southern League.
The Smokies tallied three runs in the third to grab a lead of their own. Gioskar Amaya drove in Connor Myers with an RBI-double to put the Smokies on the board. Amaya scored courtesy of another throwing error by Ryan Aguilar on a sacrifice bunt by LHP Luis Lugo. The Tennessee starter also came across to give the Smokies a 3-2 lead on a fielder's choice ground out by Jhonny Pereda.
Just twelve minutes later the Shuckers retook the lead in the fourth. Lugo walked both Jake Gatewood and C.J Hinojosa to lead off the inning. Both runners scored from a single by Alvarez and a squeeze bunt by Shucker's starting pitcher LHP Cameron Roegner (W, 5-4).
Lugo on the night gave up four runs on seven hits with six strikeouts in four innings on the mound for Tennessee. It was the first time this season the Smokies have lost when Lugo made a start.
The Smokies evened things up once again in the fifth. Roberto Caro led off the inning with a triple that fell lost to Biloxi center fielder Dillon Thomas. Vimael Machin sent him home with an RBI-single to tie the game at four apiece.
In similar fashion, Robbie Rojas tripled to lead off the sixth for Biloxi and scored to give the Shuckers a 5-4 lead on an RBI-single by Segovia. The inning could have been much worse for RHP Jake Stinnett (L, 1-4) if not for a 5-4-3-2 triple play from the Smokies defense. It was Tennessee's first triple play since May 20th, 2009.
The Shuckers reeled in a pair of insurance runs in the ninth from a two RBI-double by Hinojosa to extend the Shuckers lead to 7-4. RHP Jon Olczak (S,1) retired the final two batters of the game to seal a win for Biloxi and hand the Smokies their ninth straight loss at home.
Game three of the series between the Smokies and the Shuckers is set for Friday night. RHP Cory Abbott (6-7, 3.54), will make his team leading 22nd start with the Smokies. On the other end, LHP Drew Rasmussen (1-3, 4.37) will get the ball for Biloxi. First pitch is set for 7:00 EDT.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.