MONTGOMERY, AL - LHP Justin Steele's five shutout inning road gem for the Tennessee Smokies (28-29) was not enough to stop RHP Sam McWilliams (W, 4-2) and the Montgomery Biscuits (34-23) in a 1-0 loss at Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery on Tuesday night.
The Smokies' Starter Steele had a 10.91 ERA in road games entering tonight's match up. That number dropped significantly thanks to five shutout innings and just one allowed hit. Steele took a no-hit bid into the fifth inning until Lucius Fox singled over Clayton Daniel's head at shortstop. Despite the effort Steele was left with a no decision.
On the opposing side, the Biscuits starter Sam McWilliams was phenomenal. He tossed eight innings of scoreless baseball and struck out eight batters in the win. That makes two starts in a row for McWilliams where he has not allowed a run and has thrown into at least into the seventh inning.
The Smokies offense struggled all night against McWilliams and were unable to cash in with runners in scoring position. In the fourth, Jared Young led off the inning with a double. Ian Rice later walked and Charcer Burks followed with an infield single to load the bases. With two outs, McWilliams struck out Eddy Martinez to retire the side. A similar scenario took place in the sixth when Gioskar Amaya ripped a double to lead off the inning. McWilliams followed by striking out the next three batters he saw to retire the side. The Smokies left 14 runners on base tonight, three more from their 11 the previous night.
The Biscuits' bats remained quiet for most of the night as well. RHP Michael Rucker (L, 0-2) came out of the bullpen in the sixth inning and put together a solid outing. Rucker breezed through his first two innings including getting two of his four strikeouts in the seventh. The Biscuits had only one hit in the ballgame until the eighth inning when Brett Sullivan blasted a ball quickly out of the stadium to give the Biscuits the first run of the night. The home run was Sullivan's fourth of the year.
Montgomery's 1-0 lead would hold through the ninth inning thanks to a quick 1-2-3 inning by RHP Tyler Zombro (S, 3).
Game four of the series is set for Wednesday night at 7:35 EDT. RHP Thomas Hatch (2-5, 5.03 ERA) takes the mound for the Smokies while Montgomery will turn to RHP Kenny Rosenberg (4-1, 2.68 ERA).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.