Smokies lead-off man goes 3-for-3
The Tennessee Smokies continued to receive strong pitching from their young starters on Monday night, holding the Carolina Mudcats to a second straight night of a lone run in a 3-1 victory at Smokies Park.
After falling behind 1-0 in the first inning on an RBI-double from rightfielder Angel Molina that scored Alejandro DeAza, Smokies (8-11) starter Ross Ohlendorf settled down and held the Mudcats’ to just three hits over the course of his remaining five innings.
The 23-year old product of Austin, Texas went six innings for Tennessee, striking out six Carolina (7-12) batters and allowing only the first inning run. Despite getting the no-decision, Ohlendorf lowered his ERA on the season to 3.38 in his effort. Smokies middle reliever Clint Goocher picked up the win for his one inning of work in the seventh inning before Mike Schultz came in to shut the door and earn his third save of the season working the eighth and ninth innings.
Tennessee tied the game up in the bottom half of the first inning when second baseman Danny Richar led off the inning with a double to right center field. Richar would go a perfect 3-for-3 on the night to raise his average to .312 on the season. Alberto Gonzalez advanced Richar to third base on a sacrifice bunt and first baseman Jamie D’Antona brought the 22-year old native of the Dominican Republic home on a two-out single to DeAza in center field.
The two teams went scoreless over the next five and a half innings before the Smokies came to life in the bottom of the seventh inning off of Mudcat reliever Ross Wolf.
Tennessee got their momentum started on a one-out pinch-hit single from Adam Haley. Richar collected his third hit of the evening on a single to move Haley over to third base before Gonzalez brought him home on his second sacrifice bunt of the game. Left fielder snapped a 0-for-3 night with a single to right center to bring home Richar and give Tennessee an insurance run heading into the final two frames.
The two teams concluded their series Tuesday night at Smokies Park.