Outfielders Gil and Cota knock out home runs in victory
Smokies right fielder Jesus Cota continues to crush Carolina Mudcat pitching, collecting his third home run in the last two games to give Tennessee a 6-5 victory.
Cota, who hit two home runs including the game winner in the eleventh inning on Tuesday night, has hit eight home runs in the month of July after hitting just five home runs in the first three months of the season. The 24-year old has been instrumental to the turnaround of the Smokies offense over the past few weeks.
The Smokies tallied runs in the first three innings highlighted by Cota’s home run in the third inning to put Tennessee ahead 5-4 after Carolina posted four runs of their own against starter Ross Ohlendorf.
Ohlendorf shook off the bad inning and worked seven innings, allowing the four runs on seven hits while striking out six Carolina batters. The Southern League all-star improved to 8-6 on the season for Tennesee before turning the ball over to the bullpen to close out the night. After the Mudcats’ loaded the bases against Chris Kinsey, manager Bill Plummer turned the ball over to Bill White who collected his fourth save of the season.
Outfielder Jerry Gil added his 14th home run of the season in the fifth inning in what proved to be the difference maker in the game. Gil finished the night 3-for-4 including a defensive gem in the eighth inning.
Tennessee has now taken the first three games of the series that continued Thursday night at Smokies Park. The Smokies Greg Smith took on Jose Garcia in the 7:15 p.m. tilt.