HUNTSVILLE, AL (Smokies Release) - Eric Jokisch fired six scoreless innings as the Tennessee Smokies upended the Huntsville Stars by the final score of 4-1. The Smokies are now over .500 for the first time since they were 2-1 during the opening series of the season in Pensacola.
Jokisch (2-0) scattered only three hits and matched his season-high with seven strikeouts without walking a batter. With his six scoreless innings, Jokisch’s season ERA is now down to 1.00.
Jokisch and Taylor Jungmann we’re exchanging scoreless frames throughout the first five innings until the Smokies struck in the top of the 6th. Arismendy Alcantara reached with a two-out walk and stole second base. Then after Justin Bour was intentionally walked, Christian Villanueva launched a three-run home run, his first of the season, to put the Smokies up 3-0.
Jungmann (1-2) was touched for three earned runs, all on the Villanueva HR, on two hits with three strikeouts in 5.2 innings.
Tennessee added an insurance run with two outs in the top of the 9th. Jonathan Mota singled home Jae-Hoon Ha for a 4-0 lead.
Huntsville avoided the shutout with a run in the bottom of the 9th off reliever Brian Schlitter. Brock Kjeldgaard reached on an error by Alcantara that allowed Kentrail Davis to score and make it 4-1.
The Smokies and Stars continue their five-game series tomorrow night at 7:43 p.m. ET when Tennessee sends right-hander Kyle Hendricks (1-1, 4.09 ERA) to the mound against Huntsville righty Andy Moye (1-0, 5.09 ERA) at Joe Davis Stadium.