The Carolina Mudcats came into tonight with at team batting average of .221, last in the Southern League to date. That will surely change as the Mudcats pounded out six home runs and eighteen hits on Thursday night and defeated the Tennessee Smokies 13-4.
The Mudcats started off the game with back-to-back singles by Dante Brinkley and Kevin Randel. A wild pitch by Sean Gallagher (2-2) and a fielder’s choice by Lee Mitchell gave Carolina an early 2-0 lead. Carolina added a run in the 2nd on a solo home run hit by Jai Miller, his first of two on the night. Miller added another solo home run in the top of the 4th off Kevin Hart.
In the bottom half of the 4th, the Smokies scored two runs to cut the lead in half. Josh Kroeger hit an infield single, and then scored on a sacrifice fly by Jemel Spearman. After another infield single by Issmael Salas, Chris Walker hit an RBI single to make the score 4-2. In the fifth, Carolina got the runs back from a two-run homerun by Chase Lambin.
Carolina exploded in their half of the 8th by scoring seven runs. In front of his hometown crowd, Brett Carroll started the scoring off by hitting his first homerun of the season. After a single by Miller, the pitcher Scott Nestor hit a two run homerun. Lambin chipped in with an RBI single, and Mitchell capped off the inning with a three run shot, making the score 13-2.
The Smokies added runs in the eighth and ninth innings to make the final score 13-4. Wes Letson (1-0) notched the win for Carolina, with Gallagher taking the loss for the Smokies. Walker, Salas, and Joe Simokaitis all had multiple hit games for the Smokies.
The Smokies will host the Mudcats again on Friday night at Smokies Park for game two of the five game series. The Smokies will send right-hander Mark Holliman (2-0, 0.00) to the mound to face Mudcats righty Daniel Barone (0-1, 3.68).
Story Courtesy: The Tennessee Smokies