June 3, 2007
Sevierville – The bats came alive for the Tennessee Smokies tonight, as they pounded out thirteen hits to down the visiting Birmingham Barons 10-3 at Smokies Park on Sunday. Starting pitcher Kevin Hart (3-5) scattered ten hits over seven innings in front of a delighted crowd of 2,822 to earn his third win of the season. With the win, the Smokies kept pace with Huntsville for first place in the North Division with 13 games remaining in the first half of the season.
Birmingham gained the early advantage for the second straight night in taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning. It could have been much worse if not for an inning ending play at the plate on a magnificent relay to Chris Robinson to keep it a one run game.
The Smokies did some major damage that chased starting pitcher Adam Russel (5-4) in the bottom half of the third. Joe Simokaitis led the inning off with a walk, and then advanced to 2nd on an infield single by Sam Fuld. An error by Russel loaded the bases, followed by Jake Fox striking out swinging. Josh Kroeger strode to the plate and ripped a 2-run single into right field to give the Smokies the lead. Casey McGehee then followed suit with an RBI single of his own to make the score 3-1. Matt Craig dealt the knockout blow however, who crushed a 3-run homer over the right field wall to give the Smokies a 6-1 lead.
Tennessee extended their lead in the fourth, which knocked Russell out of the game. The Smokies plated an additional three runs, highlighted by a two run double off the bat of McGehee, to stake Tennessee to a 9-1 lead.
Birmingham plated two more runs over the next five innings, but it was not enough to match the Smokies hot bats today. The Smokies got multiple hit games from Kroeger, McGehee, Jorge Cortes, Jemel Spearman and Simokaitis.
The Smokies and Barons will play game three of this five game series on Monday night beginning at 7:15 pm. Right-hander Mark Holliman (6-3, 2.51) will take to the mound for Tennessee to face the Barons left-hander Gio Gonzalez (4-3, 3.17).
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