KODAK, Tenn. (release) -- The late innings proved to again be unkind to the Tennessee Smokies as a three-run eighth by the Mississippi Braves led to the Smokies downfall in a 4-1 loss Sunday evening at Smokies Park. The loss, in front of 4,209, dropped the Smokies to 32-35 on the year. Mississippi took this weekend’s series and improved to 38-31.
Rubi Silva and Christian Villanueva led off the Smokies’ second inning with back-to-back singles to put runners at the corners. Rafael Lopez put the Smokies up early with an RBI fielder’s choice off Braves’ starter Gus Schlosser to give Tennessee a 1-0 lead.
Clinging to the 1-0 lead in the seventh inning, Tennessee reliever Yeiper Castillo failed to hold the lead, allowing an RBI-single to Mycal Jones to tie the game at one.
Back-to-back RBI-hits by Jamie Pedroza and Dan Brewer plated three runs in the eighth off Hunter Cervenka (1-1) to give Mississippi a 4-1 lead late in the game.
The Smokies threatened to rally in the ninth, bringing the tying run to the plate with two outs in, but Mark Lamm (S, 8) was able to strike out Jonathan Mota out to secure the victory for Mississippi.
The outcome wasted a good effort by Tennessee starter A.J. Morris who stifled Mississippi in his four innings of work. He allowed only a hit, while walking three and striking out five in total.
Silva led the Smokies’ offense going 3-for-4 with a double.
The series finale between the Smokies and M-Braves will be Monday night at 7:15 at Smokies Park. Mississippi will send RHP Aaron Northcraft (2-4, 4.58) to the mound and Tennessee will counter with LHP Eric Joksich (4-6, 3.67). For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.smokiesbaseball.com or call (865)-286-2300.