Six-run eighth does in Smokies

JACKSON, TN. (WVLT/SUBMITTED) -– Trailing 4-2 in the bottom of the 8th, the Jackson Generals sent nine batters to plate and scored six times to shock the Tennessee Smokies by the final score of 8-4. The loss snaps the Smokies four-game winning streak.

With reliever Trey McNutt on the mound, the Generals began their rally. Patrick Brady and Leon Landry led off with back-to-back singles and were sacrificed into scoring position by Gabriel Noriega. Then after Brian Schlitter came out of the pen, Brad Miller tied the game at 4-4 with a two-run single to left field. Vinnie Catricala singled Miller over to third base and both came into score on a two-run triple by Julio Morban. Two errors by catcher Jay Fernandez allowed the final two runs of the inning to score and cap off the six-run rally for the Generals.

Smokies starter Eric Jokisch was in line for the win before the lead was lost. He allowed two runs on seven hits in 6.2 innings. Jokisch has now gone four starts without a victory. Tyler Burgoon (1-1) earned his first win of the season out of the bullpen for Jackson while Schlitter (0-2) suffered the loss for Tennessee.

Fernandez put the Smokies on top in the 2nd inning with his first home run of the season, a two-run shot, to make it 2-0.

Jackson (16-21) battled back to tie things at 2-2 in the bottom of the fourth. With one out, Miller walked and moved over to third base on Catricala’s double. Morban then tied the game with a two-run single into center field.

Tennessee (19-19) regained the lead in the top of the 5th courtesy of some Jackson mishaps. Jonathan Mota scored from third base on a wild pitch from starter Brett Shankin to put the Smokies back on top 3-2. Mota reached to begin the inning on an error by Catricala at third base.

Christian Villanueva doubled the Smokies advantage to 4-2 in the 6th inning with an RBI single that scored Arismendy Alcantara. The hit extends Villanueva’s hitting streak to eight games.

The Smokies and Generals will finish their five-game series tomorrow night at 8:05 ET when Tennessee sends right-hander Matt Loosen (1-1, 8.04) to the mound against Jackson lefty Anthony Fernandez (1-0, 9.45) at Generals Park.

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