KODAK, Tenn. – Behind quality pitching and a two-run fifth inning, the Tennessee Smokies defeated the Mississippi Braves, 2-1, Monday night at Smokies Park. With the win, in front of 3,093, the Smokies finish the first half with a record of 34-35. Mississippi fell to 38-32.
Smokies starter Eric Jokisch kept the M-Braves’ offense off the scoreboard until the fifth inning when he gave up a RBI-single to Phil Gosselin scoring Mycal Jones from second base to give Mississippi a 2-1 lead.
Jokisch (5-6) worked in and out of trouble all night, but only surrendered the one run in his six innings of work. He gave up three hits, walked three and struck out three on 86 pitches (53 strikes).
The Smokies were also held scoreless in the early innings, until the sixth inning when Pin-Chieh Chen hit an RBI-infield single to first base scoring Anthony Giansanti and Chad Noble came around to score on the same play on an error by Mississippi starter Aaron Northcraft. Giansanti singled earlier in the inning and advanced to third on a throwing error on Noble’s bunt.
Relievers Trey McNutt and Tony Zych combined to throw two scoreless innings before handing the ball over to closer Frank Batista.
Batista put the M-Braves away in the ninth inning, preserving the Smokies 2-1 lead and notching his ninth save of the season.
The Smokies collected 12 total hits in the game with eight of the nine starters notching at least one hit. Jonathan Mota, Giansanti and Chad Noble each went 2-4 with two singles apiece.
Following an off day Tuesday, the Smokies will start the second half of the season with a five-game set against the Chattanooga Lookouts starting Wednesday, June 19 at AT&T Field in Chattanooga, Tenn. Tennessee will return home on Monday, June 24 to take on the Jackson Generals in a five-game series at Smokies Park. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.smokiesbaseball.com or call (865)-286-2300.