KODAK, Tenn. – Tim Torres hit his second home run of the season and Eric Jokisch had another strong outing as the Tennessee Smokies defeated the Huntsville Stars, 5-2, in front of 3,649 at Smokies Park Sunday afternoon. The win improves the Smokies record to 25-23 on the season, while the Stars fall to 22-27.
The Smokies got on the board early in the second inning. Christian Villanueva doubled with two outs and Torres followed with his second home run of the season to give Tennessee a 2-0 lead.
Tennessee tacked on another run in the fourth after Arismendy Alcantara scored on a fielder’s choice by Villanueva. Alcantara walked to begin the inning and then moved to third on a Ty Wright single.
Huntsville would get two runs off Jokisch in the sixth, and had the tying run at second. Reliever Trey McNutt came in for Jokisch and struck out Shea Vucinich to end the threat and hold Tennessee’s lead at 3-2. Jokisch (4-3) ended his night allowing the two run on seven hits, while striking out six in 5.2 innings of work.
The Smokies added to their lead in the seventh. Jonathan Mota hit his fourth double of the season and in the next at bat, Matt Szczur hit his ninth double of the year, scoring Mota from second.
That would be all the Smokies needed as the bullpen worked 3.1 innings of scoreless relief. Frank Batista came in to pitch the ninth and earned his sixth save of the season.
The rubber match of this series is at 7:15 on Monday. Matt Loosen (1-1, 7.99) is scheduled to take the mound for the Smokies, facing off against Huntsville’s Arcenio Leon (1-3, 5.34). Hot Dogs will only be $1 for Dollar Hot Dog Night presented by Oscar Mayer, Pilot and WATE TV-6. There will be a flyover prior to the game presented by the Tennessee Museum of Aviation. Free tickets are available for past and present military members with a valid military ID. Tickets for family members will also be $7.50. After the game, there will be a special, patriotic fireworks show presented by Knoxville News Sentinel, Pepsi, Coors Light, WIVK 107.7 and WVLT TV-8. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.smokiesbaseball.com or call 865-286-2300.