KODAK, Tenn. (release) -- For the second night, the Tennessee Smokies found themselves in a must-win situation and continued their North Division Championship Series comeback with a 10-7 win over the Birmingham Barons in Game Four, Sunday afternoon at Smokies Park. The win evens the best-of-five series at two games apiece and forces a series-deciding Game Five on Monday night at Smokies Park.
Birmingham got on the board first off Tennessee starter Eduardo Figueroa after Trayce Thompson singled home Micah Johnson in the first inning and two innings later, Johnson scored on a throwing error by catcher Taylor Davis to give the Barons a 2-0 lead.
The Smokies would tie the game at two apiece against Barons starter Scott Snodgress as Arismendy Alcantara hit a two-RBI single to score Davis and Matt Szczur.
Figueroa would only last 2.1 innings, giving up three hits, two earned runs, four walks and a strikeout. Reliever A.J. Morris (1-0) pitched out of a bases loaded jam twice in the game in his 2.2 innings of work. He allowed a hit, an earned run, walked two and struck out two.
Tennessee would get three more runs in the fourth inning with the bulk of the damage coming from a two-run double by Szczur. Snodgress (0-1) only lasted three innings, giving up four hits, four earned runs, two walks and struck out three.
The Barons made it interesting yet again as they score runs in the fifth and sixth innings to bring the score to 5-4. But, the Smokies reclaimed their three-run lead and scored two runs on a Davis double, scoring Rubi Silva and Jonathan Mota.
Reliever Yeiper Castillo had a hard time getting outs as he only lasted a third of an inning. He gave up two hits, an unearned run and walked one. Tony Zych came in and shut down the Barons’ bats, pitching 1.2 innings and striking out three.
The Smokies extended their lead in the eighth when Silva led off the frame collecting his fourth hit of the afternoon. Following a walk to John Andreoli, Mota ripped a triple down the right field line scoring two and Mota would score a batter later on a sacrifice fly by Szczur.
The Barons attempted to mount one last comeback in the ninth, plating three runs off P.J. Francescon to make the score 10-7. Frank Batista came in to record the last out of the game to earn his first save of the playoffs.
The fifth and deciding game of the series is scheduled for 7:15 Monday night at Smokies Park. The Smokies will send RHP Neil Ramirez (0-0, 0.00) to the mound to face off against RHP Myles Jaye (0-1, 17.18). For tickets or more information, please visit www.smokiesbaseball.com or call 865-286-2300.