Kodak, Tenn.--(Smokies) Ronald Torreyes’ two-out, two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning was just what the Tennessee Smokies needed to defeat the Huntsville Stars Monday night, 8-6. The win improves the Smokies record to 26-23, which puts Tennessee 5.5 games behind first-place Birmingham.
With the score tied at six in the bottom of the eighth inning, Chad Noble led off the frame with a single and with two outs, Ronald Torreyes brought the 4,773 fans in attendance to their feet with his first home run of the season, off Casey Medlen (1-3), to give the Smokies the 8-6 lead.
Earlier in the game, the Stars (22-28) got on the board first when Nick Shaw led off the game hitting a home run off Tennessee starter Matt Loosen. The Smokies answered right back off Huntsville starter Arsenio Leon. Matt Szczur led off the Smokies’ frame with a single to centerfield. Szczur advanced to third on botched pickoff attempt and scored on an Arismendy Alcantara single to center.
With Huntsville leading 2-1 in the fourth, the Smokies would once again come back, scoring three runs and taking the lead, 4-2. Jonathan Mota plated Ty Wright from third with a sacrifice fly and Szczur and Loosen both drew bases-loaded walks bringing in two more runs.
The Stars tied the game once again in the fifth when Jason Rogers hit his league-leading 10th home run of the season. Loosen would exit the game after six innings allowing four runs on eight hits, walking one and striking out three. The six-inning outing was his longest of the season.
The Smokies took the lead once again in sixth via a RBI-single by Torreyes, scoring Anthony Giansanti from second. Huntsville would score twice on the newest member of the Smokies, Hunter Cervenka, in the seventh. The lefty allowed two runs on two hits in his one inning of work to give the Stars a one run lead, 6-5.
The Smokies once again battled back to tie the game and set the table for Torreyes’ big shot. Ty Wright and Rubi Silva hit back-to-back doubles to knot the game at six.
Tony Zych (1-2) picked up the win for Tennessee, pitching two innings in relief, only allowing one hit. He also had a strikeout.
The Smokies will now head to Birmingham, Ala. to take on the Birmingham Barons in a five-game series, starting on Tuesday, May 28. The team will return to Smokies Park on Sunday, June 2 as they take on the Jackson Generals in a five-game set. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.smokiesbaseball.com or call 865-286-2300.