Smokies use longball, defense to defeat Biscuits 3-1

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WVLT/Submitted) -- The Tennessee Smokies (42-40) used four double plays and two home runs to defeat the Montgomery Biscuits (44-41) 3-1 Wednesday night and claim the series victory. Christian Villanueva and Justin Bour each hit solo home runs, and starter A.J. Morris (3-0, 3.69) continued his road success this season, pitching six innings while allowing six hits, two strikeouts and a walk.

Pitching with a 1-0 lead, Morris held the Biscuits under control in the middle innings with a variety of double plays. With Kevin Kiermaier on first and Mikie Mahtook at the plate in the bottom of the third, Morris got Mahtook swinging on 3-2 count and catcher Chad Noble threw out Kiermaier at second base to end the inning.

Morris gave up a one-out single to Todd Glaesmann in the fourth, but induced a 4-6-3 double play from Kyeong Kang and then invoked a 5-4-3 twin killing to escape trouble in the bottom of the fifth.

The Smokies’ starter continued to give Mongtomery trouble in the 6th inning. After Morris gave up a one-out walk to Steven Tinoco, the right-hander jammed Cameron Seitzer to bounce into the second 6-4-3 double play of the game, and escape his fourth straight inning with the help of a double play.

John Andreoli, who entered Wednesday night’s game 6-18 in the series with three double and two runs socred, continued to sizzle as the center fielder drove in Matt Szczur in the third inning with a single to center field. Szczur slid safely at home plate, beating the throw from Kiermaier and giving Tennessee an initial 1-0 advantage.

Christian Villanueva extended the Smokies’ slim 1-0 advantage in the top of the seventh inning when the third baseman knocked his second solo leadoff home run in as many days to give Tennessee a 2-0 lead.

Justin Bour added his sixth home run of the season on a first pitch fastball from Biscuits reliever Erik Hamren, extending the Smokies’ lead to 3-0. It was Bour’s first home run since his first career multi-home run game versus Jackson on June 24.

Montgomery added a late run in the bottom of the ninth inning, but Smokies reliever Zac Rosscup struck out two in the inning to earn his second save in three attempts this season.

Tennessee will return home to Smokies Park Thursday afternoon for a fourth of July contest against the Huntsville Stars at 7:15 p.m. Eric Jokisch (6-7, 3.33) will make the start for the Smokies while Drew Gagnon (1-3, 7.54) will take the mound for Huntsville.

Smokies reliever Zac Rosscup pitched 1.1 innings, earning his second save in three attempts on the season.


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