KODAK, Tenn. – Looking to extend their lead in the Southern League North Division, the Tennessee Smokies won in walk-off fashion against the Birmingham Barons Thursday afternoon at Smokies Park by a final score of 2-1. John Andreoli had the game-winning hit with the bases loaded in the ninth inning to score Javier Baez. This win gives the Smokies a record of 24-15, 58-50 on the season and puts them a 1.5 game ahead of the Barons (23-17, 67-43) in the Southern League North Division.
With one out and the score tied at one in the ninth, Baez reached on an error and stole second. Justin Bour was intentionally walked and Christian Villanueva was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Andreoli. On the third pitch of the at-bat, Andreoli reached on an infield single to the pitcher, allowing Baez to score.
Smokies starter Kyle Hendricks cruised through the first three frames, striking out four in the first three frames of the game. Hendricks ran into trouble though in the fourth, when Luis Sierra drove in Brandon Jacobs to give the Barons a 1-0 lead.
Birmingham starter Scott Snodgress, the Southern League leader in wins with 11, was equally just as good for the Barons. After allowing a single to Baez in the first, the lefty retired 17 of the next 18 batters until Justin Bour hit home run No. 15 of the season to tie the game at one in the seventh inning.
Hunter Cervenka (3-1) picked up the win for Tennessee pitched three innings of scoreless relief, only allowing a walk. Dan Remenowsky (0-2) took the loss surrendering the unearned run in the ninth.
The Smokies will start a five-game series against the Jacksonville Suns in Jacksonville on Friday at 7:15. The Smokies will send Eduardo Figueroa (0-0, -.--) to the mound, making his first start since being recalled from Hi-A Daytona, to face off against Suns starter Anthony DeSclafani (2-2, 5.20).
Tennessee will return home August 8 to begin a 10-game homestand. First pitch is scheduled for 7:15 against the Montgomery Biscuits.