KODAK, Tenn. (smokiesbaseball.com) -- It was a back-and-forth affair at Smokies Park Saturday night as the Tennessee Smokies defeated the Montgomery Biscuits 8-7 in front of 3,669 fans. The Smokies were able to hold on to a four-run lead to improve their season’s record to 13-17. Montgomery dropped to 13-17.
The Smokies got on the scoreboard first off Montgomery starter Joe Cruz. Jim Adduci led off the first inning with a walk and advanced to third on a Nate Samson single. After a Jae-Hoon Ha walk, and Justin Bour at-bat, Adduci and Ha pulled off a double steal with Adduci scoring and giving the Smokies an early 1-0 lead.
The Smokies came right back in the second. Adduci started a two-out rally with a single, extending his hitting streak to ten games, after back-to-back walks Bour drove a double the opposite way to clear the bases for a 4-0 advantage and ending the night for Cruz (2-5).
Leading 4-3 in the fifth, Tennessee had another big inning. Ha reached on an error by Hak-Ju Lee and would come around to score on a Rebel Ridling single. With Ridling on second and Matt Cerda on first after walking, Mike Burgess’ grounder to first baseman Mike Sheridan forced Cerda out at second. But an error by Biscuit’s reliever Merrill Kelly allowed Ridling to score from third. Luis Flores capped the inning with his first hit of the season, an RBI double to score Burgess and give the Smokies a commanding 7-3 lead.
The Biscuits added a run in the seventh, which the Smokies got right back in the bottom of the frame. With the bases loaded Elliot Soto hit a grounder to second forcing out Flores at second but allowed Ridling to score again and make it 8-4.
Tyler Bortnick hit a two-run triple off reliever Alberto Cabrera in the eighth to bring the game within two, 8-6.
On to close the game, Kevin Rhoderick made things interesting in the ninth. With the bases loaded Rhoderick surrendered a run on a groundout to short. However he was able to strike out the last two batters to end the suspense and earn his third save of the season.
Rhee (2-1) was solid for Tennessee, the righty from South Korea gave the Smokies six innings, allowing three runs on six hits and fanned three for his second win of the season.
Tennessee will head to Birmingham, Ala. to take on the Birmingham Barons in a five-game set starting Sunday. The Smokies will return to Smokies Park on Friday, May 11 for a five-game series with divisional foe Jackson Generals. For tickets and more information, fan can visit www.smokiesbaseball.com or call (865) 286-2300.
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