KODAK, Tenn. – The Tennessee Smokies had the winning run on second base with one out in the ninth inning, but were unable score and dropped the series opener to the Jackson Generals Friday Night, 2-1. The loss, in front of 5,273 at Smokies Park, drops the Smokies to 15-21 on the season. The Generals improved to 21-15.
The Smokies brought the fans at Smokies Park to their feet in the ninth inning. Down 2-0, Justin Bour ripped a double down the right field line to score Jae-Hoon Ha from first base. Nate Samson singled pinch runner Jim Adduci to third and advanced to second base on the right fielder’s throw to home. With the game-winning run at second base and one out, Bobby LaFromboise (S, 1) struck out Matt Cerda and Mike Brenly to end the Smokies rally and give Jackson the victory.
Early on, both teams’ starters were dominate. Smokies starter Brooks Raley took a no-hitter into the fourth inning before giving up a lead-off single to Joe Dunigan. After a walk and back-to-back singles, Raley and the Smokies found themselves down 2-0.
Raley (1-2) ended the night going seven innings allowing two runs on five hits while striking out seven.
Jackson starter Danny Hultzen (3-3) tossed a career-high seven innings allowing no runs on two hits striking out two, taking a no-hitter into the fifth inning.
Samson (3-for-4) led the Smokies offense by collecting three of the five hits the team got against Jackson, and extended his hitting streak to seven games.
Tennessee reliever Marcus Hatley had another terrific outing out of the pen, going two scoreless innings, only giving up a hit and striking out three to give the Smokies a chance in the ninth.
The Smokies and Generals will play Game 2 of their five-game set Saturday night at 6:15 p.m. at Smokies Park. The Smokies will send RHP Nick Struck (4-2, 3.49) to the mound and the Generals will counter with LHP Steve Garrison (1-1, 1.29). The first 1,000 fans will receive a free Smokies t-shirt courtesy of the Hampton Inn & Suites Sevierville/Kodak. For tickets and more information visit www.smokiesbaseball.com or call (865) 286-2300.