KODAK, Tenn. – Matt Spencer’s 3-for-3, 5 RBI night led the Tennessee Smokies past the Mobile BayBears 6-5 Friday Night at Smokies Park. The win, in front of 4,839 fans, puts the Smokies at 26-16 on the season in first place in the North Division. With the loss, Mobile drops to 23-17.
The Smokies jumped out to an early lead in the first when Spencer followed a Ryan Flaherty walk with a two-run homer to make it 2-0.
Mobile answered in the next half inning, as Marc Krauss hit a two run homerun of his own knotting the game at two.
Spencer struck again in the third, bringing in Flaherty with another two-run homerun to give the Smokies a 4-2 lead. The BayBears took advantage of a fielding miscue by SS Flaherty to bring in two runs and tie it in the top of the fourth, but Blake Lalli hit a solo shot in the bottom half as the Smokies regained the lead 5-4.
The game got a bit heated in the fifth inning, with DJ LeMahieu on second base, BayBears starter Jarrod Parker hit Spencer on the first pitch of the at-bat. HP umpire, Sean Barber warned both teams, and when discussing the warning Smokies’ Manager Brian Harper was ejected from the game.
Mobile brought in a run to even the score at 5-5 in the seventh inning, as Taylor Harbin walked and Krauss drove him in with a ground rule double. In the bottom half, Jae-Hoon Ha and Flaherty singled to put two runners on for Spencer, who collected his fifth RBI of the night with a single to score Ha and put the Smokies ahead 6-5.
Rafael Dolis (S,3) came in to pitch the ninth. With bases loaded and two out, Dolis got Joke Elmore to fly out to centerfielder Jae-Hoon Ha, picking up a save for the second consecutive night
Smokies starter Brooks Raley battled his way through 5.2 innings allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits. Chris Carpenter (1-0) received the win in his season debut for the Smokies, allowing one hit and one run in 1.1 innings of work.
The Smokies and BayBears will square in Game 3 of their five-game series tomorrow night at 6:15 p.m. The BayBears will send RHP Wes Roeper (3-0, 2.39) to the mound and the Smokies will counter with LHP Chris Rusin (1-1, 4.93). The first 1,000 fans 12-and-under will receive a free Webkinz dog. For tickets call 865-286-2300 or visit www.smokiesbaseball.com