PENSACOLA, FL – The Tennessee Smokies (31-36) dropped their second game of the series in extra innings against the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (38-30), 5-4 at Blue Wahoos Stadium on Friday night.
The Smokies wasted little time getting on the board. With bases loaded in the first inning, Ian Rice singled into left field to score Roberto Caro. Two batters later, Jesse Hodges ripped a single down the right field line to score both Eddy Martinez and Ian Rice to give the Smokies an early three run cushion.
LHP Justin Steele made his first start since being placed on the IL on 6/7. He was re-activated this afternoon for RHP Scott Effross. In just 3.1 innings of work, Steele did not allow a hit or run and tossed a season-high seven strikeouts in a no decision.
Blue Wahoos starter LHP Charlie Barnes ended his night in the fifth inning. He gave up three earned runs on four hits while recording four strikeouts.
Pensacola broke up the Smokies combined no-hitter in the sixth inning against RHP Michael Rucker. They strung together their first three hits in the ballgame and received their first run off a bases loaded single from Michael Davis. A sacrifice fly to center by Jimmy Kerrigan, one batter later, ran the score 3-2.
In the bottom of the ninth, Pensacola was able to tie the ballgame to make it three extra inning games in a row between the two sides. Davis drew a leadoff walk from RHP Craig Brooks to begin the inning. He came around to score and tie the game on a bloop single from Taylor Grzelakowski.
After a scoreless tenth frame, the Smokies added a run in the eleventh off RHP Tyler Palm (W, 1-1). Charcer Burks came home from second to give the Smokies a lead on an error by Caleb Hamilton to make it 4-3.
The one run lead would not hold, as the Smokies were forced to use second baseman Christian Donahue (L, 0-2) in relief for the second time in three nights. Kerrigan tied the game with his second RBI of the night into right field. After a pair of Donahue walks, Travis Blankenhorn walked it off for the Blue Wahoos with a bases loaded single up the middle.
Game four between the Smokies and the Blue Wahoos is scheduled for 7:05 EDT tomorrow. RHP Thomas Hatch (3-6, 4.95) makes his 14th start of the season for the Smokies, while Pensacola will hand the ball to Jorge Alcala (5-3, 5.25).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.