By Roger Hoover / Smokies Radio Network
Following a series win at home against Pensacola, the Tennessee Smokies are back on the road, starting a five-game series against the Jackson Generals tonight at Pringles Park.
The Smokies took four out of five against the Generals, and are now in a three-way tie for third place in the North Division, trailing the Chattanooga Lookouts by four games.
Tonight the Smokies will send right-hander Nick Struck to the mound to begin the series. Struck is 11-10 with a 3.71 ERA this season. Starting for the Generals is right-hander Matt Fox, who is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA with Jackson in 2012.
Here are more notes on tonight’s game, direct from the official Tennessee Smokies game notes compiled by Cody Chrusciel:
SETTING THE SCENE
Having won four of their last five games, the Smokies open up a five-game series tonight against the Jackson Generals at Pringles Park. With 30 games remaining in the regular season, the Smokies enter Friday night in a three-way tie for third place in the North Division, four games back of Chattanooga. The first-half champion Generals are just 1.5 games behind the Lookouts. The Generals have won 13 of 19 meetings against Tennessee this season, including three straight. The teams are scheduled to meet 24 times in 2012. At 63-46, the Generals sport the best overall record in the Southern League.
LAST TIME OUT
The Smokies were held to just two hits as they fell to the Pensacola Blue Wahoos last night, 6-1, in the finale of a five-game series at Smokies Park. The Smokies were unable to earn their first sweep of the year after taking the first four games of the set. Logan Watkins had both Tennessee hits, including a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth, which was the Smokies first hit of the contest. Outside of Watkins’ home run, the Smokies did not have a runner reach second base in the contest. Pensacola starter Wirfin Obispo struck out a career-high 10 batters, including seven of the first 10 batters he faced. Overall, Tennessee batters fanned a season- high 14 times. Jake Brigham, who was acquired from the Rangers in a deadline deal for catcher Geovany Soto, started and allowed three runs in three innings in his Smokies debut to take the loss. Zach Rosscup followed with five innings of one-run relief. Billy Hamilton walked twice and scored twice. He was held to just two hits in 17 at bats in the series while stealing four bases.
THE MAN ON THE MOUND
Nick Struck looks to become the SL’s first 12-game winner as he takes the mound tonight for the Smokies. Struck is 0-4 with a 6.14 ERA against Jackson this season and 11-6 with a 3.15 mark against the rest of the circuit.
Fans can listen to the games on the Smokies Radio Network, with the “Voice of the Smokies” Mick Gillispie entering his sixth season as Tennessee’s Director of Broadcasting. The 2010 Southern League Broadcaster of the Year is assisted by Cody Chrusciel, Roger Hoover, Jonathan Guess, and Adam King. Chrusciel and Hoover will host the Pilot Oscar-Mayer Pregame Show beginning at 7:45 p.m. on the Smokies Radio Network.
Tonight’s broadcast will air on the Smokies Radio Network’s flagship station The Sports Animal WNML AM 990, FM 99.1 and 99.3 plus the Smokies mobile app. Click the link below to listen live online.