By Adam Kline / Tennessee Smokies
KODAK, Tenn. – Logan Watkins crushed his fifth home run of the season, but the Tennessee Smokies were only able to muster two hits and fell to the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (21-19, 55-54) Thursday night in front of 2,989 at Smokies Park. With the loss, the Smokies snap their four-game winning streak and drop to 19-21 on the season’s second half, 54-56 overall.
Pensacola got off to a fast start in the top of the first thanks to speedster Billy Hamilton. Hamilton walked to begin the inning, then stole second and third before coming home on a Josh Fellhauer RBI double. A Junior Lake fielding error on a ground ball by Beau Mills allowed Fellhauer to score to give Pensacola a 2-0 lead against Tennessee starter Jake Brigham, who was making his first start for the Smokies after being traded by the Texas Rangers in exchange for catcher Geovany Soto.
Trailing 3-0 in the bottom of the fourth, Logan Watkins cut into the Smokies deficit with a solo home run to right that made it a 3-1 game. The home run broke a perfect game by Pensacola starter Wilfin Obispo.
The Blue Wahoos took a 4-1 lead in fifth on a David Vidal solo homer to left off of reliever Zach Rosscup.
Pensacola added some insurance runs in the top of the ninth off of Tony Zych on a two-run single by Bryson Smith that increased their lead to 6-1.
Brigham (0-1) took the loss for the Smokies, the righty battled through his three innings of work, giving up three runs (two earned) on five hits and fanned two. Despite the home run, Rosscup kept the Smokies in the game over his five innings, where he gave up the one run on two hits and struck out four.
Obispo (3-0) earned the win for the Blue Wahoos, he fired six innings, surrendering the lone run on two hits and fanned 10 Smokies. Wilkin De La Rosa and Josh Freeman (S, 12) combined to throw three innings of shutout relief for Pensacola.
Watkins was Tennessee’s offense as he had the only two hits, adding a single along with his home run.
The Smokies will now head to Jackson, Tenn. to play a five-game series against the Jackson Generals starting on Friday. Tennessee will then return to Smokies Park on Wednesday, August 8 for a five-game set against the Huntsville Stars. For tickets and more information visit http://www.smokiesbaseball.com or call 865-286-2300.
LISTEN TO GAME HIGHLIGHTS: August 2, 2012 Blue Wahoos 6 Smokies 1