Listen as Smokies open Barons series in Hoover

Smokies infielder Logan Watkins. Photo Courtesy: Roger C. Hoover.

By Roger Hoover / Smokies Radio Network

The Tennessee Smokies begin their next-to-last road trip of the season on Tuesday night against the Birmingham Barons at Regions Park.

The Smokies are coming off a series win against the Huntsville Stars, and have won their last two games in shutout fashion.

This will be the final series between the Smokies and Barons at Regions Park in Hoover, Ala. The Barons are moving into downtown Birmingham where they will play at Regions Field next season.

Tonight Tennessee will send right-hander Dallas Beeler to the mound to begin the series. Beeler is 4-7 with a 4.27 ERA in 2012. Starting for the Barons is right-hander Andre Rienzo, who is 4-1 with a 2.55 ERA this season for Birmingham.

Here are more notes on tonight’s game, direct from the official Tennessee Smokies game notes compiled by Cody Chrusciel:

Following yesterday’s league-wide off day, the Smokies and Barons open up a five-game series tonight at Regions Park. The Smokies have won three of their last four games, most recently taking three of five against Huntsville. With 20 games remaining in the regular season, the Smokies enter Tuesday night in last place in the North Division, five games back of Chattanooga. The Smokies are 11-7 against the Barons this season.

The Smokies blanked the Stars, 4-0, in the rubber match of a five-game series on Sunday at Smokies Park.
 In his Double-A debut, 28-year-old Cuban defector Yoanner Negrin earned the win, taking a no-hitter into the fifth inning and allowing just one single over five scoreless frames. Negrin also doubled home a run for his first professional hit. Frank Batista recorded the final four outs to notch his 21st save. Justin Bour drove in two runs, giving him 100 on the season. Logan Watkins went 1-for-3 with three walks and three runs scored.

After shutting out the Huntsville Stars on Saturday and Sunday, Tennessee hurlers have fired 18.1 consecutive scoreless innings – a streak that began on Friday night.  The Smokies longest scoreless innings streak of the season was 19.2 frames on July 12-13 at Birmingham.  The Smokies have turned in three shutouts in August after posting just three shutouts over the first four months of the season.

Logan Watkins
leads the Southern League with 77 runs scored and ranks 10th in batting (.281). He has crossed the plate in 10 of Tennessee’s last 11 games, scoring 15 runs over that stretch. Since June 1, Watkins is batting .324 with a .441 on-base percentage.

Matt Szczur has hit safely in seven straight games, going 10-for-29 with three triples. Seven of his 15 hits since joining the Smokies have gone for extra bases.

The Smokies have played error-free baseball in eight of their last nine games.  Junior Lake ranks 8th in the league in batting (.284). Mike Burgess is 5-for-9 as a pinch hitter this season.

Fans can listen to the game 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.

Listen Live to the Smokies and Barons August 14, 2012

You can also follow along with the game by following the Smokies Radio Network on Twitter and liking us on Facebook.

Categories: Game Preview


The Smokies Radio Network is the official radio network for the Chicago Cubs AA affiliate, the Tennessee Smokies. Daily broadcasts begin with the Pilot-Oscar Mayer pre-game show airing 15 minutes before every game. Following the game the broadcast concludes with the Edward Jones Investments post-game show. The Smokies Radio Network staff includes the Director of Broadcasting Mick Gillispie, Sr. Broadcast Assistant Greg Young, Broadcast Assistant Keith Brake and Broadcast Intern James Rowe.


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