Late Inning Rally Dooms Smokies Again


HUNTSVILLE – Closer Armando Rivero gave up a game-tying home run in the ninth and reliever Austin Kirk walked in the winning run in the tenth as the Smokies lost for the second straight night 2-1 to the Stars at Joe W. Davis Municipal Stadium on Tuesday night.

The Smokies (26-25) led 1-0 going into the ninth before Rivero allowed a game-tying home run to Stars (35-17) infielder Jason Rogers. The blown save was just the second for Rivero this season and the home run was also just the second he has allowed this year.

Kirk (1-4) replaced Rivero in the tenth and was immediately greeted by a lead off single from Nick Shaw. Shawn Zarraga moved Shaw over to second with a sacrifice bunt. Kirk then lost a wild pitch while facing Josh Prince and Shaw advanced over to third.

The Smokies then opted to intentionally walk the bases loaded to set up a matchup between Kirk and Nick Ramirez. Huntsville pinch hit for Ramirez to avoid the left-handed pitcher versus left-handed batter situation and brought in righty Joey Paciorek. Kirk walked Paciorek on four straight pitches and the Stars won the game 2-1.

David GoForth (2-2) allowed three hits, but kept the Smokies scoreless over the ninth and tenth while earning the win.

The loss dropped the Smokies to eight and a half games out of first behind the Stars. Huntsville’s magic number to clinch the Southern League North Division First Half Championship is now 10.

First baseman Dustin Geiger put the Smokies on the board first with a run batted in single in the third. Kris Bryant reached on a one-out walk in the inning, Rafael Lopez moved him to third with a single and Geiger brought him home with a single through second.

Tennessee’s third inning run was all that they managed to score in the game despite having several run scoring opportunities throughout the game. The Smokies stranded 16 men on base and were 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

Corey Black started for the Smokies and did not allow a run over 5 and 1/3 innings pitched. he walked four, but struck out six and allowed just three hits in his scoreless effort.

Relievers Tony Zych and Lendy Castillo also appeared in the game for Tennessee. Zych pitched one and 2/3 scoreless innings. Castillo added a scoreless frame as well in his appearance.


Categories: Game Recap

Author:Greg Young

Greg Young brings five years of Minor League Baseball experience to the Smokies Radio Network, having previously served with the High-A Modesto Nuts of the California League. He began with the Nuts as a Broadcast Assistant in 2007 before being promoted as the team's new Director of Broadcasting the following year, a position he held through the 2011 campaign. During his time with Modesto, Young also worked at KESP AM-790 as a Sports Anchor. Over the years he has worked as a broadcaster for Comcast Hometown Network and their coverage of the San Jose Giants (High-A, California League) and Fresno Grizzlies (Triple-A, Pacific Coast League), in addition to high school football and basketball. Young began his broadcasting career with the Major Indoor Soccer League's California Cougars in 2006 and was the club's inaugural broadcaster before being promoted to Director of Media Relations and Broadcasting the next year. Young is a 2005 graduate of Sacramento State University, earning a Communications degree with an emphasis in Digital Media. During his senior year, Young was Sports Director for the university's student-run radio radio station KSSU, and also did play-by-play for the school's baseball, football and basketball teams while attending Sacramento State.


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