Villanueva and Rhee Lead Smokies to 6-2 Win

JACKSON – Christian Villanueva drove in two with three doubles and Dae-Eun Rhee allowed one run on just three hits as the Smokies defeated the Generals 6-2 in a rain shortened game at The Ballpark in Jackson on Tuesday night.

Villanueva was 3-for-4 with two runs batted in for the Smokies (4-2, 37-38) who won the game after it was called before the Jackson (2-4, 33-42) half of the eighth inning.

Stephen Bruno got the Smokies out on the right foot with a one-out single in the first off Generals starter Tyler Olson (3-4, 4.17 ERA). A double moments later by Villanueva pushed Bruno to third and he scored later in the inning on a single past second by Rubi Silva. Anthony Giansanti then singled to center to score Villanueva and the Smokies took a 2-0 lead.

Tennessee rallied for two runs on four hits in the first and sent seven batters to the plate. The early rally gave their starter Rhee (4-3, 3.24) a lead to work with and he responded with a scoreless first.

Bruno and Villanueva struck again in the second and combined on another run. This time Bruno reached on an error and Villanueva brought him home with his second double of the game. Villanueva’s double put the Smokies up 3-0 after two.

Rhee, meanwhile, kept the Generals without a run over the first two, but would allow two hits and one run in the third. Jack Marder doubled in the third and scored later in the inning on a single to right from Leon Landry.

Tennessee led 3-1 through the fourth before adding to the lead in the fifth. They collected two hits in the inning and scored once. Like the first and second innings, it was Bruno and Villanueva who combined on the run in the fifth. Bruno singled to third and scored on another Villanueva double.

Bruno scored three runs in the game and was 2-for-3 with one run batted in. He drove in the last of two runs in the sixth with a sacrifice fly to deep center. Jae-Hoon Ha brought in the first run with a RBI double and the Smokies led 6-1 after six.

Rhee pitched through the fifth and into the sixth before leaving the game. He allowed just one run on three hits over 5 and 2/3 innings pitched. The Smokies right-hander walked three and struck out three while earning his first decision since getting a win back on June 7 in Jacksonville.

The five plus inning effort turned in by Rhee was long enough for the win, but one out shy of being considered a quality start. His previous three starts were all quality outings.

Hunter Cervenka followed Rhee in the sixth and would allow a run on four hits over one full inning of work. He struck out two and left the game in the seventh. Lendy Castillo pitched the end of the seventh and retired one batter with a strikeout while earning his first save of the year.

Olsen allowed six runs (three earned) over six innings. He also gave up eight hits and struck out six in the loss. Reliever David Colvin pitched the seventh and part of the eighth. He did not allowed a hit and struck out two over 1 and 1/3 scoreless innings.

The game was called due to rain in the eighth after Colvin struck out Smokies catcher Taylor Davis.

The start of the game was delayed one hour and 43 minutes due to inclement weather.

The series continues on Wednesday afternoon with first pitch scheduled for 1:05 PM EST. The Smokies will send Matt Loosen (3-2, 5.04 ERA) to the mound against Jackson starter Stephen Landazurri (3-2, 3.77 ERA).

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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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