Montgomery left fielder Joey Rickard smashed what turned out to be the game-winning run-scoring double in the tenth while University of Tennessee and Farragut high school alum Matt Ramsey fired the final three innings of one-hit ball to propel the Biscuits to a 3-2 extra-inning win over the Tennessee Smokies on Monday evening at Smokies Stadium.
With the victory, Montgomery improved their second half and overall records to an even .500 mark with the former at 6-6, while the latter was bumped up to 41-41. The defeat dropped the Smokies to 8-4 since the midpoint of the season, in addition to an overall season tally of 41-40, though they continue to lead the Huntsville Stars by one game in the second half North Division standings.
After trading zeroes since the fourth, the two teams entered the tenth even at 2-2 before the Biscuits would break the draw and even the series. CF Kes Carter reached base on a force out, and then stole second, before coming across on Rickard’s double to deep left-center to put the Biscuits ahead for good.
Biscuits closer Matt Ramsey (3.0 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 4 SO) earned the victory with his three shutout innings in relief, yielding a lone hit while fanning four Smokies, to up his record to 3-0 following reliever Matt Lollis'(3.0 IP, 3 H, 4 SO) three scoreless frames. Smokies relief man Tony Zych (1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO) suffered the loss to fall to 2-4 while also snapping a scoreless innings streak that spanned 10.2 innings, the second longest such stretch of the year by a Tennessee hurler.
Neither club’s starting pitcher factored in the final decision, despite a quality start from Matt Loosen, his fifth of the year and second in a row. Loosen (6.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 SO) allowed just two earned runs on only two hits in six innings, striking out five. Jeff Lorick (1.1 IP, 3 SO) and Lendy Castillo (1.2 IP, 1 H, 2 SO) combined for three scoreless innings in support of Loosen, while Montgomery starter Grayson Garvin (4.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO) surrendered two earned runs on four hits in four frames pitched.
Tennessee would get on the board first with a two-run second inning. LF Kevin Brown started the two-out rally with an infield base knock, and then would come across on SS Elliot Soto’s line drive double down the right field line to put the Smokies up 1-0. The advantage would subsequently double when CF Jae-Hoon Ha bounced an RBI single up the middle to plate Soto.
Montgomery, meanwhile, would counter immediately with two tallies in the next inning. DH Alejandro Segovia began the third with a double off the left field wall before coming home on Carter’s run-scoring two-bagger, cutting the deficit in half. After Carter advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt, 2B Ryan Brett brought him home with a sacrifice fly to left to nod the contest even at 2-2.
The two teams would then be held silent until the tenth, when the Biscuits broke the draw with their single tally in the extra frame. Ha (2-5, 1 RBI) and Soto (2-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI) each recorded multi-hit efforts in the loss to pace the Smokies batting order, while Segovia (2-3, 1 R, 1 BB) was the lone Biscuits hitter to collect two base knocks in the contest.
The Smokies and Biscuits are scheduled to battle in the third game of the five-game series, with first pitch scheduled for 7:15 p.m. in Kodak. Tennessee is anticipated to send RHP Corey Black (3-5, 3.03) to the bump, while Montgomery is slated to give the ball to LHP Jimmy Patterson (2-0, 4.41).
Every dog has his day at Smokies Stadium on Tuesday nights with Tail Waggin’ Tuesday, presented by Frontline Hartguard. Man’s best friends are more than welcome to join their owners in taking in a ballgame in Kodak.
Tickets for that game and the remainder of the Smokies’ 2014 home schedule are still available and can be purchased online at smokiesbaseball.com, or by calling the Smokies Ticket Office at 286-2300.
Listen to Manager Buddy Bailey’s post-game press conference below: