MOBILE – Tennessee starter Corey Black allowed a career worst four home runs over three and 1/3 innings and the Smokies fell to the BayBears 8-1 in game 1 of a doubleheader in Mobile on Friday evening.
Black (5-7, 3.18) allowed a home run in the Mobile (26-18, 69-45) first to former Tennessee (24-22) infielder Nate Samson and the BayBears took a 1-0 lead.
Samson’s home run was his first of two in the game and the first of four allowed by Black. Opposing starter Aaron Blair (3-1, 3.09) hit a solo shot in the third and Samson would do the same two batters later. Jon Griffin homered for Mobile in the fourth. It was his 15th this season and his sixth this year against Tennessee.
The BayBears led 1-0 after two, but the Smokies tied the game with a run batted in single from Charlie Cutler. Cutler’s run scoring hit brought in Albert Almora, but that would be the only run of the game for Tennessee.
The 1-1 tie did not last long as the BayBears rallied for two on the home runs hit by Blair and Samson. Blair’s homer was a solo blast that came on a 1-2 pitch from Black. Samson’s came two batters later and on a 1-0 offering.
Mobile led 3-1 after three, but scored five times in the fourth on just three hits to extend the lead to 8-1. Griffin led off the inning with a solo homer to stretch the lead to 4-1. Black then hit catcher Mike Thomas with a pitch and while facing Taylor Harbin threw a wild pitch that allowed Thomas to second. Black eventually got Harbin to fly out, but was then pulled from the game.
Black left with a man at second and one out in the fourth. He allowed five runs on six hits over three and 1/3 innings and took the loss. Black also walked one and did not record a strikeout in the loss.
Matt Loosen pitched the final two outs of the fourth, and would allow his one inherited runner to score. Loosen gave up two hits in the inning, including a two-run single to Ryan Court.
Loosen left after the fourth and Lendy Castillo would finish the game by pitching the final two innings. Castillo walked one and gave up two hits over two scoreless innings.
Blair scattered five hits and gave up just one run over five full innings and got the win. The Mobile starter also walked three and struck out three.
Relievers Seth Simmons and Alex Sogard pitched the final two innings in the seven inning game. Simmons struck out one and did not allow a hit. Sogard retired the side in order with three groundouts in the seventh.