Johnson Tosses Gem as Smokies Shutout BayBears

Pierce Johnson

MOBILE, Ala – Pierce Johnson took a no-hitter into the sixth inning for the second straight time and the Smokies offense provided him with three fourth inning runs as Tennessee defeated the BayBears 3-0 in game one of a doubleheader in Mobile on Sunday.

The Smokies (25-24, 58-60) won the first game of the series, but dropped both games of a doubleheader played on Friday night in Mobile (28-19, 70-46). Tennessee entered Sunday’s action with a one game lead over the Birmingham Barons in the Southern League North Second Half Standings

Johnson (5-4, 2.49) took a no-hitter into the sixth inning of Sunday’s seven inning contest and saw it slip away when Nate Samson reached on a two-out bloop single to shallow left.

Samson was just the third base runner of the game for Mobile. They previously saw two reach via base on balls on the fifth.

Johnson struck out eight and walked two over six scoreless innings on Sunday. The Tenenssee starter has not allowed a run and has given up just three hits with 14 strikeouts over his last two starts and 12 innings pitched. Johnson finished the start with one hit allowed over six full innings. He walked two and struck out eight in the dominating scoreless start.

Left-hander Andrew McKirahan (S, 1) followed Johnson out of the bullpen for the seventh inning. He struck out one in the final inning and earned his first save of the season.

Addison Russell helped put Tennessee in front first in game one with a double to left-center in the fourth. His extra base hit came off BayBears’ starter Archie Bradley and would be the spark that ignited a three run inning.

Bradley (2-2, 3.77) would continue the fourth after Russell’s double with a strikeout of Lars Anderson, but would then hit Christian Villanueva with a pitch. Charlie Cutler then followed with a run scoring single to left and Russell scored from second to give the Smokies a 1-0 lead.

Stephen Bruno kept the fourth inning momentum going with a single right-center and Villanueva would come around to score from second to lift the lead to 2-0. The fourth inning scoring concluded with a sacrifice fly to right by Luis Flores and the Smokies took a 3-0 lead.

Bradley pitched through the seventh, and in the complete game effort, allowed just three runs on six hits. He also walked one and struck out six.

Both Russell and Flores reached on doubles in the victory for Tennessee. Flores was 2-for-2 in the game with one run batted in.

Tennessee was 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position and stranded five men on base. The BayBears were 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position and stranded three.

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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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