Smokies bested by Trash Pandas in series opener

(Tennessee Smokies PR) The Tennessee Smokies (10-19) fell to the Rocket City Trash Pandas (14-16) 8-7 Tuesday night in the series opener at Smokies Stadium. The Smokies trailed by three runs entering the ninth inning before a Darius Hill home run pulled them within one, a Chase Strumpf strikeout ended the comeback bid.

The Smokies took an early lead in the first inning when Hill scored on Levi Jordan’s RBI double.

Rocket City jumped on Smokies’ pitchers Javier Assad and Mateo Bocchi scoring five runs in the second through fourth innings as Gavin Cecchini and Matt Jones both homered.

The Smokies loaded the bases in the fourth inning with walks from Strumpf, Christopher Morel, and Brennen Davis. The Smokies would cut Rocket City’s lead to 5-3 after Grayson Byrd’s RBI groundout and Nelson Maldonado’s RBI single.

The Trash Pandas would distance themselves again in the eighth inning with a Dalton Pompey two-run home run. The Smokies did not go away though, in the bottom half, Tyler Payne hit a two-run blast.

Izzy Wilson’s double in the ninth added an important insurance run for the Trash Pandas. RHP Keith Rogalla would retire the first two Smokies in the ninth before a furious late comeback bid.

Connor Myers doubled and a Hill two-run home run pulled the Smokies within one. Jordan walked to bring Strumpf, the winning run to the plate. The UCLA alum turned on the first pitch, sending it over the left field wall but just foul. Rogalla would strike out Strumpf to end the Smokies comeback effort.

The Smokies and Trash Pandas continue their series at Smokies Stadium on Wednesday night, with first pitch scheduled for 7 PM. LHP Luis Lugo (0-3, 9.19) will face off against RHP Denny Brady (0-1, 3.52).

Wednesday night at Smokies Stadium is All You Can Eat Wednesday presented by M3 Technology. Tickets for the entire 12-game homestand are available and can be purchased online, over the phone, or by visiting the box office.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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