(Submitted, Tennessee Smokies) The Tennessee Smokies (10-21) fell to the Rocket City Trash Pandas (16-16) 6-4 at Smokies Stadium Thursday night. RHP Peyton Remy pitched 5.2 innings in his Smokies Stadium debut and the Smokies led after seven innings before a Torii Hunter Jr. home run in the ninth secured the win for Rocket City. Trash Pandas outfielder Izzy Wilson finished 4-for-4 with two solo home runs.
The Smokies bats came ready, scoring two runs in the first inning thanks to three consecutive hits. Darius Hill singled, Christopher Morel drove him in with a triple, then scored on Chase Strumpf’s RBI single.
Rocket City cut the Smokies lead in half in the second inning as Wilson hit a solo home run to right field. The Trash Pandas would claim the lead an inning later after Orlando Martinez’s two-run home run.
The Smokies tied the game in the fourth inning, Tyler Payne doubled and scored on Grayson Byrd’s RBI groundout.
After stranding baserunners in the fifth and sixth innings, the Smokies reclaimed the lead in the seventh. Morel walked and moved to third on Strumpf’s single. Morel scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch to give the Smokies a 4-3 lead.
The lead was short lived as Wilson hit a solo home run off LHP Wyatt Short (L, 0-3), his second of the night, to tie the game in the eighth. An inning later, Hunter Jr. hit a two-run home run off Short to give the Trash Pandas a 6-4 lead they would not relinquish.
Remy turned in a strong performance Thursday, allowing three runs on five hits in 5.2 innings. LHP Ryan Lawlor struck out 3 over 1.1 scoreless innings. Hill and Strumpf both finished 2-for-5, Hill scored once and Strumpf drove one in. Morel reached three times, he tripled, walked twice, and scored twice.
The Smokies and Trash Pandas continue their series at Smokies Stadium on Friday night, with first pitch scheduled for 7 PM.