Former Northeast Guilford hurler Mitch Atkins and Smokies stifle Mudcats…

Smokies pound Mudcats Friday in 8-3 win

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Smokies benefited from a potent offense and a stellar pitching performance to beat the Carolina Mudcats tonight by the score of 8-3 Friday night. The win was the fourth in five games against the Mudcats, and brought the excited crowd of 4,465 fans to their feet for the final out of the game. The win moved the Smokies to 22-33 on the season. Tennessee got a huge pitching performance from starter Mitch Atkins (4-5), who mowed down the Mudcats in order through the first three innings.

In the bottom of the third, the offense took over and gave Atkins a 3-0 cushion. Matt Camp got things started with a one out single, advancing to third on a two out single by Matt Craig. Doug Deeds then delivered for the Smokies with a double down the right field line off Mudcats pitcher Derell McCall (1-2) to score Camp. Jake Fox then followed with a double of his own to score both Craig and Deeds, and the Smokies had taken the early lead.

Atkins continued his domination on the mound through the fourth inning, allowing just a single walk and no hits through four. But the Mudcats were able to get to him in the fifth, with a lead off home run by Lee Mitchell, followed by another solo shot by Kris Harvey to cut the Smokies lead to 3-2. The Smokies offense picked up Atkins with an additional four runs in bottom of the fifth, and had some help from the Carolina defense with some costly errors. The was highlighted by another RBI single off the bat of Deeds, who went 2-4 on the night and had several key defensive plays. Chris Robinson also delivered for the second night in a row with a single to score two runs and give the Smokies a 7-2 advantage.

Atkins went seven strong innings on the night, allowing three runs on just four hits, striking out eight batters while allowing just one walk. Jesse Estrada came on in relief in the eighth, and was equally as effective in throwing two scoreless innings without allowing a hit. The Smokies took to the road on Saturday to begin a five game series against the West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx, the AA affiliate of the Seattle Mariners.

*****courtesy of:Carmine Pagano CSCS Carolina Acceleration Sports Training 3917 High Point Road…*****