Mitch Atkins formerly of Northeast Guilford High School had his best pitching outing of the season as the Tennessee Smokies, AA affilliates of the Chicago Cubs, defeated the Mobile BayBears 8-1 at Smokies Park in Sevierville, Tennessee.
Early offense powers Smokies to 8-1 win
Sevierville, TN – The Tennessee Smokies jumped out to an early lead on the visiting Mobile BayBears and never looked back in a convincing 8-1 win in front of 5,051 fans at Smokies Park. The win vaulted the Smokies to 3-2 for the second half of the season, as Mitch Atkins (6-6) had his most solid outing of the season.
The Smokies offense got going early tonight, scoring three runs in the first and second innings to chase BayBears starter Cody Evans (2-4). Evans walked the first two batters he faced in the game in Sam Fuld and Matt Camp, and still nearly escaped the inning unscathed. With two out, Kyle Reynolds laced a single to right field to score Fuld, and the Smokies took the early lead. Tennessee was then aided by a fielding error by Mobile shortstop Yunesky Sanchez, which scored two runs and gave the Smokies a 3-0 lead.
Tennessee tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the second. With one out, Fuld cracked a double down the right field line and then stole third base to move into scoring position with one out. After Tyler Colvin walked, Jake Fox continued his torrid hitting this homestand with a three-run home run to put the Smokies up 6-0. Fox has hit at least one RBI in the last six games in which he has appeared, and was 3-5 on the night with three RBI. Catcher Welington Castillo continued the hit parade for the Smokies with a solo home run of his own in the third to give Tennessee a 7-0 advantage.
Atkins pitched a solid game tonight, scattering six hits over seven innings and striking out four Mobile batters in earning his sixth win of the season. Ed Campusano came on for Atkins in relief for his first appearance at Smokies Park since April. Although he struggled at times, Campusano got through two innings allowing the lone run of the game for the BayBears.
Tennessee will look to claim the series on Sunday night at Smokies Park with game time at 5:00 pm. The Smokies will send left-hander Donnie Veal (3-5, 3.10) to the mound to face off against BayBears right-hander and former Walters State Senator Adam Howard (5-3, 4.65). The Smokies will have a day off on Monday, and then head to face the West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx for a six-game set on Tuesday June 24th.
*****Courtesy of Carmine Pagano Carolina Acceleration Sports on High Point Road*****