Smokies Win Second Half North Division Title

The Tennessee Smokies topped the Mobile BayBears on Monday night 6-0 and not only punched their ticket to the post-season but they won the second half title in the Southern League North Division.

Matt Szczur (2-for-4 with two runs scored) and John Andreoli (1-for-2 with a stolen base, two runs scored and two walks) set the table for the Smokies’ offense and Javier Baez (2-for-3 with a home run, sac fly and four RBI) and Christian Villanueva (1-for-3 with a double, a sac fly RBI and a run scored) drove them in. The Smokies outhit Mobile 7-4 and Tennessee’s staff pitched a shutout.

Matt Loosen picked up the win after tossing seven innings of shutout ball. Loosen surrendered only three hits with three walks and six strikeouts on 101 pitches, 62 for strikes. Armando Rivero pitched a scoreless eighth with a strikeout and Frank Batista closed it out in the ninth.

The Smokies improved to 37-26 in the second half and 71-61 on the season with six games remaining on the schedule. The Smokies are post-season bound for the fourth time in five years.

Javier Baez drove in the first run of the game, a single in the first inning that plated Matt Szczur. Christian Villanueva gave the Smokies a 2-0 lead with a sac fly in the first that drove in John Andreoli. And that would be all of the runs that Matt Loosen would need. Baez drove in the Smokies’ third run with a sac fly that plated Matt Szczur.

Javier Baez hit a mammoth, two-run shot in the seventh inning that traveled an estimated 415 feet and left the park. Baez has hit 18 home runs in a Smokies uniform and 35 on the season between the D-Cubs and Smokies.

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  • Tony_Hall

    Playoff baseball!!! Hey soon enough we will have it at Clark and Addison as well, but for know we will take our minor league teams making the playoffs.

    I know wins and losses in the minors don’t always tell the whole story, as you can have an older team or minor league vets filling roles to make a team win. But this team has lots of prospects on it and it is at the AA level. By next season, many of these players will be filling the AAA roster and to me the building of the foundation will be near complete in the phase of filling the minor league teams with talented players. Next step is to graduate players to the show that they can not only play at the major league level, but be able to play as a team and play the games right.

    • 07GreyDigger

      That’s a great point Tony. Next year may be one of the first times in a long time that AAA isn’t full of has beens and never were’s. No more Darnell McDonald, Ty Wright and Brad Nelson!

    • That One Guy

      Define “soon enough….”

      • Tony_Hall

        Not soon enough for everyone…