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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