04/24/06 — Balk sends Smokies past Mudcats

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Balk sends Smokies past Mudcats

Published in Sports on April 24, 2006 2:06 PM

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. -- An eighth-inning balk forced home the go-ahead run as Tennessee edged Carolina 2-1 at Smokies Park on Sunday afternoon.

Mudcats reliever Matt Yourkin entered the game with runners at first and third with one out in a 1-1 game, and prior to delivering a 2-1 pitch to Miguel Montero, the first base umpire charged Yourkin with a balk to bring home Danny Richar with the go-ahead run.

Tennessee (7-11) trailed 1-0 into the eighth after brilliant pitching from Carolina starter James Russ (1-1), who absorbed the tough loss. Russ worked a two-hitter into the eighth before a one-out bunt single by Phil Avlas started the inning. Richar followed with a single to left-center, which took a bad hop behind centerfielder Jose Campusano to allow Avlas to score and Richar to motor to third. After Russ walked Steve Garrabrants, Yourkin entered the game.

Carolina (7-11) scored the game's first run on a sacrifice fly by Russ in the seventh, which scored Jonathan Aceves. Aceves had walked with one out and advanced to third on a bouncing single to right by Jamie Athas. Russ' first professional RBI came two innings after his first pro hit, a single to center in the fifth.

Russ retired the first 11 he faced before walking Montero in the fourth. Tennessee's first hit was a two-out single by Jon Zeringue in the fifth.

Carolina had its opportunities against Steven Jackson, but could not fully break through. Two Mudcats were thrown out stealing in the first inning, then Carolina lined into a double play in the fifth. In the fourth, Lee Mitchell started off the inning with a double, but was trapped between second and third when Ryan Bear drilled a grounder right back to Jackson.

Tony Pena (2-0) earned the win with two scoreless innings.


Mudcats 6, Smokies 5

Ryan Bear gloved a would-be game-tying line drive headed for right field to end the game as Carolina defeated Tennessee 6-5 at Smokies Park on Saturday night.

Carolina had built a 6-2 lead in the fourth inning, but the Smokies trimmed it to one by the ninth.