The Tennessee Smokies lost a heartbreaker tonight in Game 2 of the Southern League Championship Series, 1-0 in 11 innings to the Mobile Bay Bears (Diamondbacks).
This was a game of missed opportunities for the Smokies as their pitching couldn't have been better. But the Smokies had runners in scoring position in the first, second, eighth and tenth innings and failed to cash in each time. The first inning was especially frustrating as Jim Adduci lead off with a single and stole second, but when the throw went into center field, Adduci tried to advance to third base where he was thrown out. One batter later, Blake Lalli doubled.
In the eighth inning, the Smokies got another double from Lalli with two outs, and pinch-runner David Macias advanced to third on a wild pitch. But Macias was stranded when Rebel Ridling grounded out.
The Smokies pitching and defense was so strong, that through ten innings the BayBears sent the minimum thirty batters to the plate. They were helped out by four double plays and a pick-off play at first. Starter Brooks Raley pitched six innings and allowed but one hit. He didn't walk anyone and struck out five. But Raley was matched by Diamondbacks top prospect Jarrod Parker, who was strong for six innings after pitching out of trouble in the first and second innings.
Raley was relieved by Jeff Stevens, who threw a scoreless inning and Jeff Beliveau, who threw two scoreless innings.
Rafael Dolis came out to pitch the tenth inning and allowed a leadoff single but picked that runner off of first base. Then after an infield error, Dolis induced a 6-4-3 double play. But then he allowed a leadoff single in the eleventh inning. After a strikeout and a pop up, Dolis allowed two straight two-out singles to allow the winning run.
The Smokies had six hits tonight. First baseman Lalli was 2 for 4 with two doubles.
The Smokies are off tomorrow as the two teams travel back to Eastern Tennessee for Game 3 of the best-of-five series. Ryan Searle is scheduled to take the mound against BayBears pitcher Tyler Scaggs.