The Tennessee Smokies scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning for a dramatic come-from-behind victory over the Mobile BayBears, 4-2. The win staved off elimination in the Southern League Championship Series. They now trail Mobile in the best-of-five series two games to one.
Ryan Seale got the start against Moblie's ace Tyler Scaggs, but Searle didn't get any help from his defense in the first inning. After a leadoff single, a passed ball moved the runner to second base who then scored on an error by second baseman Nate Samson. A wild pitch then allowed BayBear first baseman Ryan Wheeler to score all the way from second base and the Smokies found themselves down 2-0 before they even came to bat.
But the Smokies pitching staff didn't allow another run to score the rest of the game. Searle pitched five innings and gave up two unearned runs on three hits. He walked one and struck out three. Searle was relieved by Hung-Wen Chen, who pitched two shutout innings, allowing only one hit. He didn't walk anyone and struck out one.
The Smokies got on the board in the bottom of the second inning to make it 2-1 on a Nate Samson double that scored Rebel Ridling. Samson was 1 for 4 tonight.
Jeff Beliveau threw a scoreless inning in the top of the eighth inning and got the win when the Smokies struck back for three runs in the bottom of the inning. Pinch-hitter Nelson Perez tied the game with a lead-off home run. The next batter, Jim Adduci, walked. After a sacrifice bunt and an intentional walk, Rebel Ridling singled home Adduci with the go-ahead run. The Smokies got another run with two outs in the eighth inning on a BayBear error.
Rafael Dolis entered the game in the ninth inning and despite giving the Smokies faithful a scare, he nailed down the save. Dolis allowed two baserunners on a hit batsman and a single, but got a long fly out to end the game. Dolis had one strike out.
The Smokies will try to force a fifth game tomorrow as they take the field at 4 pm Central Time. Trey McNutt is scheduled to pitch for the Smokies.