The Tennessee Smokies lost to the Mobile BayBears (Diamondbacks), 6-4. This means that the BayBears have won the Southern League Championship, three games to one. It's the third straight season that the Smokies have lost the Southern League Championship in four games.
The Smokies got off to an early lead in the bottom of the first inning when center fielder Jae-Hoon Ha cracked a solo home run. But starting pitcher Trey McNutt gave up a two-run home run in the second inning to surrender the lead. The Smokies would never lead again in this game.
McNutt pitched 4.1 innings and allowed two runs on two hits. He walked four and struck out three.
The real troubles for the Smokies came after McNutt left the game in the sixth inning. Reliever Marcus Hatley entered the game to start the inning and promptly allowed a solo home run. After giving up a walk and a single to the next two hitters, Hatley exited the game for Jeff Stevens. Stevens allowed a single to BayBear John Ford that right fielder Jim Adduci misplayed. Two runs scored on the play and Ford ended up on third base. After a sacrifice fly, the score was 6-1 and the Smokies were in a hole they could not escape.
The Smokies did put up a rally in the seventh inning. Pinch-hitter Nelson Perez singled home Jonathan Mota and two batters later, Ha came to bat and doubled home two to make the score 6-4. But Blake Lalli flied out to end the seventh and the Smokies failed to score the rest of the game.
Center fielder Ha was 3 for 5 with a double and a home run. He had those three RBI. Right fielder Adduci was 2 for 5 and scored once. He also stole two bases.
This is the end of the minor league season for the Cubs farm system. I want to thank all of you for reading all summer and sharing your experiences at minor league parks across the country. I want to thank everyone who commented in the threads and encourage more of you to chip in next season. I'll be back later in the week to let you all vote for the BCB Minor League Player and Pitcher of the year.
Just like the Cubs and Smokies, I can't wait until next year.