From the Birmingham Barons Media Relations:
Birmingham, AL — The Birmingham Barons reclaimed first place Tuesday with a walk-off 3-2 win over the Tennessee Smokies in front of 6,502 fans at Regions Field.
Jared Mitchell gave the Barons a 1-0 lead in the first inning, hitting the fourthpitch from Smokies' starter Pierce Johnson over the Barons bullpen inright-center field for a solo home run. It was his eighth home run in 36 games with the club this year.
Trayce Thompson doubled the lead two innings later with a ringing double off the wall in right field scoring Dan Wagner from second base.
In his first start with the Barons since breaking his hand in early April, Chris Bassitt allowed just one hit and struck out three over 5.0 scoreless IP.
The Smokies broke through with their first run of the game in the eighth inningwhen a slow roller off the bat of Christian Villanueva was bobbled by shortstop Chris Curley for an error allowing Jae-Hoon Ha to score from third base and cutting the Barons lead to 2-1.
A leadoff single by Stephen Bruno in the top of the second proved to be trouble for reliever Nestor Molina (6-2, 4.44) as Ha plated pinch runner Pin-Chieh Chen with a two-out infield single to shortstop, which tied the game at 2-2.
Undaunted, the Barons loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning against reliever P.J. Francescon on base hits by Josh Richmond and Kevan Smith and an intentionalwalk to Christian Marrero bringing Chris Curley to the plate. Facing a 1-2 count, Curley sent a slow rolling ball to shortstop Addison Russell, allowing Richmond to scamper home from third base and setting off a mob scene behindfirst base.
Mitchelland Thompson led the Barons offense with two hits apiece as the Barons improved to 20-18 in the second half and 49-59 overall, moving a half game ahead of the Smokies in the North Division standings.
The Barons will look to pick up a series victory in their last game against the Smokies this season Wednesdaynight as RHP Myles Jaye (2-9, 6.25) takes the hill against LHP Jeffry Antigua (0-1, 3.38). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM CDT.