Trash Pandas take series in Tennessee with 4-2 win, return home for 4th of July
Five Trash Pandas record two hits in third straight win
By Aaron Cheris
KODAK, Tennessee – The Rocket City Trash Pandas jumped out to an early lead, and four relievers worked around runners all night, defeating the Tennessee Smokies 4-2 in the finale of their six-game series at Smokies Stadium on Sunday night.
The victory gives the Trash Pandas a series win in the opening series of the second half, taking four of six games from their North Division rivals.
Tennessee opened the scoring in the bottom of the first against Trash Pandas starter Adam Seminaris on an RBI double to left from Jake Slaughter. That would prove to be the only run Seminaris allowed for the duration of his outing.
Rocket City got the run right back in the top of the second off Smokies starter Walker Powell (L, 0-1). Zach Humphreys, Ryan Aguilar, and Kevin Maitan all singled to bring in the tying run, and Jordyn Adams continued his torrid pace to start his Trash Pandas tenure with an RBI single of his own to score Aguilar and make it 2-1 Trash Pandas.
Seminaris worked around baserunners in the second, third, and fourth to maintain the one-run lead. The Trash Pandas extended the lead an inning later when Bryce Teodosio began the inning with a walk and Jose Gomez singled to put runners on first and second. With a double steal in motion, Teodosio took third and Gomez stole second. Smokies’ catcher Cam Balego’s throw was off the mark for an error, allowing Teodosio to score and Gomez to advance to third.
Pitching with a two-run lead, Seminaris quickly retired the Smokies in order in the fifth. He got the first out of the sixth before back-to-back singles from Matt Mervis and Chase Strumpf ended his night. Zach Linginfelter quicky allowed a single to Bryce Ball, loading the bases with one out. But the Knoxville native got through the jam unscathed, striking out Alexander Canario and inducing a fly out from Balego to end the inning.
Zach Humphreys’ RBI single to center in the top of the seventh increased the Rocket City advantage to 4-1. Tennessee answered with Slaughter’s second RBI hit of the night, a single to left off Jack Dashwood, to make it 4-2. Kolton Ingram entered with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh and got Bryce Ball to pop up, preserving the lead and getting out of a bases-loaded jam for the second straight inning. Ingram induced an inning-ending double play in the eighth.
In the ninth, closer Eric Torres (S, 9) shut down the Smokies with a strike out, a fly out to left, and a pop up to second to finish the win and earn his ninth save of the season to tie for the Southern League lead.
Five Trash Pandas recorded two hits in the win. Adams was 2-for-4 with an RBI, giving him a hit and an RBI in all four of his games for the Trash Pandas after making his Double-A debut on June 30. Seminaris (W, 3-2) picked up the victory, allowing one run on six hits with two walks and five strikeouts over 5.1 innings.
Rocket City (45-30 overall, 4-2 second half) returns home to begin a six-game homestand with a special Independence Day matchup against the Chattanooga Lookouts (36-39 overall, 2-4 second half) on Monday, July 4. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. at Toyota Field. Josh Caray will be on the call for 103.9 FM THE UMP and 730 AM SportsRadio. The game will also be televised locally on WAAY 31.6, This TV.
The Trash Pandas will be wearing specialty Patriotic stars and stripes themed jerseys for the July 4 game. Fans can bid on game worn, autographed specialty jerseys throughout the game by texting ‘patriotic’ to 76278 or by visiting patriotic.givesmart.com The jersey auction will begin at 3 p.m. and end at the conclusion of the seventh inning. Proceeds will benefit Honored Veteran Legacies and the Rocket City Trash Pandas Foundation.
Following the game, the biggest fireworks show of the season will light up the Rocket City sky, courtesy of Raytheon. Monday is also Reeds Jewelers Ladies Night, where ladies will have the opportunity to win great prizes and all fans can enjoy $1 off canned wine, sponsored by Reeds Jewelers.