BY MICHAEL HAMMOND | Minor League Knocks
Aug. 28, 2017 | Birmingham Baron 4, Tennessee Smokies 3, F/11 | Southern League (AA)
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Baseball is an amazing game with millions of possibilities. One of those rare possibilities happened to give the Birmingham Barons a 4-3 win over the Tennessee Smokies at Regions Field on Monday in Birmingham, Alabama.
Monday’s game started with a fairly brisk pace until a run-scoring explosion in the sixth inning. Both starters went five scoreless innings before leaving the game with the bases loaded and being charged with three runs.
In the top of the sixth, Ian Rice walked with the bases loaded to light up the run column on the scoreboard for the first time. Birmingham starter, Alec Hansen, was then relieved by Jack Charleston, who gave up a two-run double to Trey Martin before getting out of the inning with three-straight groundouts.
Birmingham quickly made their 3-0 deficit a tie ballgame in the bottom half. After loading the bases on two hits and a walk, Smokies starter Chris Nunn forced a groundout to get a an out at home before being relieved by James Pugliese. Then like Charleston, Pugliese allowed his starters runs to score on back-to-back singles.
After the sixth, the game once again became a pitching duel, this time with the bullpen. The game moved quickly into extras tied at three. The only real scoring chance came when the Barons left the bases loaded with one out in the 10th.
Kyle Kubat escaped with runners on first and third with one out in the 11th before the Barons went on to win in the bottom half.
With Alfredo Gonzalez on second and Jose Vinicio on first with one out, Mason Robbins came to the plate and put the ball in play for the final time on Monday. Robbins grounded a ball to shortstop Carlos Penalver who flipped it to second baseman Ozzie Martinez at second for the second out. During this process, Gonzalez made an aggressive attempt to score from second on the play and fell into a pickle between third and home after the ball was thrown home. In the pickle, Gonzalez was tripped by Rice, the Tennessee catcher, as he turned back for home and was awarded home on a defensive interference call.
And with that fans in Birmingham were treated to one of baseball’s rarities, a walk-off defensive interference, as the Barons took a 4-3 victory in 11 innings.
Tennessee Smokies 000 003 000 00 – 3 10 1
Birmingham Baron 000 003 000 01 – 4 10 1
8/26 Tennessee 10, Birmingham 3
8/27 Tennessee 4, Birmingham 2
8/28 Birmingham 4, Tennessee 3, F/11
8/29-8/30 Tennessee at Birmingham
Tennessee Smokies (CHC)
#24 David Bote 0/4, R, BB, 2 K .270/.351/.440, 14 HR, 57 RBI
Birmingham Barons (CWS)
#2 Eloy Jimenez 1/4, R, BB, 2 K .347/.373/.612, 3 HR, 6 RBI
#15 Trey Michalczewski 1/5, 2 RBI, K .230/.308/.353, 9 HR, 35 RBI
Regions Field is in its fourth year as home of the Barons. It has high walls throughout the outfield which encases both bullpens behind them, one of the only fields in the Southern League to do so. A modern apartment building can be seen behind left and the Birmingham skyline is seen in right.
Monday was a part of Fan Appreciation Days for the Barons as the season comes to a close. The Barons held a sale at their team store and gave away cups upon exit.
Chattanooga Lookouts at Jackson Generals on Aug. 29.