The Tennessee Smokies capped off their 2012 home season in walk-off fashion Tuesday night thanks to Logan Watkins, whose game-winning home run in the bottom of the 10th inning gave the Smokies a 6-5 win. The victory, in front of 3,852 fans, puts the Smokies at 33-32 in the second half, 68-67 overall. Mobile drops to 27-36, 67-68.
With one out in the 10th, Watkins blasted a Kevin Munson (3-5) offering to deep right to give the Smokies their 41st home win of the season. The Wichita, Kan. native rescued Kevin Rhoderick and Frank Batista (2-0), who failed to preserve a 5-3 Smokies lead heading into the eighth.
Tennessee starter Austin Kirk gave up three runs over the first three innings to give Mobile an early 3-0 lead. Chris Owings and Jon Griffin homered and Alfredo Marte drove in Evan Frey to give the BayBears the three-run advantage.
The Smokies on the board in the fourth when Mike Brenly hit his sixth home run of the season to narrow the Smokies deficit, 3-1.
Tennessee sent eight batters to the plate in the seventh inning to take over the lead. Junior Lake led off with a single and stole second and came in on a Matt Cerda single. Brenly added to his great offensive night with a single and a throwing error on left fielder Ollie Linton allowed Cerda to score to tie the game at three. Mike Burgess hit a pinch-hit single to score Brenly and following a walk by Matt Szczur and a Watkins fly out, that allowed Burgess to advance to third. A balk by BayBears reliever Eric Smith scored Burgess to give the Smokies a 5-3 lead.
Kirk settled in to finished the game allowing three runs, two earned, on seven hits in seven innings. He was replaced by Rhoderick who allowed an RBI single by David Nick in the eighth inning to bring the BayBears within one run. In the ninth Batista allowed a lead-off home run to Linton to tie the game at five and set the night's heroics for Watkins.
Following an off day on Wednesday, the Smokies will head to Pensacola, Fla. for the final series of the 2012 campaign.
GAME NOTES: The Smokies welcomed 251,112 fans to Smokies Park in 2012...Rubi Silva (1-for-4) extended his hitting streak to six games...Junior Lake (1-for-3) now has a five game hitting streak.