Smokies baffle Biscuits; series continues Thursday night

Posted by Tom Ensey -  email

MONTGOMERY, AL – The Tennessee Smokies (28-18) tied a season-high with 17 hits, and Austin Bibens-Dirkx retired the final 17 batters he faced as the Biscuits (24-21) dropped the series opener 3-0 Wednesday at Riverwalk.

The Biscuits will try again with RHP Jeremy Hall on the mound against RHP Craig Muschko at 7:05 pm Thursday.

Bibens-Dirkx (3-1) had given up a single in the first and in the second, but then began mowing through the Biscuits order, striking out four and walking nobody through seven scoreless frames.

The Smokies got their first run in the second inning. Back-to-back swinging bunts and a David Newmann throwing error put runners as the corners to start the frame, with Josh Vitters scoring on a double-play ball to make it 1-0.

Newmann (1-3) allowed just that single unearned run in 6.1 while striking out five and walking none, then gave way to Dane De La Rosa in the seventh. After a single and a double put runners at second and third with two outs, Tony Campana hit a swinging bunt to third. Matt Sweeney's throw to first sailed into left field, and both runs scored to bring the game to its final score of 3-0.

The Biscuits would bring the tying run to the plate in the ninth against Scott Maine (4), but Sweeney struck out to end the contest.

Each of the Smokies' starting nine recorded at least one hit.

The Biscuits are now 5 games behind Jacksonville in the South Division, with the Smokies in first in the North.