MONTGOMERY -- Carlos Rojas misplayed a routine grounder to shortstop with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, allowing Chris Nowak to score the winning run in a stunning 4-3 triumph for the Montgomery Biscuits (18-16) over the Tennessee Smokies (16-16). W
ith the win, the Biscuits clinched a series victory over the North Division's first place team. Montgomery has won six of its last seven games. Jason Pridie and Evan Longoria each homered in the game for the Biscuits.
For Longoria, it was his seventh home run of the season and extended his team-record on-base streak to 28 consecutive games. Pridie's blast, a solo shot off Tennessee reliever James Henderson to right field that carried completely out of the stadium, tied the score at 3 in the bottom of the eighth.
After Montgomery closer Dale Thayer (2-0) worked a scoreless top of the ninth, the Biscuits mounted the winning rally against Henderson (2-1) in the bottom of the frame. With one out, Chris Nowak and John Jaso notched back-to-back singles. Shaun Cumberland grounded out to first, advancing Nowak to third and Jaso to second. Josh Arhart followed with a ground ball directly at Rojas, who was playing his first game of the season with Tennessee.
The ball bounced off of the glove of the young shortstop and skipped to his left, as Nowak raced jubilantly home with the game-winning run. The late-inning dramatics denied a decision for either starter. Montgomery lefthander Mike Prochaska lasted five innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and striking out five.
He was outpitched by Tennessee southpaw Donnie Veal, who limited the Biscuits to just two runs on three hits over six innings, whiffing six in the process.
Biscuits manager Billy Gardner, Jr., was not in the dugout to enjoy the unexpected victory. Gardner was in the clubhouse, ejected by first base umpire Arthur Thigpen in the seventh inning for arguing whether a John Jaso line drive down the right field line was fair or foul.
On Friday night, the Biscuits wrap up both the ten-game homestand and the series with Tennessee in a 7:05 p.m. affair at Riverwalk Stadium. It's Charlie Montoyo Figurine Giveaway Night at the ballpark, presented by your local Jeep and Chrysler dealers. The first 3,000 fans in attendance will receive a Charlie Montoyo Figurine, honoring the Biscuits' manager for the first three years of the Biscuits existence, as well as the man who took the team to the 2006 Southern League Championship.
The pitching matchup will see Montgomery lefty Jon Barratt (0-0, 6.75) head to the hill against Tennessee righthander Sean Gallagher (3-2, 3.82).