49.2 F
Huntsville
51 F
Muscle Shoals
49 F
Albertville
52 F
Fort Payne

Trash Pandas in decisive Game 3 tonight

 

Box score

MADISON – It comes down to tonight.

The Rocket City Trash Pandas posted the best overall record in the Southern League this season. However, the team must win tonight to reach the Southern League championship series next week.

Rocket City struggled offensively Thursday night in a 4-2 loss to Tennessee in Game 2 of the Southern League North Division best-of-3 series.

The two teams meet tonight at 6:35 in a decisive Game 3 at Toyota Field. The winner advances to the Southern League Championship Series against the winner of the Pensacola-Montgomery South Division Series.

For the Trash Pandas, starter Chase Silseth began the night in dominant fashion, retiring the Smokies in order in the first. He avoided trouble in the second after giving up a walk and a single with one out.

In the third, Tennessee broke the scoreless deadlock. Zach Davis led off with a walk and then stole second and third on consecutive pitches. Yonathan Perlaza followed with a double down the right field line, to score Davis and give the Smokies a 1-0 lead. Silseth limited the damage to the one run by getting Bryce Ball to fly out to center and Nelson Maldonado to ground out to end the inning.

The Trash Pandas answered in the bottom of the inning when Zach Neto crushed Ben Brown’s first offering 367 feet over the left field fence.

An inning later, Rocket City took a 2-1 lead when Ryan Aguilar’s single scored Aaron Whitefield. The Trash Pandas loaded the bases after that but were unable to score.

In the top of the fifth, Silseth held the lead, retiring the Smokies in order. An inning later, he struck out Bryce Ball to start the frame. Nelson Maldonado reached on an error, and that would bring an end to Silseth’s night. Kolton Ingram entered for Rocket City and allowed a single to Cole Roederer. Chase Strumpf then connected on a three-run home run and a 4-2 lead.

Rocket City couldn’t take advantage of a leadoff walk in the sixth, as Horn struck out the next three hitters to hold the lead.

The Trash Pandas posted a mild threat in the ninth when Jeremiah Jackson ripped a two-out double to center field. But Bryce Teodosia flied out to the rightfield wall where Yonathan Perlaza made a leaping catch to end the game.

The Trash Pandas were held to four hits in the loss and Tennessee’s pitching combined to strike out 16 Trash Pandas.

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