Tennessee Smokies vs. Mississippi Braves (Southern League)
Smokies Stadium-Kodak, TN: This year Brian, Papa, and I decided to kick off the 2019 Minor League season in the Smoky Mountains for opening day. We were staying at the tourist trap this is Gatlinburg, so it wasn’t much of a drive up to the quaint little town of Kodak, Tennessee.
This was our first trip to Smokies Stadium, and it was definitely one I’m glad we were able to come to. The ballpark has some nice sightlines and scenery in the outfield. And, of course, Brian had to get a pic with the Smokies mascot, Homer!
As for the game, it was a back-and-forth thriller. Robel Garcia led the way for the Smokies on offence. He went 3-5 with 2 RBI’s. Jared Young also added an RBI, scored two runs, and went 2-5. On the mound, Wyatt Short earned the victory for Tennessee while Craig Brooks earned the save.
This was a great way to kick off our minor league season, It was a fun game to watch with great company and great weather. Would very much recommend a game here, and we’ll try to get in another game next time we’re in the area.
Tennessee Volunteers vs. Belmont Bruins (NCAA)
Lindsey Nelson Stadium-Knoxville, TN: The first game of our trip this year (not a pure baseball trip, but vacation non-the-less), was a college game in Knoxville. Knoxville is a beautiful town, and the Tennessee campus is great. The only real beef I have with this ballpark is that they didn’t let be bring a bag inside. For many of us that attend games, we know we must have all of our ‘stuff’, including baseball gloves, sun block, camera, rain ponchos, etc. Working for DHS, I understand safety protocal, but not allowing fans to bring their ‘stuff’ in is simply laziness of the security staff, and not wanting to do their jobs.
As for the game, the Volunteers were hosting another Tennessee team, the Belmont Bruins. This was a solid game for the home team, as they put up some runs. Leading the way for the Volunteers were Justin Ammons, who went 2-3 with two runs scored, and Jay Charleston, who went 1-2 with a run scored and three RBI’s. On the mound, Will Heflin earned the win. He pitched three innings allowing one run, and striking out one. FINAL: Volunteers 6, Bruins 2.