FARMINGTON – Tyler Pittman and Eric McDaniel each hit a solo home run, and Justin Holmes pitched eight scoreless innings on Sunday to lead the Farmington Firebirds in a 4-0 home win over Tennessee.
The Firebirds (23-20) claimed their sixth victory in 10 tries against the T’s to take the season series. Holmes (4-4) struck out six batters while scattering three hits and three walks in what was likely the next to last start in his baseball career.
Josh Manning needed just six pitches to toss a perfect ninth inning, completing an outstanding run of 23 consecutive frames without an earned run allowed by Firebirds pitching in the three-game weekend set.
Farmington failed to score after loading the bases without the benefit of a hit in the first inning, but broke through against Tennessee starter Brian Winston in the third. Tony Spencer slapped a leadoff infield single and stole second base before scoring on a Zak Blemker sacrifice fly.
McDaniel also utilized a stolen base after ripping a single to reach scoring position in the fourth. Austin Swain then delivered a two-out RBI single to left in his return to the starting lineup, giving the Firebirds a 2-0 advantage.
Pittman continued his dismantling of the Tennessee pitching staff by crushing his team-leading seventh home run with one out in the fifth. The blast was the fifth for Pittman against the T’s this season.
McDaniel hooked his first homer of the summer over the wall in right to begin the sixth, finishing the day 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Spencer also provided a 2-for-4 showing for Farmington.
Winston allowed four earned runs on six hits over 5 1/3 innings in defeat with three strikeouts and three walks. Anthony Albonetti finished up with 2 2/3 frames of shutout relief for the T’s.
Tennessee (19-25) wasted a quality scoring chance in the top of the fifth after Craig Barrow walked, and Winston singled up the middle to put runners at the corners with no outs.
Seth Stanfill was robbed of a hit in the eighth when his screaming line drive struck Holmes directly in the stomach. Holmes somehow managed to absorb the impact, and cradled the baseball with his glove to record the out.
Ryan Becker blasted a double off the left-center fence in the fifth, and reached base three times overall for the Firebirds, while Blemker and Michael Hall also added singles.
Preston Potter and Drew Hayes had hits for the T’s, who brought a depleted roster of 11 players into the contest.
The Firebirds will resume their current homestand tonight with a 7 p.m. battle against Union City.
Tennessee 000 000 000 – 0 3 0
Farmington 001 111 00x – 4 9 0
WP – Holmes 8i 0r 3h 6k 3bb.
LP – Winston 5 1/3i 4r 6h 3k 3bb 2hb.
Tennessee – Potter, Hayes, Winston.
Farmington – McDaniel 2, Spencer 2, Pittman, Becker, Blemker, Hall, Swain. 2b – Becker. HR – Pittman (7), McDaniel (1).