Rocket City Trash Pandas fall flat in final game of 2023 season vs. Tennessee Smokies

Rocket City Trash Pandas
Rocket City Trash Pandas(Rocket City Trash Pandas)
Published: Sep. 17, 2023 at 4:20 PM CDT
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KODAK, Tenn. (WAFF) - The Rocket City Trash Pandas ended the 2023 season on a bittersweet note following a loss to the Tennessee Smokies on Sunday afternoon.

This concludes the third season wrapped in franchise history for the Trash Pandas in a 3-1 defeat to the Smokies at Smokies Stadium.

The team finishes off the season third in the Southern League North Division standings with a 58-80 record after losing five of six to Tennessee in the final series of the season.

As for this matchup, the battle of the North Division rivals began on a scoreless note, with both starters gaining early contact and getting outs with limited traffic on the basepaths.

Tennessee was able to squeak through in the bottom of the third against Trash Pandas righty Cole Percival. Runners on the corners and with one out, a sacrifice fly from Andy Weber added in the first run of the afternoon. A ball and a stolen base moved Jordan Nwogu to third base. Matt Shaw was able to drive in Nwogu with a sacrifice fly to center, giving the Smokies a 2-0 lead.

Two innings later, the Trash Pandas managed to get a momentum shift following a run off Smokies starter Chris Kachmar. David Calabrese was hit by a pitch to put two on with two outs. Adrian Placencia followed with a single to shallow center, bringing Campero home from second to get the Trash Pandas on the board.

Over five innings, Percival (L, 1-5) allowed only two runs on three hits with no walks and two strikeouts. However, that was not enough to help the Trash Pandas outlast the Smokies.

How fitting that the final game against the Smokies will also be their competitor again to begin the 2024 season on April 5 at Smokies Stadium.

The home opener at Toyota Field is slated for April 9, 2024 against the Birmingham Barons. For more information on the 2024 season, click here.

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