Two East Tennesseans return home to play at Smokies Stadium

Published: Apr. 21, 2022 at 9:41 PM EDT
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KODAK, Tenn. (WVLT) - In Kodak, it’s a homecoming for two East Tennessee natives as the Tennessee Smokies welcome in the Rocket City Trash Pandas.

Zach Linginfelter and Trey Cabbage take the diamond in East Tennessee for the first time since being drafted to the MLB.

Linginfelter was drafted out of Tennessee in 2019 by the Angels. Cabbage was drafted out of Grainger High School in 2015.

Even in the chaos that is the minor league baseball schedule, Lingenfelter said he still keeps a close eye on his Vols.

“It’s unbelievable,” said Linginfelter. “There’s not many major league teams that got three, four guys that can run it up to or close to 100 MPH. I mean they got the arms. there’s still plenty of guys that I went to school with that are still playing so I love keeping up with them. and obviously, they’re off to a great start.”

Speaking of great starts, in his first ten games with Rocket City, Cabbage has hit three home runs and has 12 RBIs.

He’s also now in the record books. Recently Cabbage recorded the hardest hit by a left-handed hitter in the statcast era.

121 MPH, a number he’s been chasing for some time.

“I’ve been going after it for years,” said Cabbage. “It was honestly disbelief at first until I saw the screenshot of the trackman numbers. I really didn’t believe it, because I had been working at it for so long that it almost felt like a phantom number for the longest time. But I always said if you give me a big-league ball and I’ve got a chance. so, I finally got there.”

His next goal is to hit one out of Smokies Stadium. Which he did in the first inning but with a high fly ball out to right-center field for the first score of the night.

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