For a time Sunday, it appeared that the Lookouts might be able to rally and force the playoffs into a final fifth game. But going into the playoffs, Chattanooga was clearly the underdog having lost key players through trades or injuries. Saturday night's win was memorable for the way in which four pitchers -- Chris Reed, Oneila Garcia, Jose Dominguez, and Steven Ames -- combined to shutout Jackson.
While out hitting Chattanooga Sunday -- 18 to 6 -- the Generals were missing numerous scoring opportunities. They ended up leaving a season-high 16 runners on base. The Lookouts left 9 men on base.
Comeback hopes were dashed after Mike Zunino's three-run home run in the ninth inning -- one of the longest ever hit at AT&T Field. Asked if he had hit any homers as long, the former Florida Gator star and college Player of the Year commented meekly, "I've hit a few."
Whereas the Generals had six players with at least two hits in the game, only Luis Nunez had two hits for the Lookouts. Three Jackson players, collected three hits.
Inning by inning recap of Sunday's 8-2 loss.
Chattanooga escaped a bases loaded jam in the first inning but Jackson scored a run in the second frame. Nate Tenbrink hit a two-out double and made his way home on a hit by Brad Miller.
Tenbrink made it 2-0 in the fourth with a solo shot.
Jackson loaded the bases in the top of the sixth, and Chih-Hsien Chiang came through with a two-RBI single to make it, 4-0.
The Lookouts scored their first runs in the bottom portion of the sixth inning and could have had even more. Rafael Ynoa led off the inning with a walk and advanced to third on a Nick Buss double. Jake Lemmerman followed with a sacrifice fly to center to plate Ynoa. After a J.T. Wise struck out, Nunez ripped a double to put the score at 4-2. Brahiam Maldonado then walked to put runners on first and second. A wild pitch by reliever Yoervis Medina put both runners into scoring position, but Joc Pederson grounded out to first to end the threat.
Poythress hit an RBI single in the eighth to add an insurance run to the Jackson total, but the game was not out of reach until Mike Zunino's three-run homer in the ninth.
Ironically former Lookout Logan Bawcom, who went to Jackson by way of an earlier trade, was on the mound in the bottom of the ninth and recorded the final three outs to preserve the win for the Generals.
Jackson will play a best-of-five series against the Mobile BayBears, winners of the South Division, for the Southern League Championship.
And so the Lookouts’ exciting and eventful 2012 season came to an end on an absolutely perfect Sunday afternoon. For the second consecutive season the Lookouts made the playoffs but went down to defeat in the first round of the playoffs.
The Lookouts will open the 2013 season at AT&T Field against the Huntsville Stars on April 4th. For season ticket information, fans my contact the Lookouts Box Office at (423) 267-4849.
Manager Jim Pankovitz congratulates Mike Zunino for his mammoth ninth-inning three-run homer.
- Photo2 by Tim Evearitt