In the opener, a pitcher considers a three-run cushion to begin his night a rare gift, indeed, and Chattanooga's Zach Lee did not let it go to waste.
Late Saturday afternoon, Lee got the call when Friday's suspended game resumed, and the three runs Chattanooga put up in the rain the night before became his good fortune. But the former No. 1 pick was more than up to the challenge, working six shutout innings to earn his ninth win of the season, 5-2 over Huntsville in the makeup doubleheader at AT&T Field.
Lee (9-9) struck out eight to take over the Southern League lead in that category before turning it over to MIchael Thomas and Hector Nelo, who worked an inning apiece. Chris Reed was the tough-luck starter who got in an inning before the rains came Friday.
The rare big inning, coming on the heels of Thursday's 13-inning, wasted no time taking Stars starter Andy Moye to the woodshed.
Rafael Ynoa singled, stole second and was joined on the bases moments later when Thursday hero Jeremy Moore also walked. Sean Burroughs broke the ice with an RBI single. Angelo Songco, who had a clutch hit in Thursday's win, followed with a two-out, two-run double.
Once play resumed Saturday, the Lookouts built their lead to 4-0 on a Jeremy Moore RBI single in the fourth. With Lee clamped down on the Stars, the margin stayed the same until the seventh on yet another clutch RBI hit from Songco. The Stars run came against Thomas.
The Lookouts outhit the Stars 10-to-6 in the nine-inning opener.
Out hitting the Stars, 5-to-2, Huntsville pushed across two runs in the seventh to nip the Lookouts, 3-2.
J.T. Wise hit a tremendous two-run home run over the left-center field wall in the first inning. For the Lookouts, those would be their only runs of the game.
The Stars scored a run in the fifth and in their final at bat in the top of the seventh received a gift of two walks from reliever Yimi Garcia. Mike Walker hit a ball in the gap to score Jason Rogers and Brock Kjeldgaard with what would be the winning runs.
The Lookouts had runner at first and second in their half of the final inning when Brian Cavazos-Galvez grounded into a force out to end the game.
Chattanooga starting pitcher Andres Santiago went 6.0 innings giving up a run on only one hit. -- Roger's 20th home run of the year.
The teams meet again Sunday afternoon at 2:15 p.m. for the final game of the series.