MOBILE. AL --- Monday's Southern League game at Hank Aaron Stadium had a Twilight Zone parallelism. Each team's first baseman - Chattanooga's O'Koyea Dickson and Mobile's Jon Griffin - led off the second inning with a home run over the left-field fence. Each team's starting pitcher - Mobile's Mike Lee and Chattanooga's Garrett Gould - plated his team's second run with a double into the left-center gap. Each team loaded the bases in the ninth off hard-throwing relievers - Chattanooga's Pedro Baez and Mobile's Jimmie Sherfy - but failed to score. Each team got two runners on base in the 10th inning.
That's where the parallelism ended. Chattanooga got one of its runners home, Mobile did not and the 6-5 decision ended the Lookouts four-game losing streak and ended their five-game series on a winning note.
Dickson's one-out walk off Mobile's seventh pitcher, Blake Cooper (3-1), started Chattanooga's 10th-inning rally. Running on a 3-2 pitch, Dickson went to third on Ryan Adams' pinch-hit single up the middle. That allowed him to score on Chris O'Brien's sac fly to center.
Chattanooga (17-27) held on in the 10th despite some misadventures in the field. Jake Lamb led off the home half of the 10th by lining a single past second baseman Darnell Sweeney. Dustin Martin lofted popup into shallow left field off reliever Matt Shelton. Left fielder Casio Grider ran into Erisbel Arruebarrena, sending both players sprawling and the Lookouts trainer running onto the field, but the Chattanooga shortstop held on to the ball for the out. Mike Freeman hit the ball sharply to first, where Dickson gloved it, stepped on first for the second out and threw to second to try to head off Lamb and end the game. But his throw skipped past Arruebarrena. Shelton got Tom Belza to ground out to Dickson to end the game -- the Chattanooga first baseman's seventh unassisted putout of the game.
Baez, who pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers two weeks ago, walked Belza, gave up a two-out single to Garrett Weber, then decided to walk David Peralta after falling behind 2-0. With the bases loaded, Griffin put some electricity into Hank Aaron Stadium with a long line drive that landed foul down the left-field line before Baez struck him out to end the inning.
After Dickson homered down the left-field line to give Chattanooga a 1-0 lead in the second, Mobile answered with a leadoff homer in its half of the frame - a long ball onto BayBear Mountain by Griffin. Mobile didn't stop there. After singles by Martin and Freeman, Lee helped himself with a two-out, two-run double. Sean Jamieson's double completed the four-run outburst.
Chattanooga got two of the runs right back in the third, with Gould doubling in a run and scoring on Jeremy Hazelbaker's single.
Jamieson doubled again in the fifth and scored when Lamb beat out a two-out chopper.
Trailing 5-3, Chattanooga got a two-out, run-scoring double from O'Brien in the sixth. In the seventh, Noel Cuevas led off with a double off reliever Kaleb Fleck, went to third on Brian Cavazos-Galvez's pinch-hit flare to right and scored on Sweeney's long foul out to left to tie the game.
The Southern League announced Monday that Hazelbaker has been named the Southern League Hitter of the Week for the period of May 12-18. Hazelbaker is the first Chattanooga Lookouts’ player to earn a weekly accolade from the league this season.
Coming into the week, Hazelbaker had a .269 batting average with two home runs and 12 RBIs. In his next six games the outfielder posted four multi-hit games to raise his average to .302. Hazelbaker’s batting average is now the ninth highest in the Southern League.
Following an off-day Tuesday, the Lookouts are home Wednesday night to open a five-game set with the Mississippi Braves.
----- Source: Al.com
Jeremy Hazelbaker -- Southern League Hitter of the Week.
- Photo2 by Tim Evearitt