The Lookouts (11-16) came into Friday night’s game trying to keep the Smokies (15-13) from taking the first three games of the series with the Smokies having won seven of the first eight times the two teams have met this year. The Lookouts' offense hit well, but ultimately fell short, losing 8-7 on a Friday Fireworks Night at AT&T Field in front of 4,576 fans.
Trailing 2-0 in the second, Chattanooga outfielder Scott Schebler continued to smack the ball in and out of the stadium when he belted a home run in the bottom of the inning.
His solo home run was the fourth of the home stand for Schebler and the fifth in his last 14 games.
An inning later the bats started to heat up and the Lookouts had a plethora of players running around the bases. Infielder Darnell Sweeney started it all by doubling down the right field line just out of the reach of the Smokies’ diving first baseman. After Ryan Adams was hit by a pitch Jeremy Hazelbaker hit a line drive over the head of the right fielder, bringing both players home on a triple. The rally continued as O’Koyea Dickson guided one in-between the third baseman and the shortstop to plate Hazelbaker. Schebler then singled to right and Erisbel Arruebarrena added a sacrifice fly before the end of the inning to give the Lookouts the 5-2 lead.
Lookouts' starting pitcher Chris Reed pitched admirably, accruing eight strikeouts in just over five innings. The lefty now has 36 strikeouts on the year, which is good for second best in the Southern League. In the sixth inning, Reed ran into a little trouble and was taken out of the game with the bases loaded. The Smokies eventually batted all the way through their lineup in the inning, bringing 12 batters to the plate and scoring six runs to take a 8-5 lead.
Since it was only the sixth inning the Lookouts still had time to make a late-inning come back. Pinch-hitter Brian Cavazos-Galvez ignited the rally with a ground-rule double near the right field foul pole. A sacrifice fly by Sweeney along with an error by the Smokies third baseman allowed two runs to come across to bring the Lookouts within one run of tying the game.
The Lookouts' offense ran out of steam as they were held scoreless in the last three innings of the game. Pedro Baez entered the game for Chattanooga and threw two scoreless innings, but the Lookouts came up short and lost 8-7.
The game was not played well defensively with a total of seven errors.
RHP Andres Santiago (0-1, 4.50 ERA) will get the start for Saturday night’s game and have the task of trying to shut down a very hot Smokies team. It’s a great night to come to the ballpark, as BBoy McCoy will be the night's entertainment and that’s not something that you’ll want to miss.
Notes: The Lookouts pitching staff combined for 11 strikeouts on the night. In each of the previous two games, the Lookouts’ pitchers had 10 strikeouts and came into the game with the fourth most strikeouts in the Southern League.
Scott Schebler hit a solo home run.
- Photo2 by Tim Evearitt