Lookouts Open Second-Half With 4-3 Loss To Smokies

Thursday, June 19, 2014
Daniel Mayora went 3-for-4 in the Lookouts' loss.
Daniel Mayora went 3-for-4 in the Lookouts' loss.
- photo by Tim Evearitt
Smokies third baseman Christian Villanueva slapped a walk-off single to center in the bottom of the ninth, while right fielder Rubi Silva added two-run homer as part of a three-hit night in Tennessee's 4-3 walk-off victory over the Chattanooga Lookouts in their second half opener on Thursday evening at Smokies Stadium.

The victory marks the third straight year the Smokies have been victorious in their first game of the second half of the season, and improved their overall record to 34-36.

The Lookouts dropped their overall mark of 2014 to 26-45, and have lost eight of 11 against Tennessee this season.

After allowing the game-tying run in the top of the ninth, the Smokies surged back to walk off for the second consecutive contest after also winning in walk-off fashion in their first half finale. 2B Stephen Bruno began the final frame with a single to center and then moved to second on a throwing error on a pickoff attempt to set the scene for Villanueva. The infielder celebrated his 23rdd birthday in style driving the 1-2 pitch into center field, allowing Bruno to score without a throw.

The Lookouts had evened things up in the top of the frame to force the bottom of the inning. 3B Daniel Mayora started the rally with a double to right, then advanced to third on a groundout prior to being brought home on C Chris O'Brien's run-scoring single to left.

It was a game that ended suddenly and started suddenly, with the Lookouts snatching the lead on the fourth pitch of the evening. 2B Darnell Sweeney led off the contest by smashing his seventh longball of the season over the right field fence to put Chattanooga up 1-0 in the opening frame.

Tennessee, however, would eventually answer with a single tally of their own in the third. Starting pitcher Dae-Eun Rhee helped his own cause by reaching on a bunt single and then took second on an error, and then moved to third on a sacrifice bunt, before coming across on Bruno's sacrifice fly to left to nod the contest even at 1-1.

The Smokies would then take the lead in the sixth with a home run of their own. Following 1B Dustin Geiger's leadoff double to right-center, Silva exited stage right with his two-run blast to right, pushing Tennessee up 3-1.

Chattanooga would narrow the margin to one with their second roundtripper of the evening. This time it was LF Scott Schebler who would leave the yard, homering to center for his 13th longball of the year to make it 3-2. The Lookouts would go on to complete the comeback with their tally in the ninth before Tennessee responded with the walk-off hit.

Rhee (6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO) fired another quality start for the Smokies Thursday, though he did not factor in the decision after allowing a lone earned run on four hits in six solid innings. It was the 25-year-old's seventh quality start of the year, in addition to his third in his last four outings. Lookouts starter and former Tennessee Smokie Nick Struck (5.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO) also did not factor in the decision for Chattanooga.

Smokies reliever Frank Batista (0.2 IP, 2 SO), who joined Tennessee along with Villanueva from Triple-A Iowa earlier in the day earned his first victory, while the trio of Jeff Lorick (0.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER), Zach Cates (0.2 IP, 1 BB, 2 SO) and Tony Zych (1.0 IP, 1 SO) all notched holds. Lookouts relief man Juan Ramon Noriega (0.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER) suffered his third defeat of the year to drop to 3-3.

Silva (3-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI) led all Smokies with three hits in the contest, while Bruno (2-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB), Villanueva (2-5, 1 RBI) and C Charlie Cutler (2-4) all collected multi-hit efforts as well for Tennessee. Mayora (3-4, 1 R, 1 2B_ with his three base knocks was the lone Lookouts batter to record two or more hits.

The Smokies and Lookouts are scheduled to face off in the second game of their five-game set Friday night in Kodak, with first pitch scheduled for 7:15 p.m. Tennessee is anticipated to give the ball to RHP Matt Loosen (3-2, 5.17), while Chattanooga is slated to send RHP Matt Shelton (2-1, 3.13) to the hill.


PHOTOS: Boys' Tennis At Spring Fling

McCallie's Phillips, Baylor's Parker Win State Track Titles

MURFREESBORO -- McCallie had one individual state track champ on Friday here at the Dean A. Hayes Track and Soccer Stadium and one relay win as the Blue Tornado finished in fourth place with 63.5 points. Trel Phillips had a best effort of 49 feet, 10.5 inches to take first place in the shot put while teammate Jay Roberts claimed fourth with a best of 47-10.75. The 400-meter ... (click for more)

City Applying For Federal Grant To Extend River Trail To Moccasin Bend In $2.23 Million Project

The city is applying for a $1.6 million federal grant that would be a key part of the funding needed to extend a trail by the Tennessee River from Renaissance Park to Moccasin Bend. The city is seeking an Eastern Federal Highway Division grant to go along with $234,260 of city funds. The state portion would be $259,692.  Grants from the Lyndhurst and Benwood Foundations ... (click for more)

Flora Tydings Selected As Chattanooga State’s Next President

Flora Tydings is expected to be named the next president to lead Chattanooga State Community College pending approval by the Tennessee Board of Regents at a special called meeting next Wednesday. The board will meet at 9:30 a.m. CDT at the TBR System Office in Nashville. Included on the agenda is TBR Chancellor John Morgan’s recommendation for Dr. Tydings to replace Interim President ... (click for more)

Don't Make A Mockery Of Memorial Day - And Response

We're told Memorial Day is the day to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in order that we, as Americans and others around the world, might live free, unshackled (invisible or otherwise) and without oppression. But how is that so when so many in America continue to be denied those freedoms? Others whose family and friends made the ultimate sacrifice? Their surviving families ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Chincoteague Mourns ‘Dude’

In the span of a person’s life, there are some things that simply can’t be explained to be totally understood. And of all the spectacles I have ever personally witnessed, one of the best is that day in late July when they “pen the ponies” at Chincoteague Island, Va. I’m serious. Over 50,000 people watch every year as volunteer “Saltwater Cowboys” swim the wild ponies to the mainland ... (click for more)