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.


Insight Into Lookouts' New Manager, Doug Mientkiewicz

In about a week, the 2015 edition of the Chattanooga Lookouts will be arriving under the auspices of a new parent-club, the Minnesota Twins. The Twins have replaced veteran manager Tom Kelly with Hall-of-Famer Paul Molitor who begins his first season at the helm.  One of the finalists for the Twins' job was Doug Mientkiewicz who spent 12-years in the Major Leagues. Mientkiewicz ... (click for more)

Covenant Splits With North Carolina Wesleyan

The Covenant baseball team finished off Saturday's suspended game with a 15-11 victory, but could not hold a late lead in the USA South series finale losing 5-4 at North Carolina Wesleyan on Monday afternoon at Bauer Field. Covenant goes to 9-14 on the year and 6-9 inside the USA South. The victory in the resumed game clinched a series win for the Scots, the first since Feb. ... (click for more)

Cabela's To Open Fort Oglethorpe Store May 13

Cabela’s announced Monday plans to celebrate the official grand opening of its new Fort Oglethorpe store on Wednesday, May 13, with a unique ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by a weekend-long celebration featuring giveaways, family activities and more.  The ribbon-cutting ceremony, hosted by Cabela's executives and special guests, will begin at 9:45 a.m. and conclude with ... (click for more)

City Detective Who Was Arrested Twice In 4 Months Is Fired After Internal Affairs Investigation

A city detective who was arrested twice in four months has been fired by Police Chief Fred Fletcher. David Catchings had been charged with DUI last September and then with domestic assault at the end of the year. Police said, "After a complete review of both investigations – which included recommendations from Internal Affairs, the Administrative Review Committee and Officer ... (click for more)

Physicians Thank Their Patients On Doctor’s Day

March 30 has been set aside as National Doctors’ Day since 1933 as a time to recognize the contributions made by our physicians. While the recognition is appreciated, our greatest satisfaction comes from caring for our patients.  For 132 years, the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society has been the physicians’ voice as we worked together to improve health of our community. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Goodbye, Dr. Nassour

About 51 years ago, right after Jim Creel had graduated from the University of Texas and was in Guadalajara for medical school, he was surprised to find a complete stranger sitting on his battered and dusty Volkswagen. “He had seen my Longhorns sticker and was thrilled to find somebody else in Mexico who loved the University of Texas. “That’s when our friendship started and it ... (click for more)