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.


Seniors Lead Lady Vols Past UGA, 70-59

ATHENS, Ga. -- Tennessee returned to its winning ways on Thursday night with a 70-59 victory over Georgia. The Lady Vols (24-4 overall, 14-1) bounced back after their first conference loss of the season at #2 South Carolina on Monday with a well-balanced performance at Stegeman Coliseum. Senior  Cierra Burdick  posted a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds. ... (click for more)

Dalton State Basketball Clinches A Tie For SSAC Title

The (6) Dalton State basketball Roadrunners (25-3, 15-2 SSAC) clinched a share of the conference regular season championship Thursday night with a 24 point, 83-59 win over College of Coastal Georgia. The Mariners connected on 8 of 12 free throw attempts in the first half to stay within two points of the Roadrunners at 38-36. Coastal Georgia was held to just two of 16 second ... (click for more)

FCC Votes 3-2 To Approve EPB's Request To Expand Its Broadband Offerings

The Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 on Thursday to allow EPB to expand its broadband offerings to neighboring communities. Chairman Tom Wheeler and two other Democrats were in favor, while the two Republican members said the agency was acting illegally in overriding state law. EPB's phone, Internet and TV offerings have been far more successful than expected and ... (click for more)

Hamilton County Schools, UTC To Close Friday; Other Closings Announced

Due to remaining snow on some of the roadways and the potential for black ice overnight and into the morning, Hamilton County Schools will be closed on  Friday . School Age Child Care will also be closed. Employees who accrue vacation will report by  10 a.m.  and maintenance employees will report on regular schedule.  All classes are being ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Has Always Been A Battleground Between Good And Evil

From the thousands slain in nearby Chickamauga Battlefield during the Civil War…  To the launching point of the Cherokee Indian’s Trail of Tears…  To the lunch counter sit-ins led by Howard School students — the only high school student sit-ins in the nation — during the Civil Rights Movement…  To Walter Cronkite calling the polluted Southern industrial town ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our 92-Year-Old Victim

It is with great pride, and far greater relief, that I can report a “caretaker” is far different than a “boyfriend.” A story out of Memphis earlier this week morphed into a virtual fireball that had such power it appeared on the front page on a London newspaper and other news outlets all around the world when it was reported by the Associated Press a 28-year-old man had assaulted ... (click for more)