Smokies Shutout Lookouts Sunday, 4-0

Three Hurlers Combine To Hold Chattanooga Scoreless

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Three Smokies pitchers combined to shut down Lookouts batters, while third baseman Christian Villanueva and first baseman Dustin Geiger each launched two-run homers to lead Tennessee to a 4-0 series-clinching shutout victory over Chattanooga on Sunday afternoon at Smokies Stadium.

Chattanooga' second-half has the appearances of what happened in their first-half finish. Currently the Lookouts have a 1-3 record.

With the win, the Smokies upped their second half record to 3-1 to remain in at least a tie for first place in the early stages of the second half, in addition to a 36-37 overall mark.
The Lookouts fell to 1-3 since the midpoint of the year, and a 27-47 tally. Tennessee also clinched the series win by topping Chattanooga in three of the first four contests of the five-game set.

Starter Eduardo Figueroa (5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO), as well as relievers P.J. Francescon (2.0 IP, 1 H) and Frank Batista (2.0 IP, 3 H, 3 SO) combined for the club's fifth shutout victory of the season, with Francescon earning his eighth win of the year, placing him in a tie for the Southern League lead. Lookouts starting pitcher Andres Santiago (5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 1 SO) shined in his five innings of work, yielding just two hits while retiring 11 straight Smokies at one point, though he did not factor in the decision, while relief man Garrett Gould (2.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER) suffered the loss.

Villanueva's longball in the sixth proved to be all the offense would need, smashing his first homer since returning to Tennessee on June 19. After LF Anthony Giansanti single to left, Villanueva would follow with a two-run blast to deep center, pushing the Smokies to a 2-0 advantage.

The third baseman showed off the leather throughout the afternoon as well, starting a pair of slick double plays in the fifth and sixth innings. In the sixth with a baserunner going on the pitch from second, Villanueva scooped up a groundball and tagged the runner before slinging on to first to complete the 5-3 inning-ending double play. After subsequently homering in the next half frame, the 23-year-old would later gun down a runner at the plate in the eighth inning to preserve the shutout.

In addition to Villanueva's web gems, SS Elliot Soto, 2B Jeudy Valdez and RF Rubi Silva has flashed strong defensive play. Soto made a strong pick on a short hop to retire a batter via a groundout, Valdez made a nice sliding stop to his left on a ground ball as well, and Silva threw out Chattanooga 1B O'Koyea Dickson trying to advance on a fly out to deep right-center field.

Tennessee would add more insurance in the seventh, doubling their lead to four with their second big fly of the day. After Silva led off the bottom of the seventh with a single, Geiger followed with his two-run shot to right field, his tenth of the season and second straight to the opposite field.

C Charlie Cutler (2-3, 1 BB) was the only Smokies hitter to record a multi-hit effort in the win, while 2B Darnell Sweeney (2-4) and C Chris O'Brien (2-4, 1 2B) each tallied a pair of base knocks for the Lookouts. Villanueva's longball in the sixth was his seventh of the season combined between Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa, as well as his first with the Smokies since September 2, 2013 at Chattanooga.

With the series already decided, Tennessee will look to win four of five from the Lookouts on Monday evening, with first pitch scheduled for 7:15 p.m. ET. The Smokies are set to give the ball to RHP Joe Gardner (1-0, 2.83) in the series finale, while Chattanooga is anticipated to counter with RHP Raydel Sanchez (0-4, 7.11).

Lookouts Expected To Announce New Affiliation At Wed. Press Conference

The Chattanooga Lookouts have notified the area media that they will be holding a press conference at AT&T Field "for a major announcement regarding the upcoming 2015 season." That announcement is expected to be that the Minnesota Twins have signed a contract with the Lookouts for a two-year affiliation with Chattanooga.   (click for more)

Randy Smith: SEC Weekly Picks: Week 4

I had another great week, even picking a couple of upsets. (South Carolina over Georgia and Arkansas over Texas Tech.) This week, the SEC features a light schedule with just eight games on the card, but among those eight games are a few good ones. Last week: 10-1 Year to date: 29-4 Idle this week: Tennessee, Kentucky, Ole Miss. Auburn at Kansas State: ( Thursday ... (click for more)

Sewell Says City, EPB "Close" On Amount Owed By Utility To City On Street Light Overbilling

City Internal Auditor Stan Sewell told City Council members on Tuesday that EPB and the city are "close" on the amount owed by the utility to the city on street light overbilling. Mr. Sewell said the city computed the amount at about $1.2 million, while he said EPB's auditing firm, Mauldin and Jenkins, has it at $1.5 million for an 89-month period that was audited. Mr. Sewell ... (click for more)

City Council Votes 5-4 On New Process For Naming IDB Members

The City Council voted Tuesday night 5-4 to set up a new process for naming members to the Industrial Development Board (IDB), which currently has four vacancies. The process includes three City Council panels: A (Districts 1, 2, 3), B (Districts 4, 5, 6), and C (Districts 7, 8, 9). Group A will fill two of the vacancies and Groups B and C one each. Agreement ... (click for more)

Why So Much For A Rail Study?

From the things that make you go hmm department. Ok, so the feds are giving us $400k and the city is kicking in another $300k for a total of $700k to do a study on having in town rail service. Why so much for a study? Don't get me wrong, I'm totally down with Chattanooga having some passenger trains running around. I get that. It's awesome. We've needed it for a long time. I ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: I’m Certainly No Expert

Sometime on Monday night, after I had written a piece on getting swatted with a switch as a kid, I got an email from ESPN Canada asking if I would be a televised guest on “Off the Record,” the most watched daily sports show in Canada. The subject: corporal punishment in America. Are you kidding me? I am hardly an expert. All weekend my world of sports and its excitement was warped ... (click for more)