It took two extra innings to decide a winner, as the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (3-5) took the win by a score of 3-2 over the Chattanooga Lookouts (4-4) in 11 innings during a pitchers' duel at AT&T Field. The loss snapped Chattanooga's three-game win streak.
Both starting pitchers managed their way through six innings of work during the duel. Lookouts' starter Chris Reed (4-5, 2.91) was coming off of a great outing where he pitched seven scoreless innings. The southpaw threw another phenomenal game, only allowing one earned run on four hits and two walks in his time on the mound. Reed came into the game leading the Southern League in strikeouts, extending his lead by coaxing five Blue Wahoos to obtain a third strike for a total of 91, 11 more than the second place pitcher.
Pensacola starter Michael Lorenzo pitched well for the Wahoos.
With the Lookouts trailing 1-0 in the fifth inning, Casio Grider’s base running was key to evening the score. Grider led off the inning by grounding a ball through the hole on the right side of the infield and was moved over to second on a Reed sacrifice bunt. Not satisfied with just standing on second base, Grider swiped third before Darnell Sweeney was able to smash a double for his first hit of the night and bring him home. That double continued Sweeney’s hitting streak, which now stands at 12 games. Sweeney is hitting .389 (21-for-54) with four home runs, seven walks and eight RBIs during his 12-game hitting streak.
The Lookouts were down a run again the very next inning. This time O’Koyea Dickson came through with a lead-off single when he smoked a pitch right back up the middle, moving at a speed of 110 miles per hour when the ball came off the bat. Three batters later, Angel Sanchez snuck a hit past a diving third baseman to knot the score up at two.
The score stayed at two runs apiece until the bottom of the ninth inning when the Lookouts had a chance to get their second consecutive walk-off win. With two outs and J.C. Boscan on second base, Noel Cuevas came to the plate and hit a slow roller up the middle. It passed by both of the infielders, but the center fielder for the Blue Wahoos, Yorman Rodriguez, made a very strong throw to the plate to nail Boscan at home and send it to extra innings.
Two innings later, Marquez Smith took a pinch-hit walk with the bases loaded, the third walk of the inning, to give the Blue Wahoos the 3-2 win in 11 innings.
Friday night’s pitching matchup will be one to see, as the Blue Wahoos will have one of their selections to the Futures Game, Robert Stephenson (3-5, 3.97), face off against Andres Santiago (1-4, 5.60). Fireworks follow the game.
Casio Grider makes the catch at the wall in right field.
- Photo2 by Tim Evearitt