Chattanooga Lookouts (15-25) starting pitcher Nick Struck (W, 2-6) was sensational in the team's 7-3 victory over the Birmingham Barons (22-19), only allowing one hit in six innings while fanning five batters.
The right-hander started off the game strong, only allowing a walk to Trayce Thompson before retiring the side. Struck retired the side in each of the next two innings and did not allow his first hit of the game until Luis Sierra singled in the fifth.
Struck's strong performance was only one part of the equation for tonight's success for the Lookouts. From the first inning on the team's offense scored early and often. The offensive machine began rolling when Bobby Coyle Jr. hit his fourth home run of the season.
An inning later the Lookouts piled on two more runs on a Daniel Mayora two-run shot to left field off of Barons' starter Mike Recchia (L, 5-3). In the fifth inning the Lookouts continued to swing a hot bat. New Lookouts' infielder Walter Ibarra compiled his first hit in a Lookouts' uniform when he singled to right field. The bases then became loaded when Sweeney walked and Bobby Coyle Jr. bunted a single to the pitcher. With the bases juiced, Scott Schebler drove home the fourth run of the day on a ground out. A batter later, Corey Seager plated Sweeney and Coyle to give the team the six-run advantage.
The team extended their lead to seven in the seventh inning on an O'Koyea Dickson sacrifice fly, but Birmingham broke up the shutout bid in the top of the eighth on a Michael Earley home run to left. The Barons proceeded to put on two more runs on the scoreboard in the top of the ninth, but couldn't overcome the deficit.
Saturday, the two teams will clash for the third time this series on Used Car Night at AT&T Field which is presented by Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union. RHP Matt Shelton (2-3, 4.83) will take the mound opposite RHP Bryan Blough (2-2, 3.60) at 7:15 p.m.
Bobby Coyle, Jr. hit his fourth homer of the season. He went 3-for-4.
- Photo2 by Tim Evearitt