Starting pitcher Andres Santiago no-hit the Tennessee Smokies (32-34) to lead the Chattanooga Lookouts (32-32) to a 1-0 win and propel them into sole possession of first place for the first time this season. The no-hitter was the Lookouts’ first since June 1, 1996 when Travis Buckley threw one against the Huntsville Stars.
Santiago was lights out since the first pitch, recording three straight fly outs in the first and striking out one batter in the second.
In the bottom of the second inning Chris O’Brien provided the team’s only run of the night when he crushed a home run to right field on a 3-2 pitch. That home run was the catcher’s third dinger since August 23rd and sixth on the year.
With a 1-0 lead Santiago continued to baffle batters with his pitches. In the third the righty struck out the side and upped his strikeout total to seven in the fifth inning.
The only blemish on Santiago’s night came in the eighth inning when a walk to Christian Villanueva ended his chance at a perfect game. With one runner on the veteran coaxed Charlie Cutler into a double play to end the inning.
Santiago clinched his no-hitter in resounding fashion when he struck out the side for the second time. The six-game winner finished the game with a 2014 team-high 12 strikeouts. The specatucalar performance was also the team’s first nine-inning complete game of the season.
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Friday, the Lookouts will look to edge closer to a playoff berth when former Tennessee Smokies’ pitcher Nick Struck (5-6, 5.22) takes the mound. Struck has been impressive in August, compiling a record of 4-0 with an ERA of 0.89. The righty will face off against RHP Corey Black (6-7, 3.26) on a Fireworks’ Friday Night at 7:15 p.m.
Chris O'Brien's solo home run was the only run of the game.
- Photo2 by Tim Evearitt