Flames Baseball Scores Five Runs In The Ninth To Beat Hawks

Monday, March 20, 2017
"It ain't over till it's over" was a famous quote by the late Yogi Berra and that was certainly the case on Sunday afternoon when the Lee baseball team found itself down 5-1 heading into the ninth inning against visiting Shorter University at Olympic Field.
 
The Flames seemed well on their way to losing two games in the three-game series with the Hawks, but a five-run ninth inning gave coach Mark Brew's club what turned out to be a miraculous 6-5 Gulf South Conference victory.
Lee finally scored a single run in the seventh inning. Zach Zyburt and Spencer Mossburg had base hits before Nate Wierzgac picked up his first RBI of the afternoon, scoring Zyburt with a one-base knock.
 
The bottom of the ninth started when Mossburg was hit by a pitch. Drew Johnson followed with a single and both runners advanced to second and third on a balk by Shorter relief pitcher Jesse Wheeler. The Hawks quickly made a pitching change and brought on their top reliever, Jonathan Pintaro.
 
Wierzgac, who enjoyed a tremendous series, tripled to right-center scoring Mossburg and Johnson to cut the margin to 5-3. However, Hawk hurler Pintaro retired the next two Flames before the miraculous comeback took full effect.
 
With two outs, Geremy Walton walked and stole second. Miguel Pimentel followed with a free pass. Tyler Payne's clutch single to right-center scored Wierzgac and Walton to tie the thriller at five. Pimentel advanced to third on the hit and scored the winning run on a wild pitch. "I told Miguel to be alert for a wild pitch and that's exactly what happened," remarked Brew.
 
"Wow, what a finish to a great Parent's weekend," said coach Brew, flashing a big smile. "We had a lot of great swings throughout the day, but we just couldn't get the big clutch hit.  Then all of sudden, everything started clicking in the ninth inning. Wierzgac and Payne delivered two of the biggest hits in our 2017 season. 
 
"Hopefully, this will create some momentum for our offense.  Miguel (Pimentel) swung the bat really well today and Drew (Johnson) played well this weekend.  Nate (Wierzgac) has been awesome behind the plate and at the plate.  If we can get a few more guys going in the line-up we will become a more dynamic team."
 
Wierzgac collected a triple, two singles, driving home three runs and scoring once as the Flames improved to 18-9 overall and 8-7 in the GSC standings. Shorter dropped to 5-10 and 6-9. Pimentel followed with three hits plus scoring the winning run. Johnson had a pair of hits and Jeffrey Chapuran collected a double as the Flames pounded out 14 hits.
 
Bailey Gerstner tripled and singled in the loss. He collected a RBI and scored once. Blaze Vazquez and Jack Leech had two-base hits, while Dustin Lawson and Luke Acevedo collected two hits. All totaled, the Hawks had nine hits off three Lee pitchers. The Flames were guilty of two costly errors and Shorter one.
 
Jumpel Akanuma drew the starting pitching assignment for the Flames and hurled 5.2 innings. He allowed seven hits, one earned run, struck out four and walked one. A pair of throwing errors in the third inning sparked a three-run Hawk rally and hurt Akanuma's chances for a mound decision. Jay Prior came on for 2.2 innings and gave up two hits, no earned runs, struck out two and walked two. Joe Parete (4-0) was awarded the pitching victory after pitching 0.2 innings. He picked up a strikeout and walked one.
 
 
"I want to single out our pitching staff," praised Brew. "They answered the call and we got great starting and relief pitching the entire weekend." The Flames will need more of the same when they travel to Trevecca on Tuesday for a single nine-inning game. They return to Olympic Field and host Delta State in another three-game GSC series next weekend. 

Former Chattanooga Lookout, Corey Seager, Turns 23 Today

Before steadily hitting and fielding his way to the 2016 National League Rookie of the Year , Corey Seager was a blue-chip prospect for the Dodgers. In 2014, he played 38 games for the Chattanooga Lookouts.  Today (April 27th, Seager celebrates his 23rd birthday (yes, he's still that young), and he is well one his way to much success in Major League baseball. ... (click for more)

Randy Smith: Honoring Terry Cordell

About a year ago, members of the Chattanooga TSSAA Umpires Association voted to honor two schools in the area we serve with the Terry Cordell Memorial Sportsmanship Award; one for baseball and one for softball, named for the long-time assigner of games in the area. The 2017 winners will be announced soon, but today I wanted to let everyone know about the man the award ... (click for more)

County School Teachers To Get 3% Raise Under Balanced County School Budget

Hamilton County Schools teachers are slated to get three percent pay increases under the balanced budget approved by the School Board on Thursday afternoon. That comes on top of a two percent hike last year. Lee McDade, assistant superintendent, said a large influx of cash came from the state, and Governor Bill Haslam outlined that it was to raise the pay level for teachers. ... (click for more)

Law Enforcement Shuts Down Convenience Store Near College Hill Courts As Public Nuisance

Law enforcement on Thursday took steps to shut down a convenience store near the College Hill Courts as a public nuisance. The action was taken after District Attorney Neal Pinkston filed a petition with Criminal Court Judge Tom Greenholtz about the Westside Shop. The store is operated by Salma Ambo, and the real property is owned by AAA Investment Properties LLC. The petition ... (click for more)

White Coat Syndrome And The Medical System - And Response

Today I wish to share what I am feeling as a patient in our medical system. I am too old to put on airs at this point, and this is too pervasive of a problem for me to contain.   As I enter my AARP years, I am faced with so many medical encounters that evoke all kinds of uncomfortable feelings. I dread physician’s appointments riddled with government regulatory hypocrisy, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Knoxville’s Godsend

Back when we were uppity teenagers, the best put-down when a friend started acting crazy was to say to the heathen, “Quit acting like you are from Knoxville!” I don’t know how the term originated but I can say that back in the day it was pretty insulting to be told you were acting like you were from Knoxville. This week I wish that more of us acted like Knoxville. The Knox County ... (click for more)