The Chattanooga Lookouts surged back from a six-run deficit, but ended up dropping the final game of the series to the Mobile BayBears by a score of 9-7.
The Lookouts went with a good old fashioned bullpen game with Todd Van Steensel making his first start since 2011 when he was in Rookie Ball with the Elizabethton Twins.
Van Steensel pitched two innings, gave up a hit, no runs, walked two and struck out two.
He was lifted for Tyler Jay who gave up two runs on two solo home runs. He walked one and struck out three.
Sam Clay gave up four runs over an inning on just two hits. He walked two and struck out two. Ryne Harper gave up a run on three hits and struck out four over three innings, and picked a guy off at first base before turning the game over to Zack Jones who gave up two runs in the ninth.
Mobile jumped out to a quick lead in the third inning on two solo homers by Luis Renigfo and Zach Houchins. They tacked on four more runs in the fifth inning to increase their lead to six.
In the bottom of the inning Chattanooga made their move. The team began the inning with four straight singles to net two runs. After an out and a walk, Chris Paul belted a bases clearing double to pull the Lookouts within one run. They finally tied the game on an Alex Perez sacrafice fly.
Batting in the second spot, Brent Rooker smacked a 1-2 offering from Angels No. 7 prospect Griffin Canning into left field for a single in the opening inning. The Mississippi State product lined another base hit off Canning in third, this time back up the middle.
Rooker broke through against the Mobile starter again in the fifth, driving a single through the left side to plate Sean Miller from second. Three batters later, he scored on Paul's two-run double.
Following a strikeout in the seventh, Rooker closed his night by ripping a ball into left field and legging out a triple. It marked the 23-year-old's second four-hit game in 11 days, as he collected four knocks against Montgomery on May 26. Rooker has 14 multi-hit games this season and five with three hits or more.
The BayBears took back the lead in the seventh when Houchins singled home Rengifo. Chattanooga answered back right away on a Edgar Corcino homer.
The game remained tied until the top of the ninth when Houchins smacked a two-run single to give them the 9-7 advantage. Chattanooga currently clings to a half game lead over the Jackson Generals for first place in the North Division.
With the game tied at seven in the top of the ninth, the Lookouts brought in reliever Jones who quickly got two outs but then a walk, a single, a stolen base, and another single put two runs on the board.
Lookouts bats were not able to respond in the home-side of the ninth inning. Jones’ ninth inning woes were indicative of the Lookouts pitchers on the night.
In the loss Brent Rooker collected four hits to bring his average to .271. This month Rooker is hitting .483 with a homer and nine RBIs.
Over the last week, Rooker has been one of the most potent hitters in the Southern League. He stayed in the groove on Thursday night.
The eighth-ranked Twins prospect matched a career high with four hits, including his fourth triple of the season, driving in one run and scoring another.
Right fielder Edgar Corcino had a big day as well, 3-for-5 with a run scored, a home run, an RBI and a strike out. Chris Paul provided plenty of run support with a three RBI night on 2-for-4 hitting with a double and strike out. The rest of the Lookouts' lineup added three more hits, and eight more strike outs.
Friday, the team heads to Montgomery to start a 10-game road trip to end the first half. The team returns home on Thursday, June 21 for six games against the Biloxi Shuckers.
The Chattanooga Lookouts announced Saturday that the Minnesota Twins had released veteran infielder T.J. White, that catcher Brian Olson had been placed on the Disabled List with a right hamstring strain retroactive to June 7, and that catcher Mitchell Kranson has been transferred from Fort Myers to Chattanooga.