SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. - The Smokies took over the series lead against the Lookouts on Saturday night as they were victorious 2-0. The Tennessee pitching staff held the Lookouts to just one hit and limited Chattanooga to just three guys on base. It was a duel of a veteran and a rookie under the sun and lights.
Keegan Thompson took a no hitter to the sixth when Alex Perez spoiled the party with the Lookouts only hit of the game.Thompson received the start for the Smokies and proved that his first Double-A start was a fluke.
Thompson went five innings without giving up a hit and would finish the game going 6.1/3 innings, allowing one hit and no runs. He also struck out seven. Thompson's Double-A ERA dropped 17 points with his outing on Saturday night. Thompson entered the game 0-1 and a 24.00 ERA but finished with a 7.71 ERA
"He had everything working tonight," Smokies pitching coach Terry Clark said. "His fastball was really on. When he missed, it was in a really good spot. He worked the hitters in really well, he was hard in on them. His curveball was really good, his slider was good. Change up was outstanding. He had all four pitches really working tonight, he just did a really good job."
"The biggest change for him is these guys won't swing at a pitch in the dirt very often," Clark said. "He's going to have to push the issue and throw all his breaking pitches for strikes and his fastball for strikes to get them to understand that you do throw a lot of strikes. Then, if you do go out of the zone, they can chase it, but if you don't throw a first strike they're not going to swing at it. He did a great job with that tonight. He threw everything in the zone, but he when he wanted to he went outside of it and they chased it a couple of times.
Deitrich Enns kept the Smokies at bay until the sixth when a two run blast to left off the bat of Zack Short ended his shutout hopes. The veteran made his first Lookouts start after being at Rochester earlier in the season. With the score tied 0-0, the Smokies broke through whenTrey Martin doubled to start the inning and, after Jeffrey Baez struck out, Short delivered with his 10th home run of the season over the left field fence to put Tennessee up 2-0.
Wyatt Short replaced Thompson with one out in the seventh inning and lowered his ERA to 1.93. He pitched 1 2/3 innings while not allowing a hit or a walk. Jake Stinnett came in to close the game out in the ninth and did just that. He pitched a scoreless ninth inning that earned him his third save of the season.
Game four on Sunday will see Anthony Marzi(0-4/7.51) face off against Duncan Robinson (4-1/3.22). Air time is set for 6:15 EDT on 96.1 FM and at MiLB.com.