Heartbreaking Defeat: Barons Top Lookouts, 12-9

Birmingham Scores 10 Unanswered Runs In Final Three Innings For Big Win

Wednesday, June 29, 2022 - by John Hunt

If this was a fishing story, it would be about the Big One That Got Away.

It’s not, but the overriding theme is still the same in the Big One That Got Away.

In this case, we’re talking about minor league baseball in general and more specifically the Chattanooga Lookouts.

Facing the hottest team in the league in the Birmingham Barons at AT&T Field Tuesday night, the Lookouts had a seemingly-safe 9-2 lead after six innings.  The key words there are seemingly-safe.

Somebody forgot to tell the Barons that the game was all but over.  They proceeded to score 10 unanswered runs in the next three innings for an incredible 12-9 victory in 10 innings.

The Barons had spent the entire season in last place among the AA South's Northern division teams as pitching has been a big problem to point.  Things have gotten better in recent weeks and those guys have now won 12 of their last 15 games.

It’s hard to imagine something like this happening when you read about it.  It’s even more unbelievable to have witnessed it in person.

Lookouts manager Jose Moreno was at a total loss for words when the game ended and his team on the short end of the final score.

“We just didn’t play very good baseball in those last three innings,” he said after exiting the Lookouts dugout.

“It’s very tough to lose a game like this.  We had a nice lead and you never expect to lose like that.  I probably won’t say anything to the guys tonight, but we’ll talk about it tomorrow,” Moreno added.

Nick Quintana is one of the newest Lookouts as he was just promoted on Tuesday from Dayton.  He went from hero to goat in his first game in a Chattanooga uniform.

The 24-year-old third baseman who was born in Las Vegas popped to second in his first at-bat, but followed with a single and two home runs to finish with two runs scored and four RBIs.  His first home run was a two-run blast that came in the sixth when the Lookouts sent 13 hitters to the plate and scored seven runs, turning a 2-1 deficit into a 9-2 lead with three innings remaining.

His plate appearances were really good, but his defense late -- or lack of -- will be something he thinks about for a long time to come.

The Barons, entering the game with the best team batting average in the league at .268, rallied with five runs in the eighth before tying it with two in the ninth.

Jose Rodriguez had singled with one out.  Craig Dedelow walked with two outs before Moises Castillo reached on a fielder’s choice to load the bases, still with two outs. 

Alex Destino, whose three-run homer highlighted the five-run Baron eighth, then hit a towering pop right behind third.  There was obviously a bit of miscommunication between Quintana and shortstop Leonardo Rivas as the ball fell between them for a two-run single that knotted the score at 9-9.

All the momentum that had been on Chattanooga’s side had gone the other way and the Barons capitalized as they scored three runs for the win in the 10th.

Luis Curbelo, who had made the final out in the ninth, started the 10th at second.  Losing pitcher Ricky Salinas walked Evan Skoug and Rodriguez around a pair of strikeouts to load the bases, making way for Neslony’s three-run double to the wall for the deciding runs.

The Lookouts had no answer at all in their half of the 10th as Michael Siani, Francisco Urbaez and Hopkins all struck out to end the game.

Rodriguez finished the crazy game with four hits and three runs scored.  Dedelow and Raudy Read both had three hits while Neslony, Castillo and Destino all had two hits with Destino driving in five runs and Neslony four.

Quintana had three hits to lead the Lookouts while  Urbaez, Alex McGarry and James Free all had two.

These same two teams meet again on Wednesday with the first pitch set to be thrown about 7:15.

BIRMINGHAM  001 001 052 3 – 12 18 0

CHATTANOOGA  000 107 100 0 – 9 12 0

Blewett, Silven (6), Jeans (6), Broadway (7), Denlinger (8), Peralta (10) and Skoug; Spiers, Nutof (7), Pinto (8) Garcia (8), Salinas (10) and Free.

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@gmail.com)

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