By Cody Chrusciel / Smokies Radio Network
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – A pair of Chattanooga pitchers struck out 16 batters as the Lookouts downed the Tennessee Smokies (12-16, 47-51), 4-1 in a rain-shortened contest on Friday night at AT&T Field in game two of a four-game set. The loss was the Smokies’ fifth straight, matching their longest skid of the season.
Catcher Matt Wallach paced the Chattanooga offense, homering twice while collecting two of the Lookouts four hits.
Chattanooga (17-11, 49-47) wasted little time breaking out the bats as Rafael Ynoa lined Dae-Eun Rhee’s second pitch of the day to center for a leadoff double in the first inning. Ynoa then stole third and scored when catcher Mike Brenly’s throw sailed into left field to give the Lookouts a 1-0 edge.
From there though, Rhee would settle down. Following a one-out walk in the first inning, the Tennessee starter retired the next 12 batters he faced.
That string would end in the bottom of the fifth when the Lookouts plated two more runs to extend their lead to 3-0. After a one-out throwing error by third baseman Greg Rohan allowed Jake Lemmerman to reach, Wallach lifted a two-run homer to right.
Chattanooga starter Allen Webster held the Smokies off the scoreboard until the top of the sixth when Logan Watkins led off with a double, advanced to third on a Jae-Hoon Ha single, and scored on an RBI single by Justin Bour to cut Tennessee’s deficit to 3-1.
In the seventh, Webster handed the ball to reliever Logan Bawcom, who struck out six batters over two scoreless innings of relief to preserve the Lookouts two-run edge.
Wallach added some insurance for the Lookouts with a solo blast in the bottom of the eighth off Trey McNutt. Shortly after, the skies opened up and the contest went into a rain delay before being called.
Webster (4-8) struck out a season-high 10 batters, allowing just one run on five hits over six innings to earn the win while turning in his sixth quality start of his last seven outings. Rhee (6-5) suffered the tough-luck loss, surrendering just two hits while yielding three runs (two earned) in six innings of work.
The Smokies and Lookouts play game three of their four-game series on Saturday when Tennessee sends right-hander Dallas Beeler (4-6, 3.84 ERA) to the mound while Chattanooga counters with righty Zach Lee (0-2, 8.82 ERA), who Baseball America ranks as the Dodgers’ top prospect.
LISTEN TO GAME HIGHLIGHTS: July 20, 2012 Smokies 1 Lookouts 4