By Adam Kline / Tennessee Smokies
KODAK, Tenn.. – The Tennessee Smokies scored four runs in the bottom of eighth to break a 1-1 tie and defeat the Chattanooga Lookouts (33-24, 65-60) 5-1 at Smokies Park Monday night. The win, in front of 2,495, was the Smokies third straight and improved their record to 28-29 in the season’s second half, 63-64 overall.
Chattanooga got on the scoreboard in the first inning off Tennessee starter Nick Struck. Rafael Ynoa doubled to lead off the game and scored two batters later on a J.T. Wise single to give the Lookouts a 1-0 lead.
The Smokies tied the game at one in the third, when Struck led off the frame with a double off Lookouts starter Aaron Miller. With two outs, Jae-Hoon Ha hit an infield single and a wild throw by shortstop Ynoa allowed Struck to score and knot the game, 1-1.
Both pitching staffs exchanged scoreless innings until the Smokies sent nine batters to the plate in the eighth inning. With Eric Eadington (1-2) on the mound, Logan Watkins led off with a bunt single. Back-to-back walks to Ha and Justin Bour loaded the bases for Junior Lake who hit a single up the middle, with the infield drawn in, to score Watkins and Ha to give the Smokies a 3-1 lead. Following a single by Rubi Silva, Mike Brenly hit a double to left field to plate two more runs and extend the Smokies lead to 5-1.
Struck worked six innings, only giving up a run on six hits and fanned three, giving the Smokies a quality start but did not factor in the decision. For the second consecutive night, the Smokies bullpen secured the win for Tennessee. Trey McNutt tossed a hitless seventh innings and Brian Schlitter (3-4) went the final two, striking out three to pick up the win for the Smokies.
The Smokies and Lookouts play the middle contest of their five-game series on Tuesday night at 7:15 p.m. when Tennessee sends southpaw Eric Jokisch (7-2, 3.07 ERA) to the mound against right-hander Allen Webster (6-8, 3.66 ERA) at Smokies Park. For tickets and more information visit http://www.smokiesbaseball.com or call (865) 286-2300.
LISTEN TO GAME HIGHLIGHTS : August 20, 2012 Lookouts 1 Smokies 5