published Saturday, April 7th, 2012

Smokies edge Chattanooga Lookouts 1-0 on homer

The postgame fireworks display provided plenty of pop for the sellout crowd of 6,372 on hand Friday night at AT&T Field. Pop has been in short supply for the Chattanooga Lookouts in the first two games of the season.

The Tennessee Smokies got a line-drive home run to right field from Mike Burgess in the top of the sixth inning Friday night, and that was all they needed in a 1-0 win.

It's only two games, with 138 left on the schedule, but the Lookouts (0-2) have a run and nine hits in 18 innings so far.

"Pitching always dominates early, especially when you face good pitching," Lookouts manager Carlos Subero said.

In the bottom of the ninth against Tennessee closer Frank Batista, Jake Lemmerman drew a walk and Matt Wallach singled to right field, but Travis Denker popped up to end the game.

The Lookouts actually outhit the Smokies (2-0) but were 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

"There were a lot of games last year where we didn't score that many runs," left fielder Kyle Russell said, "so we've got to take it game by game and relax and hopefully get it going tomorrow."

Ethan Martin, a right-handed pitcher, got the Lookouts off to a good start by striking out the side in the first inning. He allowed two baserunners in the second, but the Smokies never threatened.

The Lookouts had a chance to get something going in the second when they had two on with one away against the Smokies' righty, Trey McNutt. However, a Luis Nunez pop-up didn't leave the infield and Tennessee left fielder Jim Adduci chased down a Wallach line drive to end the inning.

Martin was pulled in the top of the fifth after allowing a two-out single and a walk. He was replaced by righty Blake Johnson, who pitched to cleanup batter Rebel Ridling. A Ridling line drive to center field looked like it was going to drop and score at least a run, but Nick Buss's diving grab kept the game scoreless.

Martin pitched 4 2/3 innings, struck out six, allowed two hits and walked four.

After Burgess gave the Smokies the lead in the sixth, the Lookouts had a runner on with one out and their power hitters coming up in the bottom of the eighth. Brian Cavazos-Galvez and Russell, the Nos. 3 and 4 hitters, both struck out swinging against Alberto Cabrera. It was Russell's third strikeout of the game and fourth in six at-bats this season.

"My timing is a little off right now," Russell said. "I was late on everything."

Rafael Ynoa had two hits for the Lookouts, and Logan Watkins and Burgess had two each for the Smokies.

Aaron Miller is scheduled to start tonight's 7:15 game for the Lookouts, with Dallas Beeler scheduled to go for the Smokies.

about John Frierson...

John Frierson is in his seventh year at the Times Free Press and seventh year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...

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