First-inning leads have not been the way to go this week at AT&T Field.
Chattanooga starting pitcher Ethan Martin gave up three runs on three hits to the first five Birmingham batters he faced Monday night, but Martin recovered and his teammates awoke at the plate as the Lookouts rallied for a 5-3 win. Jake Lemmeman led the hosts with a 2-for-3 performance, and his sixth-inning triple into the left-field corner scored Kyle Russell and Travis Denker to break a 3-3 tie.
"Our team knows how to deal with adversity -- you can just tell," Lemmerman said. "Going down 3-0 isn't a big deal for us, because we've got a whole eight innings to get those runs back."
In Sunday night's series opener, Chattanooga took a 2-0 first-inning lead only to fall flat in a 4-3 loss.
Martin, a first-round selection of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2008, bounced back from his early struggles by allowing three hits over the next five innings. The Lookouts (6-6) pulled within 3-1 in the third inning when Rafael Ynoa's infield hit scored Lemmerman, and Pedro Baez made it 3-2 by opening the fifth with a home run to left.
Denker followed Baez with a double to right-center and wound up scoring the tying run.
"That was good for us and especially for Ethan Martin," Lookouts manager Carlos Subero said. "Ethan didn't have a pretty first inning, and his second inning wasn't that pretty either because he started walking a couple of guys, but to see how he settled down and finished those six innings is what you like to see in development.
"Those are the kinds of things that show a player is getting tougher mentally, and for me, personally, he was the highlight of the night."
The game's most memorable play took place with one out in the fourth inning, when Lookouts center fielder Nick Buss misplayed a fly ball by Kenny Williams that wound up rolling to the wall. Williams was waved home by Barons manager Bobby Magallanes, but Buss threw it to Ynoa at shortstop, and Ynoa's relay to catcher Griff Erickson was in time to record the out.
"I just lost it in the sky and couldn't pick it up," Buss said. "I was really fortunate, because I just threw the ball in to Rafy, and he did all the work. It's a huge relief when you're able to recover."
Aaron Miller (1-0, 1.17) is scheduled to start tonight's 7:15 game for the Lookouts, with Simon Castro (0-1, 8.00) scheduled for the Barons.
Contact David Paschall at email@example.com or 423-757-6524.
David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...