published Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Blake Smith's blast keys 3-2 Chattanooga Lookouts win

Blake Smith belted a two-run home run and the Chattanooga Lookouts snapped a three-game skid with a 3-2 win over the Pensacola Blue Wahoos on Monday night at AT&T Field.

Smith's blast, his eighth of the season, was the exception for the Lookouts, who were outhit 10-3.

"I was a little late on some fastballs early on, and I was looking for one right down the middle," Smith said of his fifth-inning homer. "I just put a good swing on it and got it up there."

The Lookouts (2-3) took a 1-0 lead in the second inning without putting a ball in play. Pensacola pitcher J.C. Sulbaran struck out the first two batters, only to walk three in a row to load the bases. With Rafael Ynoa at the plate, Sulbaran threw a pitch in the dirt that got away from catcher Brian Peacock and allowed Jake Lemmerman to score from third.

Lemmerman appeared to be tagged out by Sulbaran a foot short of home plate, but the umpire ruled him safe.

Lookouts center fielder Nick Buss kept his team in the lead with a diving catch with two outs and a runner on second base in the top of the third.

The Blue Wahoos (3-2) tied the game in the fourth with a two-out double off Wes Roemer that brought in a runner from second. Lookouts starter Chris Reed pitched three scoreless innings, allowing two hits and striking out two.

The Lookouts got their first hit in the fourth inning, a two-out single by Roemer. Their second hit came in the fifth, when Smith drilled his homer over the wall in right field.

Pensacola cut the margin to 3-2 with a run in the seventh but could have had a much bigger inning. Lookouts catcher Griff Erickson tagged out two runners at the plate, on throws from Smith, to preserve the lead.

"I'm sure that's happened before in my career at some point, but not with the impact that it had on the game today," Erickson said of two tagouts in the same inning.

Former Los Angeles Dodgers first-round pick Zach Lee, a former LSU quarterback commitment, has been promoted to the Lookouts from Rancho Cucamonga of the high Single-A California League. The right-handed pitcher was the 28th pick in the 2010 draft and is the top organizational prospect according to Baseball America.

Righty Eammon Portice was assigned to Rancho Cucamonga to make room for Lee. The Lookouts begin a five-game series at the Mississippi Braves tonight.

Contact John Frierson at or 423-757-6268. Follow him on Twitter at

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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