The Chattanooga Lookouts continued their winning ways Wednesday night at AT&T Field, and they didn't need extra innings or rain delays.
Behind a five-run sixth inning that featured a three-run homer by Brahiam Maldonado and a two-run triple by Nick Buss, the Lookouts defeated Jacksonville 6-3 for their fourth straight victory and the seventh in their last eight games. Wednesday's tidy two-hour, 35-minute contest was in sharp contrast to the last four games of the Huntsville series that required a combined 17 hours and five minutes to complete.
Three of the final four games against Huntsville needed extra innings and two endured hour-plus rain delays.
"Nine innings is a lot better than 12 or 13," said Lookouts closer Logan Bawcom, who gave up a two-out run in the ninth during Monday's 12-inning marathon and loaded the bases Wednesday. "The other night bugged me right after the game, but you've got to flush it, or it will eat at you every day. Today was a new day, and I got the job done this time."
The Lookouts (23-23) trailed 3-1 in the sixth when J.T. Wise opened with a double to left and advanced to third on a Blake Smith ground out. Suns starting pitcher Jose Alvarez then hit Pedro Baez with a pitch, threw a wild pitch that scored Wise and allowed Maldonado's homer to left-center that put the Lookouts up 4-3.
"I didn't want to play extra innings," Maldonado said. "We just did that three times."
After Griff Erickson followed the homer with a double to right and pinch-hitter Travis Denker was intentionally walked by Alvarez, Nick Buss tripled to center to cap the surge and extend Chattanooga's lead to 6-3.
Lookouts starting pitcher Aaron Miller retired the Suns in order during the first inning but struggled in the second, allowing two runs on one hit, two walks and a wild pitch. Jacksonville made it 3-0 in the third when Daniel Black opened with a double to left and scored on Jake Smolinski's one-out double to right.
Miller opened the bottom of the third with a double to left and scored on Rafael Ynoa's one-out single to center to pull the Lookouts within 3-1.
Jacksonville first baseman Russ Mitchell was a member of the Lookouts in 2009 and played for the Los Angeles Dodgers during the 2010 and '11 seasons. Mitchell tallied 40 big-league games, amassing four home runs, seven RBIs and a .151 batting average.
Matt Magill (3-2, 3.73) is scheduled to start tonight's 7:15 game for the Lookouts, with Bryan Evans (0-3, 4.08) scheduled for the Suns.
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 ...