Even four games into a season, atonement can be appreciated in minor league baseball.
Chattanooga outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker drew a clap of frustration from Lookouts manager Razor Shines in the first inning of Sunday's game at AT&T Field, when he made a base-running gaffe after stealing second. By the eighth inning, however, Hazelbaker was receiving a slap on the rear from Shines after reaching third on a game-tying triple.
Daniel Mayora followed Hazelbaker's shot to right-center with a two-run home run to left-center as the Lookouts rallied past Jackson 5-3 to square the season-opening series at two games apiece.
"He's an intense manager, and everybody loves playing for him," Hazelbaker said. "We lost a chance early with me being on second with one out to take an early lead, and luckily that didn't come back to bite us in the butt. It's a lot of emotion coming out of him, and we try and give it back."
Jackson entered the bottom of the eighth leading 3-2 and had former Cleveland State and Tennessee Tech pitcher Stephen Pryor on the mound. Pryor, a Ringgold, Ga., resident who pitched in seven games last season for the Seattle Mariners, walked the first two batters but then got Darnell Sweeney to ground into a double play.
With two out and Noel Cuevas on third, Hazelbaker provided the tying triple. His miscue in the first inning occurred when the ball briefly rolled away from second and he took too big of a lead toward third.
"He wanted to be at third base worse than I wanted him to be at third base, and those things will happen," Shines said, "but that was a big hit he came up with. You can't draw that up any better.
"We made some mistakes early, but as long as you play this game, you're going to make some mistakes. It's just built that way, so as long as you can stay after it the way these guys did today -- I'm just very proud of them."
In the top of the second inning, a throwing error by second baseman Sweeney while trying to turn an inning-ending double play resulted in Jackson's first run. The Generals made it 2-0 in the third when Jamal Austin's double to left scored Nate Melendres, and a Kevin Rivers sacrifice to left in the fifth extended Jackson's lead to 3-0.
O'Koyea Dickson opened the bottom of the fifth with a home run to left to pull Chattanooga within 3-1, and Scott Schebler followed with a triple to left. An Ozzie Martinez sacrifice brought in Schebler to make it 3-2.
"The first game of the season showed that this team is not going to give up," Hazelbaker said. "We're going to keep fighting until the last pitch of the game is thrown."
Garrett Gould is scheduled to start tonight's 7:15 series finale for the Lookouts, with Jordan Pries scheduled for the Generals.
Von Schamann traded
Lookouts starting pitcher Duke von Schamann, who worked seven scoreless innings during Friday night's win, was informed before Sunday's game that he had been traded to the Cleveland Indians.
"I had heard some things from my agent and some scouts, but you hear that stuff all the time and never really think anything of it," von Schamann said. "I've only made one start this year, so it's kind of early. I'm definitely surprised.
"It's a good opportunity and it means that they want me, but I'm also sad I'm leaving all my friends here."
Von Schamann was traded for Indians left-handed reliever Colt Hynes, who was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque.
Contact David Paschall at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 ...