published Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Chattanooga Lookouts top Jacksonville Suns in game of mistakes

It's not the most desirable slogan for the Chattanooga Lookouts right now, but it's the most accurate.

Come see mistakes of all kind at AT&T Field.

The Lookouts and Jacksonville Suns combined for eight wild pitches Tuesday night and combined for eight errors Wednesday as Chattanooga hosted its first morning start of the season. The Lookouts prevailed 5-4 Wednesday, actually taking a no-hitter into the ninth inning before closer Pedro Baez allowed two hits and two runs.

"It just wasn't good baseball these last couple of days," Lookouts manager Razor Shines said. "This is the Double-A level, and it's a level in which they take players to the major leagues, but these couple of days just haven't been good baseball.

"The number of wild pitches has to go down. It just has to go down. It's baseball, and those things happen, but we'll get better with that as a team. We'll be better than that."

The Lookouts went up 3-2 in the sixth inning when Jacksonville center fielder Angel Morales lost a fly ball in the sun. That error allowed Jeremy Hazelbaker, who had reached on an error, to score from second.

Chattanooga (5-8) extended its advantage to 5-2 in the seventh, scoring twice with the help of two other Jacksonville errors.

Lookouts starting pitcher Chris Reed did not allow a hit in six innings, nor did he allow an earned run -- lowering his ERA to 1.02. He walked three but racked up nine strikeouts.

"Chris Reed was outstanding, and he kept the ball out in the middle of the plate," Shines said. "When you do that, you give yourself a chance. You keep the baserunners to a minimum, and that's what he did."

Relief pitcher Mike Thomas followed with a hitless seventh and eighth to put the Lookouts on the doorstep of their first no-hitter in Chattanooga since professional baseball returned to the city in 1976. That abruptly ended when Brady Shoemaker singled up the middle off Baez with nobody out.

"Chris and Mike were really dialed in today," Lookouts catcher Chris O'Brien said. "I've never caught a no-hitter before, but I have taken one to the ninth. It's the worst feeling ever when you give up a hit in the ninth."

In Chattanooga's 4-0 loss Tuesday, the Lookouts used four pitchers and all four threw wild pitches. Tyson Brummett, who started that game, was responsible for three.

Reed had a first-inning wild pitch that scored Morales, who reached on a throwing error, to give Jacksonville a 1-0 lead. Suns starter Angel Sanchez more than returned the favor later in the first by bringing home Noel Cuevas on a balk and Ozzie Martinez on a wild pitch.

The Suns tied the game in the third inning when Morales struck out but reached first on a passed ball. He stole second and was in the process of stealing third when O'Brien's throw went into left field.

Andres Santiago (0-0, 2.70 ERA) is scheduled to start tonight's 7:15 game for the Lookouts, with Justin Nicolino (0-1, 1.80) scheduled for the Suns.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.

about David Paschall...

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 ...

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