published Saturday, May 24th, 2014

Braves hold off Lookouts, 7-5

By Idris Garcia

The Chattanooga Lookouts fought to climb back into Friday night's contest with the Mississippi Braves at AT&T Field but could not quite make it, falling 7-5.

The teams traded blows in the first inning as each scored two runs. Cedric Hunter delivered a two-run home run for the Braves, but the Lookouts responded in the bottom half with four straight hits.

Darnell Sweeney, Ryan Adams and Jeremy Hazelbaker stayed hot with singles before O'Koyea Dickson smacked a two-run double into the left-field corner.

"No matter what [the situation is], we're taught that if they score 11, we want to score 12," Sweeney said of his team's resilience. "You have to have that competitive spirit."

Lookouts starting pitcher Chris Reed looked to settle in with a scoreless second, but Hunter rolled back around to deliver another punishing shot in the third. He took Reed deep for the second straight at-bat but with two runners on this time to give the Braves a 5-2 lead.

They tacked on another two runs in the fourth before Chattanooga responded. The Lookouts picked up two runs in the fifth and added another in the sixth.

Center fielder Noel Cuevas hit a double down the line with one out to set Sweeney up for his second knock of the game, an RBI triple in the fifth. Sweeney scampered home on a wild pitch by Braves starter J.R. Graham.

"I'm just slowing down [at the plate] and sticking with my plan," Sweeney said.

The Lookouts loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth but could muster only one run -- on a double play.

Although Reed had a shaky start, the Chattanooga relievers shut down Hunter and the rest of the Braves lineup, allowing only one hit in four shutout innings to give their team a chance to win.

"When a guy doesn't have his best stuff, we've got guys that can back him up," Sweeney said. "It's good when your team is there to have your back."

Adams made his third consecutive start at second base count, securing his third multihit game in as many days after starting only four games in May before this series.

Contact Idris Garcia at sports@timesfreepress.com

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