Chattanooga State may upset the Chattanooga Lookouts one of these years at AT&T Field, but Tuesday night was just another close call.
J.T. Wise hit a two-run homer to left field in the first inning and Yasiel Puig drove in two runs as the Lookouts held on for a 5-4 triumph over the Tigers in a seven-inning exhibition. The Lookouts won last year's meeting 1-0 and prevailed 4-2 two years ago.
"The last three years we've done a pretty good job, and we're proud of that," Chattanooga State coach Greg Dennis said. "We want to make it at least competitive, and we come in expecting to scrap for our lives to try and keep it close. We felt like we had some guys who could swing it a little bit, and we hit a couple of balls pretty well that allowed us to hang around."
Read Walden, Jordan McDonald and Casey Mannion had triples for the Tigers, who are 26-8 and ranked 18th in NJCAA Division I. The Tigers trailed 5-2 with two out in the sixth inning when Luke Shipway hit a two-run double to right.
"They were bringing it in the mid 90s, so I was expecting a fastball," Shipway said. "I got ready early and put a good swing on it. This was exciting. It was a Double-A professional ballclub, and we were playing them close."
Puig reached in the first inning on a broken-bat infield hit, and Wise followed with his drive over the scoreboard. Puig had another infield hit in the second inning with the bases loaded to make it 3-0, and his groundout RBI in the fourth made it 4-2.
The Lookouts took a 5-2 lead in the fifth on a Jan Vazquez sacrifice fly to center.
"I thought this was nice, because it kind of gave us a dry run," Lookouts manager Jody Reed said. "I was very impressed with Chattanooga State. I think Greg has done a fantastic job there, and they were clearly well-coached and fundamentally sound."
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