Matt Magill was hoping for a pleasant Sunday afternoon as the starting pitcher for the Chattanooga Lookouts, but he exceeded his hopes.
In pacing the Lookouts to an 8-2 whipping of Mobile at AT&T Field, Magill allowed just one run in seven innings and tallied seven strikeouts. The 22-year-old right-hander also had an RBI double and scored twice.
"It's kind of a dream come true as far as one game," Magill said. "It felt good pitching, and my hitting brought me back to high school."
Sunday marked Magill's second consecutive outing in which he allowed a run in seven innings. The 6-foot-3, 175-pounder had not reached base in six plate appearances before Sunday, and because pitchers in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization don't have to hit until they reach Double-A, Magill hadn't reached since his days at Royal High in Simi Valley, Calif.
With the Lookouts leading 2-1 in the fifth inning, Magill drew a walk and eventually scored on a Kevin Munson balk to make it 4-1. Magill's at-bat to remember occurred in the sixth, when he followed a walk by Matt Wallach with a double to right that extended Chattanooga's advantage to 6-1.
"That was awesome," Magill said. "I haven't hit the ball like that in a long time."
Leadoff hitter Nick Buss followed Magill's double with a two-run home run to right that made it 8-1. Mobile scored a run in the ninth off Shawn Tolleson, whose streak of 17 consecutive scoreless innings dating back to last season ended.
Travis Denker had a two-run homer to left in the fourth for the Lookouts, who improved to 11-14 and halted a three-game losing streak. The BayBears dropped to 14-11.
"It seems like that's the way we've been playing," Chattanooga manager Carlos Subero said. "We let them take three of four, and then in that fifth one we bounce back and score some runs. It happened against Tennessee, and it happened here against Birmingham, too. It's the third time that's happened, so hopefully we can start playing better earlier in the series and then finish it off with a day like today."
The Lookouts are off today before traveling to Huntsville for a five-game series. Chris Withrow (0-0, 4.50) is scheduled to start Tuesday night's opener for Chattanooga, with Dan Merklinger (0-2, 9.24) scheduled for the Stars.