Lookouts squeeze a win over Barons

Lookouts squeeze a win over Barons

April 18th, 2013 by David Paschall in Sports - Professional

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Joc Pederson's two-run home run to right field in the third inning didn't win Wednesday's game for the Chattanooga Lookouts.

Nor did his two-run homer to right-center in the eighth.

A Miguel Rojas squeeze bunt with one out in the bottom of the ninth scored Bobby Coyle to finally subdue Birmingham 5-4 at AT&T Field. It was the first one-run victory for the Lookouts, who suffered three one-run defeats in the season's first two weeks.

"It was set up pretty good, and Rojas handles the bat really well," Lookouts manager Jody Reed said. "We got to that 2-1 count, and the pitcher has to come in there. I was just counting on a fastball, and we got it."

Pederson, the 20-year-old center fielder, continued to dazzle in his first Double-A season, going 3-for-4 with the two homers. The No. 4 prospect in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization according to Baseball America is hitting .308 with five homers and 12 RBIs in 13 games.

"I still have some improving to do and some things to fine tune and stuff," Pederson said. "I've just got to keep working."

Pederson became the first Southern League player to notch five homers and 12 RBIs. His second homer Wednesday provided the Lookouts (5-8) a 4-2 lead, but Michael Earley hit a two-run homer to left in the top of the ninth to square the game.

A crowd of 2,198 attended Chattanooga's first businessperson's special of the spring, which was the first AT&T audience of less than 4,000. Chattanooga entered Wednesday with an average of 4,737, good for second in the Southern League behind Birmingham.

"It's been a really good start outside of the opener being rained out," Lookouts general manager Rich Mozingo said. "The Most Improved Student night has been such a good program for us."

Pederson's first homer put Chattanooga up 2-0, but the Barons (8-5) pulled within 2-1 in the fourth when Keenyn Walker and Marcus Semien singled to left and Dan Black singled to right to drive in Walker.

The Lookouts maintained their 2-1 advantage until the eighth inning, when relievers Hector Nelo and Eric Eadington struggled. Nelo loaded the bases while recording just one out, and Eadington got the second out but then walked in a run.

Rob Rasmussen (0-2, 6.75) is scheduled to start tonight's 7:15 game for the Lookouts, with Scott Snodgrass (2-0, 3.27) scheduled for the Barons.

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