Lookouts win first-half home finale

Lookouts win first-half home finale

June 7th, 2013 by David Paschall in Sports - Professional

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

The Chattanooga Lookouts won their final home game of the Southern League's first half Thursday night, roaring past Mississippi 13-8 at AT&T Field.

They prevailed despite having their streak of holding opponents to five or fewer runs halted at 16 consecutive contests. The Lookouts allowed just 30 runs, or 1.88 a game, in that 16-game stretch and won 12 of them.

"To take our pitching staff and to see where we were coming out of the gate, and then addressing that and seeing where our pitching is at right now couldn't make me happier," Lookouts manager Jody Reed said before Thursday's game. "These guys have grasped the things we were trying to get them to do, and they've taken it right to the games. Our pitching has been superb the last 20 or 25 games."

The Lookouts improved to 29-31 overall, and they went 19-16 in first-half home games. The final scheduled appearance for the Braves at AT&T drew a crowd of 2,144.

Chattanooga's starting pitchers have a 3.03 earned run average so far this month, with the relievers even better at 2.45. The starters had a 4.59 ERA in May, while the relievers had a 4.98 ERA in April.

"I think it was just those guys getting comfortable in their spots and knowing when they were going to come in the game," catcher Griff Erickson said. "A lot of guys started out not knowing what their roles were going to be, and then we had a few injuries here and there, but now they've settled into their roles and know when they're coming in."

Mississippi benefited from a Ross Stripling wild pitch and a throwing error by first baseman J.T. Wise to score three first-inning runs. The Lookouts pulled within 3-2 later in the first on Joc Pederson's RBI triple to right field and Sean Burroughs' RBI double to left.

The Braves took a 5-3 lead in the fourth inning on RBIs by Mycal Jones and Luis Nunez, but Chattanooga forged ahead to stay with a four-run fifth that included doubles by Pederson and Wise and an infield hit by relief pitcher Steve Smith that resulted in Wise and Jan Vazquez scoring. The Lookouts scored 10 straight runs at one point, including Brian Cavazos-Galvez's home run to left and Ozzie Martinez's three-run homer to left in the eighth inning.

Chattanooga will play its final two series of the half at Jackson, beginning tonight at 8:05 EDT, and at Huntsville, beginning next Thursday.

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