Win or lose, Scott Schebler sure is being productive these days for the Chattanooga Lookouts.
The left fielder scored the winning run in Friday's 5-4 extra-inning win at Birmingham and hit a walk-off home run in Saturday's 7-6 win over visiting Mobile. Schebler hit for the cycle in a 4-for-5, three-RBI performance Sunday afternoon at AT&T Field, but there were no late-game heroics as the Lookouts (22-35) fell to the BayBears 16-9 before a crowd of 2,171.
"It's been pretty cool," Schebler said. "I could get used to this for sure."
Schebler's Sunday contained a little bit of everything, as the 23-year-old from Iowa singled in the fourth, tripled in the sixth, doubled in the seventh and homered in the ninth. He also struck out and was charged with a fielding error.
The first two months provided some of the same for Schebler, who has encountered ups and downs under manager Razor Shines after earning the Branch Rickey Award last year as the top minor-leaguer in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization.
"There has been a lot of growing to do," Schebler said. "This is one of the bigger steps that you will take. From rookie ball to A-ball is a big one, and going to Double-A is a big one. I feel like I've handled some stuff well and other stuff bad.
"Overall, I feel good with where I'm at, but I'm not happy."
Schebler hit .296 last season with 27 home runs and 91 RBIs with Rancho Cucamonga in the high Single-A California League. The 6-foot-1, 208-pounder has picked up where he left off in several aspects, as he ranks second in the Southern League in homers (11), first in triples (seven) and third in total bases (105).
Yet he was hitting just .240 before Sunday's outburst -- he's now at .254 -- and has 60 strikeouts.
"You never want your average that low," Schebler said. "The pitching is better up here and the ballparks are a little different than last year. I feel like I've been putting some solid contact on the ball, but it hasn't been going my way. With the way baseball can go, I think it will even out at the end of the year."
Said Shines: "I'm not going to say he hasn't hit some balls hard, but he's also leading this team in strikeouts. If we can minimize the strikeouts, and Scott and I have talked about this, it will give him more opportunities on the balls he doesn't hit hard to get a base hit."
Shines has been pleased with Schebler to this point, referring to him as quiet but a good leader by example.
"Scott Schebler is a future major-leaguer, but there are a lot of parts to Scott's game that need to be improved," Shines said. "The important part of his game that he needs to improve is his play around the outfield. Schebler is going to be a major-league player and an everyday major-league player, and the sooner he gets these things done, the faster it's going to help his progression to the big leagues."
Mobile was up 6-4 entering the fifth inning, when the BayBears racked up seven runs on seven hits at the expense of Lookouts relief pitcher Hector Nelo. Mark Thomas started the surge with a home run to center field, with Jon Griffin providing the big blast with a grand slam to left.
Jake Land went 5-for-6 for the victorious BayBears and compiled 10 total bases.
Sunday's game contained 36 hits and marked Chattanooga's eighth consecutive contest played in excess of three hours. Seven of the eight have been longer than 3:15, with Sunday's game lasting 3:35.
Chris Reed (3-3, 2.88) is scheduled to start tonight's 7:15 contest for the Lookouts, with A.J. Schugel (2-1, 3.62) scheduled for the BayBears.
Contact David Paschall at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6524.