Smokies Lose 4-3, Don't Capture First Half Title

June 17, 2007

Kodak -- Travis Chick (2-0) allowed just one hit over 7 2/3 innings as visiting West Tenn handed Tennessee a costly 4-3 loss on Sunday.
The 23-year-old right-hander yielded an unearned run while striking out four and walking one. The no-hit bid did not sneak up on him.

"Oh, absolutely," Chick said when asked if he was aware of what was unfolding. "I try and throw a no-hitter in every game I've ever pitched. ... It's not realistic. How many games are started and how many no-hitters are thrown? But that's the goal."

Chick retired the first 14 batters he faced before Jake Fox reached on third baseman Matt Tuiasosopa's throwing error. Chick set down the next two batters before walking Carlos Rojas and yielding a base hit to Sam Fuld with one out in the sixth.

"I threw [Fuld] a changeup up in the zone and he hit it up the middle," said Chick. "That's what happens when you leave the ball up in the zone."

After missing more than a month with a strained right shoulder, Chick was roughed up for nine runs in three relief appearances with Triple-A Tacoma upon his return. But he's been nothing short of dominant since coming back to the Diamond Jaxx (31-39), allowing one earned run over 17 innings.

In two starts, he has given up only three hits and an unearned run.

"I'm 100 percent now," Chick said of the differences in results between Triple-A and Double-A . "I've always been comfortable starting, back in that routine. When I was up there, it was a new thing for me. It seemed like I wasn't ready."

David Asher allowed a run on two hits while retiring two batters and Craig James did the same before securing his 10th save.

Marshall Hubbard smacked a two-run homer, his sixth, in the fourth, and scored on Luis Valbuena's groundout in the seventh. Prentice Redman jacked a solo shot, his ninth.

Josh Kroeger lifted a sacrifice fly and Sam Cortes and Gary Cates chipped in RBI single for the Smokies (36-32), whose loss clinched the Southern League North Division first-half title for Huntsville.

Tennessee starter Paul Schappert (2-2) surrendered two runs on four hits while striking out two in six innings. Adalberto Mendez gave up two runs -- one earned -- on two hits without recording an out in the seventh.


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