KODAK, Tenn. (release) -- The Tennessee Smokies used a balanced hitting attack and quality pitching to defeat the Chattanooga Lookouts Sunday evening, 6-3. The win, in front of 2,432 at Smokies Park, improves the Smokies to 8-10 on the season’s second half, 43-45 overall.
Tennessee closes the gap on the first-place Lookouts (11-7, 43-43) to three games in the Southern League North Division.
Chattanooga broke a scoreless tie in the second inning when J.T. Wise homered off Tennessee starter Trey McNutt to give the Lookouts an early 1-0 lead.
Tennessee answered right back when Justin Bour homered to right center to tie the game at one.
With the Lookouts ahead 2-1, the Smokies bats came alive in the fifth, scoring three times on four hits. Elliot Soto reached on an error and Mike Burgess followed with a pinch-hit single to put runners at the corners. Junior Lake grounded out to advance Burgess. With two outs, back-to-back RBI singles by Logan Watkins and Greg Rohan gave the Smokies the lead. After an intentional walk to Justin Bour, Mike Brenly extended Tennessee’s lead with an RBI single to score Watkins.
McNutt (5-7) would exit the game after five innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits, walking two and striking out two.
Tennessee would extend its lead in the sixth. Nate Samson reached on a two-base error on shortstop Jake Lemmerman, advanced to third on a fly out by Burgess and would score on a Lake single to give the Smokies a 5-1 lead.
The Smokies’ bullpen of Casey Weathers, Ty’Relle Harris and Frank Batista finished the game for the Smokies allowing a combined one run on two hits in four innings of work. Batista picked up his 15th save of the season.
The rubber match between the Smokies and Lookouts will be Monday night at 7:15 at Smokies Park. Tennessee will send RHP Dallas Beeler (3-6, 4.31) to the mound and Chattanooga will counter with RHP Ethan Martin (7-4, 2.99). For tickets and more information, visit www.smokiesbaseball.com or call (865) 286-2300.
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