CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Smokies Baseball) – Jae-Hoon Ha’s two run single in the ninth inning completed a late inning rally, and the Smokies came back to beat the Lookouts 5-3 on Wednesday afternoon at AT&T Field. With the win, the Smokies improve to 24-16 on the year, and they have now won seven of their first eight series played in 2011.
RHP Trey McNutt made his sixth start of the season and gave up three straight base hits to the Lookouts with one out in the first inning. The last hit was an RBI single to right field off the bat of Kyle Russell that drove in Elien Herrera from second base to give Chattanooga a 1-0 lead. The Smokies responded immediately in the second inning off RHP Chris Withrow (). Rebel Ridling led off the frame with a solo homer to right field off Withrow, his seventh of the season, to tie the game at 1-1 after two innings.
The Smokies took a brief lead in the top of the sixth, as Jae-Hoon Ha led off with a single and moved in scoring position with a stolen base. Ha then advanced to third base after Ryan Flaherty reached on a throwing error by Withrow. The next batter, Blake Lalli, line a single up the middle to score Ha from third, and Tennessee went ahead 2-1. The lead was short-lived, as the Lookouts responded with two runs on four straight hits in the bottom of the sixth. The scoring was highlighted by a two-run double from Ivan Ochoa to put Chattanooga back in front, 3-2.
The Lookouts would stay in front all the way until the ninth inning when RHP Josh Lindblom (1-3) came in to try and record the save. The Smokies smacked around Lindblom for three straight base hits to start off the frame, including an RBI single from Marwin Gonzalez to tie the game at 3-3. After a ground out by D.J. LeMahieu advanced runners to second and third, Ha belted a go-ahead, two-run single down the left field line to put the Smokies ahead 5-3.
Blake Parker came in to pitch the bottom of the ninth inning and gave up a walk before Jamie Pedroza popped up into the infield to end the game. RHP Marco Carrillo (4-0) picked up the win in two scoreless innings of relief.
The Smokies return home for a five game series against the Mobile BayBears beginning Thursday at 7:15. RHP Alberto Cabrera (4-2, 5.55) gets the start for the Smokies, while the BayBears go with LHP Patrick Corbin (2-1, 4.95). Tickets can be purchased at www.smokiesbaseball.com or by calling (865) 286-2300.