CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – After being held without a hit over the first five innings, the Tennessee Smokies broke through with four runs in the sixth and defeated the Chattanooga Lookouts, 7-4, on Sunday afternoon at AT&T Field.
In what began as a pitchers’ duel, the Lookouts opened the scoring in the bottom of the fifth inning. Pinch hitting for Chattanooga starter Matt Magill, who had yet to allow a hit, Travis Denker laced a one-out single to left to give the Lookouts a 1-0 lead.
With Magill out of the game, the Smokies responded in the top of the sixth, plating four runs on four hits against the Lookouts bullpen to build up a 4-1 advantage. Reliever John Michael Redding retired the first two batters he faced, but a walk and back-to-back singles by Jae-Hoon Ha and Justin Bour tied the game at 1-1 and set up a Matt Cerda two-run triple to center to give the Smokies their first lead of the contest at 3-1. Mike Burgess followed with an RBI single to make it 4-1.
Chattanooga quickly tied the game at four in the bottom of the sixth inning when J.T. Wise led off with a home run and Matt Wallach and Denker delivered two-out RBI hits.
In the top of the seventh, the Smokies loaded the bases and took a 5-4 lead on a fielders’ choice off the bat of Ha. Bour’s second RBI single of the night made it 6-4 and the Smokies pushed their final run across later in the frame on an error by Wise to cap the scoring at 7-4.
Bour finished 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs as eight different Smokies recorded hits. Ha went just 1-for-5 but still scored twice and drove in a run.
On the mound for Tennessee, Dae-Eun Rhee started and allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits in 5.2 innings in his Double-A debut. Ryan Searle (1-0) allowed one hit over 2.1 scoreless frames of relief to earn the win in his first appearance of the season while Kevin Rhoderick retired the side in order in the bottom of the ninth to pick up his first save of the year.
The Smokies and Lookouts conclude their five-game series on Monday night at 7:15 p.m. when Tennessee sends southpaw Brooks Raley to the mound at AT&T Field in Chattanooga.
GAME NOTES: The Smokies have won six of the last seven meetings with Chattanooga dating back to last September’s North Division Championship Series… Logan Watkins is the only Tennessee batter to hit safely in each of the team’s first four contests… Of the 15 runs Tennessee has surrendered this season, 13 have been scored in the sixth inning.
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