KODAK, Tenn. (release) -- Behind an outstanding pitching performance by Dallas Beeler, the Tennessee Smokies (9-10, 44-45) defeated the Chattanooga Lookouts (11-8, 43-44) 4-3 in front of 3,095 at Smokies Park. Beeler finished the night allowing four hits, no walks and striking out five in his seven scoreless innings of work.
With a scoreless game through the first two and a half innings, the Smokies exploded for four runs in the third inning off Lookouts starter Ethan Martin (7-5). Juan Apodaca extended his hitting streak to six games with a lead off single, and then advanced to second when Nelson Perez walked. After Apodaca was thrown out at third on Beeler’s sacrifice bunt attempt, Junior Lake went the opposite way with a double scoring Perez. Beeler and Lake came around to score when Logan Watkins doubled to right and Watkins easily scored as Justin Bour ripped a double to right-center to give Tennessee a 4-0 advantage.
Chattanooga cut into their deficit in the top of the eighth against reliever Tony Zych who surrendered a two-run double to Blake Smith that narrowed the Lookout’s gap, 4-2.
The Lookouts created some suspense in the ninth against reliever Marcus Hatley. With runners at the corners Pedro Baez hit a ground ball to Junior Lake who misplayed the ball, allowing a run to score making it a 4-3 game.
Frank Batista retired the final two batters of the ninth for his 16th save of the season, which is tied for the most in the Southern League.
Following an off day tomorrow, the Smokies will head to Hoover, Ala. to take on the Birmingham Barons in a four-game series. The Smokies will return to Smokies Park on Saturday, July 14 to take on in-state rivals Jackson Generals. For tickets and more information, visit www.smokiesbaseball.com or call (865) 286-2300.
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