Smokies’ late rally falls short in 7-6 loss

KODAK, Tenn. – Unable to climb out of a two-run deficit, the Tennessee Smokies fell just short in a 7-6 loss to the Chattanooga Lookouts Sunday, in front of 2,997 at Smokies Park. The loss puts the Smokies at 9-9 on the year, while Chattanooga improves to 8-10.

Down two runs heading in the bottom of the ninth, the Smokies were primed to at least send the game into extras. Jim Adduci and Elliot Soto led off the inning with back-to-back singles. Logan Watkins brought home Adduci with a fielder’s choice, cutting Chattanooga’s lead to 7-6. After Jae-Hoon Ha flew out and Justin Bour singled, Rebel Ridling stuck out to end the game.

Early on, the Smokies wasted little time jumping on the Lookouts and starter Ethan Martin (2-0). A Bour single would bring home Watkins and Bour would later come around to score a batter later on a Ridling double to give Tennessee an early 2-0 lead.

After the Lookouts scored a single run in the second, Juan Apodaca would score on a wild pitch by Martin extending the Smokies lead, 3-1.

Tennessee starter Ryan Searle (1-1) gave up three runs over the third and fourth innings to give the Lookouts a 4-3 lead. Searle allowed four runs on seven hits in four innings of work.

Tennessee reliever Casey Weathers entered in the fifth and struggled to find his command. He hit two batters and walked two more to give the Lookouts a 5-3 lead. Newcomer Casey Harman relieved Weathers and got the Smokies out of the inning, only allowing one run to score.

Down 6-3 heading into the seventh, the Smokies led off the inning with three consecutive hits by Apodaca, Nate Samson and Adduci. Apodaca would score on another wild pitch, and Samson scored on an Elliot Soto sacrifice fly narrowing the Smokies gap to 6-5.

After the Lookouts responded with a single run in the eighth off Tennessee reliever Dan Berlind, the Smokies made their last-ditch effort to pull out the win. Steven Ames (S, 1) was able to hold them to the one run though to secure the win for Chattanooga.

The Smokies and Lookouts will continue their five-game series Monday at 7:15 p.m. RHP Dallas Beeler (0-0, 1.08) will start for the Smokies, with the Lookouts countering with LHP Aaron Miller (1-1, 3.00). Monday is $1 hot dog night at Smokies Park.

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