KODAK, Tenn. – Five unanswered runs, capped by a four-run eighth for the Tennessee Smokies in Tuesday afternoon’s affair with the Chattanooga Lookouts brought the team back from a 7-0 deficit and a Smokies Park crowd to their feet heading into the late innings. Tennessee’s rally came up short though, as Chattanooga defeated the Smokies 7-5. The Smokies dropped to 9-11 on the season. Chattanooga improved to 10-10.
Tennessee starter Dae-Eun Rhee (1-1) was unable to fool the Chattanooga bats to start the game. After back-to-back singles to lead off the frame, J.T. Wise laced a single to right scoring two. Blake Smith followed with an RBI double to right to put the Lookouts on top 3-0. A Justin Bour error extended the inning and two more run came around to score to give the Lookouts a 5-0 lead after a half an inning.
Rhee would surrender two more runs in the third inning, and end his afternoon after five innings allowing seven runs (five earned) on nine hits and striking out five.
Down 7-0, the Smokies would get on the scoreboard in the fifth inning. Nate Samson hit a one-out double and would later score on a wild pitch by Lookouts starter Matt Magill to narrow the gap to 7-1.
Magill (1-1) left the game after seven innings, allowing one run on five hits, while striking out six.
The Tennessee bullpen kept the Smokies in the game. Newcomer Scott Weismann tossed three innings allowing only two hits in his Double-A debut. Weismann added another first, collecting a hit in his first professional at-bat in the seventh inning.
The Smokies bats staged a rally in the eighth. Jae-Hoon Ha led off with a double and after moving to third, he made a mad dash to home to score on a grounder to third. Mike Burgess followed with a double to center, Juan Apodaca walked, and Samson reached on an error by the shortstop Jake Lemmerman. All three came around to score, as Jim Adduci hit a pinch-hit, bases-clearing double to right-center to make it 7-5.
Tennessee reliever Casey Weathers tossed a 1-2-3 ninth to give the Smokies a chance to win the game in the ninth.
Chattanooga closer Shawn Tolleson (S, 4) was able to close the door on the Smokies rally and the game, giving the Lookouts the series finale win.
The Smokies will head to Jackson, Tenn. to take on the Jackson Generals in a five-game set beginning Wednesday, April 25. The Smokies will return to Smokies Park on Tuesday, May 1 for a five-game series with the Montgomery Biscuits. For tickets fans can visit www.smokiesbaseball.com or call (865) 286-2300.