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Smokies fall to Lookouts in series finale

(Tennessee Smokies) The Chattanooga Lookouts defeated the Tennessee Smokies 4-3 in the final game of the series on Monday in Chattanooga behind a pair of ninth inning runs.

Chattanooga jumped out to an early lead when an RBI-double scored two runs to give the Lookouts a 2-0 lead in the third inning. The Smokies responded in the fourth inning, as Jason Vosler hit a leadoff double to start the frame. Yasiel Balaguert singled as the next batter, and Eddy Martinez grounded into a force out to score Vosler, making it a 2-1 game. Ian Rice added the tying run on a single to left field that scored Martinez and made it 2-2.

The game remained tied at 2-2 until the ninth inning. Rice opened the top of the ninth with a leadoff walk and Jesse Hodges reached on a fielding error to put runners at first and second. After a strikeout, Trey Martin walked to load the bases with one out. Jeffrey Baez, the Smokies hottest hitter with a .411 average, came through once again with a sacrifice fly to score Rice and gave Tennessee a 3-2 lead. Chattanooga responded with two runs in the bottom of the ninth to earn a walk-off victory.

Vosler and Balaguert led the Tennessee offense in the game. Vosler finished 2-for-4 at the plate and scored a run. Balaguert went 2-for-3. Baez, Hodges, Rice and Martinez all added a hit in the game and Martin earned two crucial walks.

Michael Rucker was the Smokies starting pitcher in Monday’s game. Rucker pitched 5.0 innings, allowing two runs on five hits. He also walked three and struck out four in his fourth start of the season. Zach Hedges relieved Rucker to start the sixth inning. Hedges threw 3.0 innings in his fifth appearance on the mound this year, giving up just one hit while striking out two. James Norwood pitched in the ninth inning, but could not secure the win.

The Smokies will be back in action on Wednesday as they open a five-game home stand against the Birmingham Barons. Right handed pitcher Trevor Clifton (2-2, 3.96 ERA) is scheduled to start on the mound for Tennessee. First pitch of Wednesday’s game is set for 7:00 from Smokies Stadium.Wednesday will be an All You Can Eat Wednesday, presented by Mrs. Grissom’s Salads. It will also be Peanut Free Night presented by the Allergy, Asthma & Sinus Center where fans with peanut allergies will be able to enjoy a Smokies game.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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