After battling to finish with a .500 record in the first half, then losing their first two games of the second half, the Lookouts won their third straight Sunday afternoon with a 5-2 victory over the visiting Tennessee Smokies.
The Lookouts had an early lead, but let it slip away before rallying and scoring in three consecutive late innings. The Lookouts’ rally included three home runs along the way.
The long homestand continues Monday night at 7:15 when the Montgomery Biscuits coming to town. Zach Lee is schedule to take his turn for the Lookouts.
Ross Stripling (4-1) started Sunday with the hot hand, retiring the first 11 Smokies in order.
Tennessee, a Chicago Cubs affiliate, did not break through on the scoreboard until the sixth, tying the game 2-all on three hits and a sacrifice fly. Justin Bour's RBI double wiped out the last of Stripling's lead.
The Lookouts built their 2-0 lead by manufacturing one run and striking with an unexpected long ball.
In the second, Joc Pederson walked, stole second and came home on a J.T. Wise base hit. In the fifth, Ozzie Martinez startled everyone with his first home run of the season at any level.
After losing the lead, the Lookouts got it right back in the bottom of the sixth on Wise's second homer of the season.
In the seventh, Jan Vazquez checked in with his fourth homer of the season, a solo shot. In the eighth, the Lookouts closed out the day's scoring on an RBI single from reliever Michael Thomas.
Thomas capped his memorable day with three hitless innings of relief to earn his first save. He walked no one and struck out four.
LOOKOUTS 11, SMOKIES 8
Finding themselves in a six-run deficit as the late innings approached, the Chattanooga Lookouts turned Saturday night's game at AT&T Field on a dime and stunned the Tennessee Smokies with 10 consecutive runs for an 11-8 victory.
The win was a big equalizer for the Lookouts, at it evened up the five-game series and their second half record at 2-2, as well as their season overall mark at 37-37.
Sean Burroughs and Joc Pederson had three RBIs apiece to allow reliever Onelki Garcia (1-3) to enjoy his first win of the season.
The Lookouts had a hole to climb out of after the Smokies finally figured out pitcher Duke von Schamann Saturday night.
The Chattanooga Lookouts right-hander, who did not allow more than a run in each of his first two 2013 starts, was touched up for three runs in the second inning, and the Smokies would go on to score in three other innings and build a 7-1 lead. At that point, the Lookouts joined the battle and gave a crowd of 4,079 a memorable night of baseball.
In the early going, only Bobby Coyle's RBI single made a dent in the Smokies' lead. But in the sixth, the Lookouts added a pair, with Coyle again the catalyst with a leadoff single.
Smokies leadoff man and former I-AA collegiate football star Matt Szczur led the Smokies to a 7-1 lead against Von Schamann by going 4-for-4 with a double and three RBIs.
The Lookouts’ bats had begun to come to life on Friday, and erupted again in the late innings Saturday. Burroughs and Brian Cavazos-Galvez each drove in a run, but the Lookouts stranded a pair of runners as well.
That missed chance was all but forgotten an inning later, when Joc Pederson's three-run single broke the seventh wide open and gave the home team an 8-7 lead. Setting the table for Pederson were a pinch-hit RBI double by J.T. Wise to start the scoring and a Coyle sacrifice fly that made it a very interesting 7-5 score. Pederson's hit followed a Rafael Ynoa single and a Cavazos-Galvez walk to load the bases.
Fortunately, the Lookouts were not content to rest on a one-run lead. In the eighth, Ynoa drove in one run with a single and Burroughs plated two more with a two-out single. Their value became apparent when Tennessee scored against would-be closer Yimi Garcia on a pair of doubles.