Strait Blasts Walk-off Homer in 3-2 Win
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - Cody Strait helped the red-hot Lookouts win their fourth straight game, the third of which in come-from-behind fashion, in an exhilarating 3-2 finish over the Carolina Mudcats in Thursday night action at AT&T Field.
The game began as a pitchers' dual between Carolina's Chris Volstad and Chattanooga's Sam LeCure. Both pitchers, however, would not factor into the decision and end the night by yielding one run in seven innings.
After three innings of shutout baseball, the Lookouts broke the ice in the fourth. Shaun Cumberland began the inning with a single and scampered down to second on a Volstad wild pitch. Tonys Gutierrez followed with an RBI single to account for the first run of the game.
Carolina countered in the fifth in a quick, atypical fashion, as Volstad helped his own cause by blasting a solo shot off of the left field scoreboard.
With both starting pitchers no longer on the mound, the real drama commenced in the final two innings.
Derrik Lutz came into the eighth and proceeded to walk leadoff batter Lorenzo Scott. A Scott stolen base attempt proved to be fortuitous for the Mudcats, as a Craig Tatum throw to second ended up in center field and allowed Scott to advance to third. John Raynor then hit a triple to give the Mudcats the lead. Lutz would settle down and retire the final two batters to end the inning without further damage.
The Lookouts broke out their late-inning magic, once again, in the ninth. Michael Griffin began the inning by being hit by a Todd Doolittle pitch. Tonys Gutierrez followed with a well-executed sacrifice bunt to advance Griffin to second. With Cody Strait now at the plate, Doolittle threw a wild pitch which caromed outside of the Lookouts' dugout, allowing the speedy Griffin to not only swipe third, but, without hesitation, race home for the tying run. Strait then capped-off the excitement by blasting a line-drive shot over the wall in left center.
Carolina and Chattanooga will continue their five-game series, tomorrow at 7:15. The featured promotion will be fireworks. Tickets for this games or any other Lookouts home game can be purchased at the Lookouts Box Office at AT&T Field, online at www.lookouts.com, or by calling (423) 267-4849.
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