Tough times continued Thursday night for the Chattanooga Lookouts, who put up an eight-run inning and still lost.
West Tenn topped Chattanooga 10-9 at AT&T Field after a wacky first three innings in which the Diamond Jaxx jumped to an 8-0 lead and the Lookouts forged back to a 9-9 tie. In a series that has featured potent pitching, especially by West Tenn, Lookouts starter Alberto Bastardo couldn't make it through two innings and Diamond Jaxx counterpart Dan Cortes couldn't make it through three.
"Our bullpen did a great job and gave us a chance to win the ballgame," Lookouts pitching coach Danny Darwin said, "but their bullpen came in and shut us down, too."
West Tenn's winning run occurred in the sixth inning, when Alex Liddi drew a two-out walk off David Pfeiffer and Johan Limonta followed with a double to right-center.
The Lookouts dropped to 22-32 after losing the highest-scoring game they've played this season. The Diamond Jaxx improved to 30-23 with their sixth straight win.
Bastardo, who leads the Lookouts with five wins, got Brandon Haveman to ground out to open the game but then gave up two singles and a Limonta double to left-center field that put the Diamond Jaxx up 2-0. A single by Jose Yepez in the next at-bat resulted in an early visit from Darwin.
Darwin was back out on the mound after Bastardo opened the second by loading the bases, and it was manager Carlos Subero's turn later that inning after Dustin Ackley's two-out single up the middle scored Yepez to make it 8-0.
"He was just up in the zone with everything," Darwin said. "His slider was flat. He had been throwing the ball good, but tonight he just couldn't get the ball down. It was just one of those nights."
It was 9-1 going into the bottom of the third when it was time for Cortes to unravel. Cortes allowed three walks in the second inning to help the Lookouts get on the board, and he allowed two more in the third to go along with six hits before getting the hook.
Trayvon Robinson and Corey Smith were among the Lookouts getting to bat twice in the third inning, as they sent 12 to the plate.
"That was a lot of fun, but then they shut us down after that," Robinson said.
Bastardo had his earned run average balloon from 3.75 to 4.85, while Cortes had his jump from 4.82 to 6.58.
The Lookouts made some noise in the eighth inning, putting runners on the corners with two out, before former University of Georgia closer Josh Fields got Eddy Perez to fly to left. Fields retired the Lookouts in order in the ninth.
"It was a pretty wild night," Robinson said. "At least we fought back and didn't give up."
Mario Alvarez (5-3, 3.75 ERA) is the Lookouts' scheduled pitcher for tonight's 7:15 series finale, with Steve Bray (2-3, 2.53) scheduled for the Diamond Jaxx.
David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...