When Chattanooga Lookouts third baseman Travis Denker committed a fielding error three batters into Sunday afternoon’s game at AT&T Field, it was forgotten when a groundout in the ensuing at-bat ended the first inning.
Nearly four hours later, Denker wasn’t as fortunate. His fielding gaffe with two out in the 12th inning resulted in Josh Ford’s grounder getting down the left-field line and scoring Ryan Wheeler and Taylor Harbin to propel Mobile to a 7-5 victory.
“I don’t know what it is, but I’m pretty bummed about it,” Denker said. “I’m just going to take a thousand more ground balls and try to get better.”
Mobile entered last Wednesday’s six-game series opener at AT&T Field on a 10-game winning streak and quickly earned No. 11 with a 6-3 victory, but the Lookouts and BayBears have split the four games since. The BayBears (18-6) comfortably lead the Southern League’s South Division second-half race, as do the Lookouts (14-10) in the North.
The two teams could meet again in September, but Lookouts manager Carlos Subero would like for one thing to change between now and then.
“Not to get greedy, but this is where a lack of execution has put us,” Subero said. “We’re down 3-2 in this series, but I think it should at least be 3-2 on our side. They had no errors today, and we had two.
“If we’re able to minimize mistakes, we’ve got a great ballclub. We’ve got some power and some speed, and our pitching has been tremendous. It’s all about defense for us.”
Sunday was the fourth time in 10 games that Chattanooga has had to play at least three extra innings.
Brian Cavazos-Galvez’s two-run home run to left field in the first inning gave Chattanooga a 3-0 lead. Scott Van Slyke preceded Cavazos-Galvez with a two-out double to left that scored Elian Herrera.
Van Slyke’s double was his 35th this season, which leads the league, and the homer by Cavazos-Galvez cleared the protective netting and just missed reaching the Olgiati Bridge.
“I hit a frustration shot the other day at Tennessee that went a little longer,” Cavazos-Galvez said. “I got ahead early on the one today and got a pitch I could handle.”
The BayBears responded with four straight runs, but the Lookouts went back up 5-4 on Hector Gimenez’s bloop single to right that scored Allen Webster and Alfredo Silverio. Mobile tied it in the sixth when Adam Eaton homered to left-center.
Tonight’s 7:15 series finale will be a rematch of last Wednesday’s opener, with Nathan Eovaldi (6-5, 2.56 ERA) scheduled to pitch for the Lookouts and Jarrod Parker (8-6, 4.22) for the BayBears.
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 ...