It's a brand new day for the Chattanooga Lookouts.
O'Koyea Dickson's one-out single to left field in the ninth inning Wednesday afternoon scored Darnell Sweeney and propelled the Lookouts to a 4-3 win over Pensacola before an announced crowd of 2,360 at AT&T Field.
Chattanooga improved to 4-3 in the second half with its third straight victory, marking the first time all season the Lookouts have been above .500.
"It's been a good start to the second half for everybody, and we're going to try and keep it rolling day in and day out," Dickson said. "It's nice getting a fresh start in the second half and kind of prove to ourselves and to the league that we're a much better team than what we showed in the first half. We're coming to the yard expecting to win, and we're preparing a lot better.
"We're putting in the work in the cage and on the field, but we're having fun as well. That's the main thing."
Dickson was drenched by teammates after a ninth inning that began with the Lookouts trailing 3-2. Pensacola sent Elvin Ramirez to the mound, and he allowed a leadoff walk to Casio Grider, a single to right by Sweeney and an RBI single to center by pinch-hitter Alberto Rosario.
The Blue Wahoos took their 3-2 lead in the eighth inning on a home run to left by Juan Duran, a 6-foot-7, 228-pounder from the Dominican Republic.
Sweeney opened Chattanooga's first inning with a double to center and scored on Daniel Mayora's one-out single up the middle to put the Lookouts up 1-0. Pensacola scored twice in the third inning for a 2-1 lead, but Chattanooga tied it in the fourth when Scott Schebler tripled to center and scored on Brian Cavazos-Galvez's bloop single to left.
Chattanooga was 2-2 in the first half but lost eight of its next 11 games and wound up 26-44.
"One really good thing about minor league baseball is getting that fresh start," Schebler said. "New guys can come in, and it's just a new, fresh start. We're taking care of the baseball better. We made a lot of errors in the first half and didn't take care of the baseball."
Manager Razor Shines agreed that his team is catching the ball better and has been playing better baseball overall, but he's not putting too much into Chattanooga's first winning record of the season.
"I don't like to look at the start of the second half as any kind of reprieve," Shines said. "I look at it as an opportunity to continue the thing that we started at the beginning of the season. It's just been six or seven games, and that's a very small sample size, so I don't want to get out of whack.
"We're continuing to develop and to do things better, and I think you'll continue to see us play better in the second half."
Chris Reed (4-5, 3.00 ERA) is the Lookouts' scheduled starting pitcher for tonight's 7:15 game. Michael Lorenzen (4-4, 2.61) is scheduled for the Blue Wahoos.
Contact David Paschall at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6524.
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 ...