The Birmingham Barons and Chattanooga Lookouts took part in the 17th Annual Rickwood Classic Wednesday afternoon at historic Rickwood Field with the Lookouts prevailing 7-6 in front of 7,180 fans.
On a sunny afternoon at America's oldest in-use ballpark, the Barons took an early 2-0 lead on a Kenny Williams Jr. two-run single in the second inning.
The Lookouts would come back to tie the game in the top of the third as starter Nestor Molina surrendered three-straight doubles, knotting the score at 2-2.
As member of the Lookouts last season, Barons infielder Corey Smith watched as the Barons rallied from a 3-2 ninth inning deficit to win 4-3 in 11 innings in the 16th installment of the classic. In his second appearance at Rickwood Smith would give the Barons a 4-2 lead in the fifth on a booming two-run home run to straightaway center field. The home run was Smith's fifth of the season.
However, Molina was unable to hold the lead, surrendering two more runs in the sixth before being removed in favor of reliever Leroy Hunt.
The lookouts would take the lead for good in the seventh, scoring three runs on two walks, two singles and a sacrifice fly against Hunt (0-2, 10.13) to take a 7-4 lead.
The Barons looked to replicate last year's comeback magic, picking up a run in the eighth on a Williams Jr. RBI single. In the ninth, Seth Loman plated the Barons' sixth run with a single to center in the ninth but with the tying run at first Jose Martinez struck out to end the game.
The win went to Lookouts reliever Eammon Portice (1-0, 6.00) while Hunt took the loss. Steve Ames recorded the final three outs for his third save of the season.
The loss dropped the Barons to 24-29 on the year and 8-9 in 17 Rickwood Classic games. It was also the first loss for the Barons against the Lookouts in the Classic, having won the previous three contests. Williams Jr. finished 2-for-4 with three RBI in the losing effort.