CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - LaMonte Wade's seventh inning tiebreaking two-run single vaulted the Lookouts past the Barons by a score of 5-4 on Sunday afternoon.
The Mothers' Day matinee had the makings of a great pitchers' duel between Barons starter Michael Kopech and Lookouts' right hander Paul Clemens. Neither pitcher allowed a run through the first five innings, with Kopech taking a no hitter into the sixth.
The Barons struck first, as Nick Basto blasted his first of two home runs on the afternoon, a solo shot in the top of the sixth.
However, the first batter of the bottom half of the sixth, Ryan Walker, took the no-hitter, shutout and lead from Kopech as he sent a fly ball just over the wall in right to tie the game at one, and Chattanooga wasn't done in the inning. Following a walk and two singles, including an RBI base hit from Edgar Corcino, Kopech departed, leaving the inning up to Ian Hamilton. The Lookouts would tack on one more run in the inning on an error to take a 3-1 lead into the seventh.
Much like last night, the two teams would then exchange runs in the late innings. Keon Barnum smacked his eighth home run of the season, a two-run shot to dead center field to tie the game at three in the top of the seventh. But, with two on and one out in the bottom half of the inning, the stage was set for Wade's heroics, as he lined a two run single in front of Mason Robbins to break the tie for good.
The Barons would cut the lead in half in the eighth, on Basto's second solo home run of the day, but could not get any closer against Lookouts' reliever John Curtiss.
Kopech struck out nine, while allowing three hits and three earned runs in a no-decision. Ian Hamilton took the loss for Birmingham, dropping to 0-2 on the season, while former Baron Raul Fernandez was credited with the win after pitching four innings in relief and Curtiss secured the last four outs for his sixth save of the season.
Game three of the series will take place tomorrow evening, with a 6:15 p.m. CT first pitch. Jordan Guerrero will be on the mound for Birmingham, while a Chattanooga starter will be announced shortly. Curt Bloom will bring you all the action from AT&T Field in Chattanooga with the Coca-Cola pregame show starting at 6:05 p.m.
For ticket information, game schedule, promotions calendar or for additional information about Regions Field, call (205) 988-3200, or visit www.barons.com, www.facebook.com/birminghambarons or on Twitter: @bhambarons.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.