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Trailing at one point 3-0 and then down 4-3 in the ninth inning, the Huntsville Stars came through with an improbable comeback and beat the Chattanooga Lookouts by a score of 5-4 on Sunday afternoon at Joe Davis Stadium.
Much like the Stars previous two games, the Huntsville bats started off slow. Through five innings, they were being no-hit by Lookouts starting pitcher Chris Reed, who only allowed three baserunners over that span.
In the meantime, the Lookouts broke out to an early lead against Stars starting pitcher Ariel Pena. With runners on first and second with one out in the second inning, a RBI single from outfielder Brian Cavazos-Galvez put Chattanooga on the board. Later in the inning, a RBI groundout by first basemen Angelo Songco gave the Lookouts a 2-0 lead.
Two frames later, a solo homer by shortstop Miguel Rojas to begin the fourth inning gave the Lookouts a three-run lead against Pena. The 24-year-old righty earned a no-decision on Sunday after giving up those three runs on six hits in five innings of work.
For the Stars, the comeback began in the sixth inning. After shortstop Hector Gomez broke up Reed's no-hit bid with a leadoff single, pinch-hitter Kentrail Davis walked and outfielder Chadwin Stang singled to load the bases with nobody out. During the next at-bat, second basemen Nick Shaw drew a four-pitch walk to score Gomez and put the Stars on the board. One batter later, Davis was plated on a run-scoring groundout by first basemen Jason Rogers to bring the Stars deficit to within a run.
During the next inning, outfielder Shea Vucinich lead off the bottom of the seventh with a towering solo homer off of Lookouts reliever Michael Thomas to tie up the ballgame at 3-3.
After Chattanooga regained a one-run lead in the eighth inning against Huntsville reliever Kevin Shackelford, the Stars completed their comeback in the bottom half of the ninth inning.
With Lookouts closer Yimi Garcia in the ballgame, catcher Adam Weisenburger launched a solo homer with one out to tie the game. The next at-bat, third basemen Mike Walker duplicated that result with a solo homer to dead centerfield that ended the game in walkoff fashion for the Stars.
On the pitching side, Stars reliever Greg Holle improved to 3-2 on the season after earning the win with an inning of scoreless inning of relief. Shackelford, despite giving up a run in the eighth inning, gave up just one hit in two innings during his Double-A debut with Huntsville.
For Huntsville, the win was their second walkoff victory of the season.
On Monday, the Stars and Lookouts will play game three of a five-game series at Joe Davis Stadium. Huntsville will send RHP David Goforth (0-1, 13.50 ERA) to the bump to try to continue the momentum. Chattanooga will counter with RHP Andres Santiago (3-6, 4.90 ERA). First pitch is at 6:43 PM.