17 hits power Trash Pandas to win on the road

Rocket City defeats Chattanooga 10-6 Wednesday
The Rocket City Trash Pandas defeated the Chattanooga Lookouts 10-6 June, 14th
The Rocket City Trash Pandas defeated the Chattanooga Lookouts 10-6 June, 14th(Rocket City Trash Pandas)
Published: Jun. 14, 2023 at 10:09 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - In a wild affair that saw the lead change hands six times, the Rocket City Trash Pandas prevailed with five runs over the game’s final two innings in a 10-6 win over the Chattanooga Lookouts in the second game of a six-game series at AT&T Field on Wednesday night.

Down 6-5 in the eighth, the Trash Pandas went to work against Lookouts reliever Evan Kravetz. Livan Soto began the inning with a walk, moved to second on a wild pitch, and advanced third on a ground out for the second out of the inning. From there, the Lookouts turned to closer Spencer Stockton (L, 2-2). Jeremiah Jackson kept the inning alive with a walk and promptly stole second. Down 1-2 in the count, Kevin Maitan turned the game around with one decisive swing, ripping a double into the right field corner to score Soto and Jackson, propelling Rocket City in front 7-6.

Ivan Armstrong entered from the Trash Pandas bullpen and retired the Lookouts in order to hold the lead going to the ninth. In the final frame, Rocket City put the game out of reach with key insurance runs. David Calabrese started it with a walk and Kyren Paris singled to put runners on the corners with one out. Soto cashed in with an RBI single to center to score Calabrese. Orlando Martinez followed with a double into the right field corner, scoring Paris and Soto to cap the scoring at 10-6 Trash Pandas.

Kelvin Caceres got the final three outs in the bottom of the ninth, finishing the wild comeback win for the visiting Trash Pandas.

The back-and-forth affair got off and running quickly. Chattanooga struck first in the opening inning on an RBI double from Nick Northcut against Trash Pandas starter Brett Kerry.

In the second, Rocket City returned the favor against Chattanooga starter Sam Benschoter. With one out, Maitan crushed his first home run of the season over the short fence in right-center field to the game at one. Bryce Teodosio followed with a solo home run of his own, his fourth of the season, to nearly the same spot in right-center to give the Trash Pandas their first back-to-back homers of the season and a 2-1 lead. Calabrese kept the rally going by singling, stealing second, and coming home on an RBI double from Kyren Paris to make it a 3-1 game.

Chattanooga came right back in the bottom of the inning with a pair of solo home runs of their own. Rece Hinds led off the inning with a shot to center off Kerry, and Blake Dunn tied the game with a homer of his own to center to make it a 3-3 game after two.

In the third, Francisco Urbaez put the Lookouts back in front 4-3 with a solo homer to left off Kerry, the third Chattanooga homer in two innings. That would be the score until the fifth. Then, Rocket City got the score right back even at four on back-to-back doubles by Maitan and Teodosio.

Again, Chattanooga got the run back in the bottom of the inning on Northcut’s second RBI double of the night to make it 5-4. The fifth inning would be Kerry’s last. Over five innings, he allowed five runs on eight hits with five walks and eight strikeouts in a no-decision.

The Trash Pandas loaded the bases in the sixth with a walk to Edgar Quero, a double by Soto, and an intentional walk to Orlando Martinez. Michael Byrne entered out of the Chattanooga bullpen and induced a fielder’s choice to get the second out at home plate. He then walked Jackson on four pitches to plate Soto with the tying run.

Dakota Donovan was first out of the Rocket City bullpen, coming in to start the sixth with the score tied at five. Daniel Vellojin started the inning with a double and came home to score two hitters later on Ivan Johnson’s RBI single, putting the Lookouts back in the lead at 6-5.

Rocket City looked to get even in the seventh, with Teodosio singling to start the inning and stealing second to get into scoring position. Two batters later, Quero lined a single into right. Looking to tie the game, Teodosio charged home but was thrown out at the plate on a strong throw by Hinds in right, preserving the Lookouts lead at 6-5 at the seventh inning stretch. Donovan kept the deficit at one with a scoreless bottom of the seventh.

From there, the Trash Pandas rallied to earn the win. Donovan (W, 2-0) would earn the victory on the mound because of the late rally. At the plate, Maitan led the way in his best game of the season, going 3-for-5 with two doubles, a home run, three RBI, and two runs scored. Teodosio wnet 3-for-5 with two RBI and two runs while Paris tied a career-high with four hits, going 4-for-6 with a run scored. Soto added three runs in the win.

The Trash Pandas (28-31) continue their six-game series with the Lookouts (32-26) on Thursday night. First pitch at AT&T Field is set for 6:15 p.m.

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