Three Stars of the Series:8/11-15
The Lookouts put the finishing touches on a dominant season series against the Birmingham Barons, Monday, winning 5-2. The victory moved Chattanooga to 14-6 against Birmingham in 2016, with series wins in all four five game sets. Let’s take a look at the top performances that put the icing on the cake for the Lookouts in Birmingham this past week.
Third Star – Aaron Slegers
Aaron Slegers improved to 9-6 on the season with a strong outing and a win on Saturday. The righty threw seven innings, allowing just six hits and a run while striking out five and walking none. After his latest start and David Hurlbut’s call-up to Triple-A, Slegers leads the Lookouts in games started (21), innings pitched (119.2), strikeouts (85) and wins (nine).
Second Star – Stephen Gonsalves
One of the Lookouts youngest pitchers continued to be their most dominant when Stephen Gonsalves started and finished the series opener, Thursday. Gonsalves threw a nine-inning complete game with just three hits and one unearned run surrendered. He also struck out eight raising his K totals to 63 in 53.2 innings pitched or a 10.6 strikeouts-per-nine innings. Gonsalves earned his fifth win with his latest gem (5-1) and lowered his Southern League batting average against to .186.
First Star – Stuart Turner
Turner is renown for his talent behind the plate, even getting voted the best defensive catcher in the Southern League by Baseball America this year, but it’s at the plate where he really stood out this series. Stuart went 10-for-16 (.625) with five doubles against the Barons with four runs and five driven in. The performance raised his season batting average by 25 points and his slugging percentage by 37. His .579 batting average since fellow backstop Mitch Garver was called up August 9th has been huge for a Lookouts team left with a lot of questions on offense without Garver’s 60+ RBI or Daniel Palka’s power (both now in Triple-A Rochester).
Honorable Mention: Zach Granite had just six hits against the Barons but half of them were triples and all six did damage on the scoreboard, as the speedy centerfielder drove in seven and scored four times himself. He also stole four bases in Birmingham to raise his season total to 43, just one off the Southern League lead.