Former player Varner finishes 3-for-4 with 5 RBI in Chattanooga victory
Former Tennessee Smokies player Noochie Varner extracted a small amount of revenge on his former teammates on Wednesday night, powering the Chattanooga Lookouts to a 7-4 victory behind a 3-for-4 night with 5 RBI.
After spending the 2005 season with the Smokies, Varner was released at the end of spring training by the Diamondbacks before finding a home in the Cincinnati organization; the same organization that originally drafted the outfielder back in 2000.
Varner wasted no time going to work on his former mates, launching a home run off of Smokies starter Garrett Mock to left field that scored Lookouts outfielder Chris Dickerson and first baseman Joey Votto. Varner’s blast gave Chattanooga an early 3-0 lead and the Lookouts never looked back en route to the 7-4 win.
Varner struck again in the sixth inning after third baseman Aaron Herr led off the inning with a double. The 25-year old outfielder ripped a single to right field that eluded the Smokies’ Jon Zeringue and brought home the son of former big leaguer Tommy Herr to push the Chattanooga lead to 4-1 on the night. The Lookouts added another run in the inning when shortstop Anderson Machado singled to center field, scoring Varner.
Smokies starter Mock settled down after the first inning blast from Varnerand pitched four more strong innings before the Lookouts struck again in the sixth. The Diamondback’s third round pick in the 2004 draft suffered the loss, dropping his record to 1-5 on the season with a 5.73 ERA in nine starts for the Smokies.
Third baseman Agustin Murillo drove home two of the Smokies four runs in the defeat. The Tijuana native finished the night 2-for-4 to raise his average to .241 on the season.
The Smokies threatened in the ninth inning, putting the tying run at the plate in pinch hitter Miguel Montero but could not come any closer than the three run deficit when Montero grounded out to second base to end the game.
The two teams continue their series on Thursday night with a 7:15 p.m. start time at Smokies Park. Righthander Steven Jackson will make his second start since returning from the disabled list while Steve Kelly takes the hill for the Lookouts.
* Outfielders Jon Zeringue and Steve Garrabrants hit their fourth and third home runs respectively
* Former Smokies player Javier Colina finished 1-for-5 for Chattanooga