JACKSON, Tenn., - Jackson Generals left fielder Rudy Flores smacked a two-out, walk-off single to help his team rally from three runs down to beat the Pensacola Blue Wahoos 4-3 on Monday at The Ballpark at Jackson.
Jackson center fielder Evan Marzilli scored the winning run after leading off the ninth inning with a single to right field.
The Blue Wahoos fell to 6-8 on the season in games decided by one run. They are 20-18 on the year and a game behind the Mississippi Braves in the South Division.
Jackson, the defending Southern League champion, improved to 22-15 and leads the North Division by a half game over the Chattanooga Lookouts and Tennessee Smokies.
Blue Wahoos closer Brennan Bernardino came on in the ninth with the game tied, 3-3, but gave up two hits and struck out one to pick up the loss. He is 0-2 with a 3.38 ERA.
Pensacola right-hander Luis Castillo has failed to get a decision in his past two starts, even though he allowed one run in seven innings against the Birmingham Barons and on Monday gave up just two runs in five innings to Jackson. Considered the seventh best prospect in the Cincinnati Reds organization by MLB Pipeline.com, Castillo scattered six hits to the Generals, walked two and struck out one.
Castillo, who is 1-2 on the year with a 3.07 ERA, last earned a victory April 13 against the Biloxi Shuckers in his second start of the season.
He was relieved by Domingo Tapia, who blew his second save opportunity of the season when he gave up the tying run in the sixth to Jackson. Generals first baseman Kevin Cron led off the sixth inning by crushing a fly ball over the center field wall 390-feet away to tie the game, 3-3. It was his Southern League-leading ninth homer of the season.
All three of Pensacola's runs happened in the third inning. Blue Wahoos center fielder Brian O'Grady hit his second homer in two games and now has five on the season to lead the ball club.
With two outs, Pensacola second baseman Alex Blandino singled to left field and shortstop Blake Trahan singled to right field and then stole second base. That's when Mr. Clutch Josh VanMeter stepped to the plate and delivered a single to left that drove in both Blandino and Trahan to put the Blue Wahoos ahead, 3-0.
VanMeter, Pensacola's third baseman, is 9-19 (.474) with 12 of his team-leading 17 RBIs coming with runners in scoring position and two outs this year.
Castillo gave up his two runs to Jackson in the fourth inning when second baseman Kevin Medrano doubled in Cron and then starting pitcher Taylor Clark hit a sacrifice fly to score catcher Oscar Hernandez to cut Pensacola's lead to, 3-2.
Tickets to the 2017 Southern League All-Star Game are on sale now! Purchase tickets online at bluewahoos.com or visiting the Box Office. Orders can also be placed over the phone by calling 850-934-8444. The Pensacola Blue Wahoos are the Double-A Affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds and a member of the Southern League. Follow the Pensacola Blue Wahoos at BlueWahoos.com, facebook.com/PensacolaBlueWahoos and twitter.com/BlueWahoosBBall.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.