Ash, Harper Pitch Generals to 2-0 Lead

Five-hit shutout puts Jackson one win away from title

Brett Ash's gem propelled the Generals to a 2-0 lead in the Championship Series. (Cody Cunningham/Jackson Generals)

By Brandon Liebhaber / Jackson Generals | September 13, 2016 11:49 PM ET

Jackson, Tenn. - Brett Ash was turned in seven sensational innings, combining with Ryne Harper on a 2-0 shutout of the Mississippi Braves in game two of the Southern League Championship Series Tuesday night. The victory puts the Generals one win away from a league championship as the best-of-five series shifts to the Magnolia State.

Brett Ash (2-0, 0.69) propelled the Generals to the win with another strong playoff start. The right-hander pitched seven scoreless frames, allowing just five hits while striking out four and not issuing a walk. In two postseason starts, Ash has given up just one run in 13 innings while earning a pair of victories.

Mississippi had a couple of opportunities to score against Ash, but were unable to come through. In the top of the third inning, Johan Camargo and Dylan Moore singled with nobody out to put two on. Ash followed by striking out Mallex Smith before a groundout put both runners in scoring position. Dustin Peterson lined one to right field, but Tyler O'Neill made a diving grab to keep the Braves off the board.

The Generals had five men on in the first four innings before finally breaking through in the fifth against Sean Newcomb (0-1, 2.45). Adam Law led off the frame with a home run hit over the fence in left to put the Generals on top 1-0. The long ball was Jackson's seventh in six playoff games.

With two outs in the sixth, the Generals rallied to add to their lead. Leon Landry worked a walk to get on before Tyler Marlette mashed a double to right-center field to make it 2-0. Marlette finished the night with two hits, and he now has five runs batted in for the team in the postseason.

The two runs are all Jackson would need thanks to strong pitching. Ash gave up a leadoff double to Joey Meneses in the seventh, but he got no further than third base. Ash threw just 77 pitches over seven nearly spotless innings to get the win.

With a slim edge, the Generals turned to one of their most reliable relievers in Ryne Harper. The former Mississippi Brave pitched two perfect inning innings with four strikeouts. Harper (S, 1) induced a pop out from Meneses to end the game.

The Generals now stand just one win away from a second-ever Southern League Championship and a first since 2000. After a day off on Wednesday, the series shifts to Trustmark Park in Pearl Mississippi for game three Thursday night.  

Jackson's win on Tuesday night finishes off an impressive home slate in 2016. Including the regular season, the Generals went 46-26 at The Ballpark at Jackson this season. The team was a perfect 4-0 at home in the playoffs, having taken a 2-0 lead over Montgomery in the North Division Series as well.

The teams have a day off for travel on Wednesday before resuming the best-of-five series Thursday night. Game three in the Southern League Championship Series at Trustmark Park starts at 7:00 pm CT. Paul Blackburn (9-5, 3.27) gets the ball for the Generals opposite Mississippi right-hander Patrick Weigel (1-2, 2.18) in the first game of the series in the Magnolia State. Fans can follow all the action as the Generals go for a title on the TJ Network (AM 1390, FM 94.1) in Jackson and online via the TuneIn Radio App starting at 6:45 pm CT with the Pregame Show!

The Jackson Generals would like to thank the fantastic fans in West Tennessee for making 2016 an incredible year at The Ballpark at Jackson. For more information about the Generals or to inquire about ticket packages in 2017, call the team at (731) 988.5299, stop by the park or go online to www.jacksongeneralsbaseball.com

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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