Chattanooga, Tenn. - Some days you get the bull by the horns, and some days the bull gets you. The Jackson Generals had a taste of their own medicine on Sunday, falling 17-5 at Chattanooga after taking a 14-3 victory on Saturday night. The Generals (21-22, 58-55) were held scoreless through the first two innings, while the Lookouts rang up an eight-run total in the first frame and four more in the second.
A different Generals pitcher started each of the first three innings, as the league-leading Lookouts (32-11, 74-39) took it to the visitors. The first eight Chattanooga batters reached base and scored in the opening inning, as Chattanooga piled up the Southern League's second highest run total of the year. Chattanooga fell three runs shy of Jackson's 20-run effort on April 9 vs. Birmingham.
After a three-batter top of the first inning for Jackson, Brad Keller (8-8, 5.22) stumbled out of the gate and could not recover. The Generals' right-hander allowed a leadoff double to Nick Gordon and a single to Ryan Walker, following with a walk issued to Jonathan Rodriguez to load the bases. Keller gave a free pass to cleanup hitter Andy Wilkins directly afterward to hand Chattanooga a 1-0 lead. TJ White kept the Lookouts' carousel turning with a two-run single that scored Walker and Rodriguez, making the lead 3-0. Keller hit Max Murphy with a pitch to reload the bases, and Levi Michael didn't miss a beat, driving in White and Wilkins with a double for a 5-0 Lookouts advantage. Brian Navarreto, the eighth batter of the inning, plated Michael and Murphy with a two-run single for a 7-0 Lookouts lead.
Keller's first out came on a groundout to shortstop by Travis Harrison, the ninth hitter in the lineup. Keller got a flyout from Gordon to follow, but he hit Walker with a pitch to put two men on base for Rodriguez's second at-bat of the inning. Keller was removed in favor of Gabe Speier, who ceded an RBI double to Rodriguez that brought home Navarreto. The Lookouts' eighth first-inning run tied a single-inning season-high against the Generals. Speier then retired Wilkins on strikes to close the book.
The Lookouts' second chapter followed a familiar pattern. TJ White began with a double, though Max Murphy grounded out to third next to give Speier an early out. However, Levi Michael drove in White with a run-scoring single, and Navarreto reached base on an error against the Generals' infield. Travis Harrison found his way aboard with a walk, loading the bases for Gordon. The shortstop rapped a hard grounder to Jackson first baseman Travis Denker, who made a diving stop and threw to second base to force out Harrison. The fielder's choice let Michael score on the play, making it a 10-0 Chattanooga lead. Back-to-back singles from Walker and Rodriguez followed, scoring Harrison and Gordon for a 12-0 advantage. Speier once ended his second straight frame with a strikeout of Wilkins. The Lookouts collected 10 of their 16 hits over the first two innings.
The Generals did not go away altogether, despite the deficit. In the fifth inning, Jamie Westbrook led off with a single, and Marty Herum doubled two batters later to put men on second and third. Daniel Lockhart grounded out to first to score Westbrook and earn his second RBI in a Generals uniform, this one coming against start Zack Littell (1-0, 5.40 ERA). The tally for Jackson made the score 14-1, after reliever J.R. Bradley had surrendered two runs on an Andy Wilkins homer in the fourth.
Jackson's last scoring frame came in the sixth, following a Navarreto 3-run shot in the bottom of the fifth off Josh Taylor. Staring at a 17-1 deficit, Victor Reyes led off optimistically with a single. Travis Denker followed with a single, and after a pair of outs, Westbrook smacked an RBI double that roped in Reyes for the game's second run. With Denker and Westbrook on base, Kelly Dugan clobbered a 407-foot home run to right field that brought the Generals within 17-5 at the close of the sixth.
Westbrook's afternoon shone brightly in spite of the loss, featuring a trio of hits, one run driven in, and two runs scored. Dugan had three RBI thanks to the home run, and Marty Herum doubled in the fifth inning, extending his hit streak to seven games. The final three innings were scoreless, with the last two pitched by right-hander Joey Krehbiel.
Game four in Chattanooga is Monday night, with Alex Young (7-6, 4.06 ERA) getting the ball for Jackson against righty Fernando Romero (11-6, 2.60 ERA). First pitch from AT&T Field is scheduled for 7:15 pm ET/6:15 pm CT, and fans can listen to all the action starting with the Pregame Show at 7:00 pm ET/6:00 pm CT on Willie 94 FM & 1390 AM.
Bidding for Jackson's special Shark Week jerseys that the team wore last Saturday will end on the night of Sunday, August 6! Game-worn and signed jerseys are being auctioned off, with proceeds going to JACOA! Bid online at generals.milbauctions.com.
The Generals return home for their penultimate series in Jackson this season August 16. The series versus the Biloxi Shuckers features a Thrifty Thursday and a Leaders Credit Union Food Truck Friday! Saturday, August 19 is Big Bang Theory Night presented by Hunt Brothers Pizza with Postgame Fireworks! The Generals will be giving away t-shirts, and one lucky fan will win a trip to Wizard World Comic Con in Nashville! Jackson's special Superhero Jerseys will be auctioned off, with proceeds going to Ashley Furniture's A Hope to Dream Foundation!
The final Fireworks Show of the year is August 26! Jackson's annual SEC Night with Postgame Fireworks is sponsored by WBBJ and Jackson Sport & Fitness! The Generals will be giving away tickets to a number of SEC Football games throughout the night! Early arrivers will take home a trucker hat, and the Memphis Grizzlies Caravan will be at the game with former Kentucky standout Andrew Harrison!
Make sure to get your tickets now to see the 20th season of professional baseball in Jackson, and the first for the team as an affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks! Call the team at (731) 988.5299, stop by The Ballpark or go online to jacksongeneralsbaseball.com to secure your seats now!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.