Defense Lays Groundwork For 8th Win

Ijames, Flores key Generals' scoring; Young and Speier share the hill

(Cody Cunningham)

By Tyler Springs / Jackson Generals | April 16, 2017 7:52 PM ET

Mobile, Ala. -Jackson Generals starting pitcher Alex Young stranded Mobile baserunners in each of his first three innings, and the Generals found their stroke thereafter, backing the young left-hander in a 6-2 win on Sunday. Young (1-0, 0.90 ERA) threw five scoreless frames to pick up his first Double-A victory, and reliever Gabe Speier (1-0, 2.57 ERA) ran the baton all the way home with a four-inning save.

The Generals' offense, held to just five runs in the past three days, busted out with a six-run effort, scoring multiple times in the fourth and seventh innings. Rudy Flores got his first start at first base and made himself known, notching an RBI single and aiding in an important fourth-inning double play. Outfielder Stewart Ijames had too good of an effort not to mention, scoring twice and collecting a couple of hits, including a two-out, two-RBI double that helped Jackson (8-2) maintain the best record in the Southern League.

After Mobile (3-7) retired the Generals one-two-three in the top of the first inning, Young allowed men aboard with a single and a walk in the bottom half. In what would become a running theme, Young kept the BayBears off the score-sheet with an inning-ending strikeout, fooling Mobile catcher Wade Wass with a breaking ball.

The second and third innings proved much like the first for Young. Though he permitted consecutive singles to lead off the second, Young drew a groundout on a comebacker, a popout in foul ground, and slate-clearing swinging strikeout by Mobile shortstop Hutton Moyer. The third featured another runner in scoring position with two outs, but Young coaxed yet another groundball out, staying above the flames. On the afternoon, Mobile stranded nine men on the basepaths and went hitless in eight of their nine at-bats with runners in scoring position.

Victor Reyes opened the fourth inning with a single, moving to second on a Dawel Lugo groundout. Flores followed with a base hit into center field, breaking the scoreless tie. After a Kelly Dugan flyout, Jamie Westbrook roped a single into left field, moving Flores to third as Ijames strode to the plate. Down two strikes, the Generals' right fielder ripped a gapper to the wall in right-center, adding Westbrook and Flores to the Generals' tally.

Young returned for the fourth inning, and again he found himself with BayBears at first and second base after a throwing error and a walk. A pop-up to shortstop got Young a third of the way through the puzzle, and his defense did the rest. The next batter flew out to Reyes, and the center fielder fired the ball in to Dawel Lugo at third base to hold the Mobile runner at second base. Lugo immediately whipped a throw back across the diamond to Flores at first base, picking off Mobile runner Alberto Triunfel as he scrambled back toward the bag.

Young sat down the BayBears in the fifth inning in order, closing his afternoon with his cleanest frame. Speier allowed only one hit over the ensuing three innings, and the Generals tacked on further in the seventh with a Michael Perez RBI single and a run-scoring groundout by Reyes. Speier's chase to preserve the shutout ended with an RBI double by Mobile in the ninth inning, but the young Californian persevered for the save, his first. 

The Generals return to West Tennessee for five games versus the Montgomery Biscuits Monday, April 17. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 pm CT, and right-hander Taylor Clarke (1-0, 5.40 ERA) is pegged to start. You can catch all the action on Radio Willie (94.1, 94.3 FM and 1390 AM) in Jackson and online via the TuneIn Radio App.

Wednesday, April 19 is an Education Day! Kids who come with their classes get in free and can purchase lunch packs for $6! Thrifty Thursday follows, with $2 deals on general admission tickets, hot dogs, popcorn, 24-oz. soda, 16-oz. beer, ice cream and Fun Zone access! Reserved seats can be purchased for just $6! The series wraps up with a Leaders Credit Union Food Truck Friday April 21! A bevy of local food trucks will be at The Ballpark, and the team will be suited up as the Hub City Hippos for the second time this season!

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 to secure your seats now!

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

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