Jackson, Tenn. - Brad Keller and Gabriel Moya gave the Generals a good head start, but a messy eighth inning undid Jackson's 4-1 lead, as the Montgomery Biscuits rallied to win 9-5 on Thursday. Keller worked through five innings while allowing fewer than two earned runs for the third time this season, and his ERA now stands at 1.20.
With the Generals ahead by three to begin the eighth, Montgomery struck for the most lopsided inning to date against Jackson, notching eight runs in the top half. The visitors made use of five hits over the course of eleven batters in the fateful eighth, forcing Jackson to burn two relievers to complete the frame. Jared Miller (0-1) took the loss for home team, while Montgomery's Edwin Fierro (2-0) picked up his second victory of the year in relief. The Biscuits are the first team to defeat the Generals in a 2017 series, winning three of the first four games in the teams' weekday quintet.
The Generals got on the board first, scoring in their first at-bat with a solo home run from infielder Colin Walsh to right field. Walsh's third dinger of the year ended a team-wide streak of four consecutive games without a long-ball. Walsh wasn't the only one to go deep, as left fielder Kelly Dugan launched an opposite-field blast in the bottom of the third to put the Generals up 2-1. Dugan's blast was his second extra-base hit in as many at-bats, following his walk-off double in Wednesday's game.
After Keller's start, the Generals turned to the left-hander Moya, and the young Venezuelan held the line. Moya punched the clock for two scoreless innings with a trio of strikeouts, keeping the 2-1 margin intact through the top of the seventh. The Generals' offense tacked on two more in the bottom half, owed to a solo home run from catcher Oscar Hernandez and run-scoring grounder off the bat of Evan Marzilli that Montgomery third baseman Michael Russell couldn't handle. The 4-1 advantage was Jackson's largest of the series, but it did not hold up through the eighth.
On the bright side, Generals designated hitter Rudy Flores reached base in his tenth consecutive game with a second-inning single. Reliever Yuhei Nakaushiro finished the game with clean ninth inning, lowering his ERA to 0.96.
The Generals look to salvage a second win over the Biscuits in tomorrow's series finale. Left-hander Alex Young (1-0, 0.90 ERA) will take the ball for Jackson, going toe-to-toe with Montgomery right-hander Greg Harris (1-0, 1.38) at 6:05 pm CT. J.R. House's club will hit the road thereafter, visiting the Biloxi Shuckers at MGM Park for five games beginning on Saturday night. The team will host the Chattanooga Lookouts in their next home series, starting April 27th at 6:05 pm CT at The Ballpark at Jackson.
Tomorrow night also marks Jackson's second turn as the alter-ego Hub City Hippos, with players and coaches donning black and red Hippos apparel and logos for a festive atmosphere. It's also a Food Truck Friday, sponsored by Leaders Credit Union. An assortment of mobile cuisine will be available down the right field line to ticketed fans looking for alternative concessions.
Hippos apparel is available on site at the stadium or by phoning the team store. For further information on tickets or merchandise, contact the team by calling (731) 988.5299 or go online to jacksongeneralsbaseball.com!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.