Jackson, Tenn. - The pitching staff shined, but it was not enough Monday night as the Generals were shut out by Montgomery 1-0 in the series opener at The Ballpark at Jackson. Four Jackson pitchers combined to allow just one run while punching out 12 batters, but a squeeze bunt wound up the difference.
Taylor Clarke (1-1, 3.86) pitched very well in defeat, allowing just one run over five innings. The righty retired the first seven batters he faced and cruised through the first four innings before Montgomery (6-5) pushed across the game's only run.
A pair of singles from Joe McCarthy and Andrew Velazquez set the table for the Biscuits. With men on the corners and one out, Riley Unroe laid down a perfect squeeze bunt to score McCarthy from third. Jackson first baseman Kevin Cron shoveled the ball home to catcher Michael Pérez in one motion, but McCarthy managed to slide in safely.
That was the only blemish on Jackson's staff Monday night. Jared Miller was brilliant behind Clarke, striking out four batters in two frames. The lefty now has 11 strikeouts compared to only one walk in seven innings of work. Joey Krehbiel and Drew Muren each pitched scoreless innings as well.
Jackson (8-3) had opportunities, but failed to capitalize. The Generals loaded the bases with two outs in the first inning on a Dawel Lugo single and a pair of walks. Montgomery's Mike Franco (1-0, 0.87) worked out of the jam by getting Jamie Westbrook to fly out.
The Generals left eight men on base in the first six innings. Franco worked into the sixth before handing the ball to the Montgomery bullpen. In the ninth, Jackson got the tying run when Kevin Medrano worked a two-out walk. Pinch-runner Víctor Reyes tried to swipe second with Michael Pérez at the plate, but was gunned down by Justin O'Conner to end the contest. Kyle Winkler (S, 3) pitched the ninth for Montgomery to earn his third save of the year.
The defeat was the sixth one-run game that the Generals have played in over their first 11 contests of the season. Jackson has split those games so far. Monday also marked the fist time the Generals were shut out on offense.
The Generals have an opportunity to even up the series Tuesday evening in West Tennessee. Southpaw Josh Taylor (1-1, 2.70) takes the ball for Jackson against Tampa Bay prospect Hunter Wood (1-1, 3.18). First pitch is slated for 6:05 pm CT, and 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 starting at 1:50 pm CT.
The five-game set features tons of fun in West Tennessee! 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 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.