Jackson, Tenn. - Some battles are decided early, and some are not. After one Montgomery run scored through six innings at The Ballpark at Jackson, the dam finally broke against the Jackson Generals, who fell 8-3 to Montgomery on Sunday. The Biscuits got tremendous work on the mound from Logan Darnell (2-1, 3.00 ERA), who dealt seven scoreless innings in his third start of the year in Double-A.
Jackson starter Joel Payamps (3-4, 6.26 ERA) allowed just a first-inning run during a five-inning start, but the Generals' bullpen struggled to hold off Montgomery. The Generals' offense was also held to a 2-for-18 mark with runners in scoring position. Victor Reyes, Jamie Westbrook, and Kevin Medrano each drove in ninth-inning runs to ensure the home side was not shut out.
The jenga blocks came loose for the Generals (12-12, 49-45) in the seventh inning. A pair of one-out Montgomery singles by Michael Russell and Joe McCarthy chased Jackson reliever Gabe Speier from the hill, with Mason McCullough entering in his place. McCullough, appearing for the eighth time at Double-A, hit Grant Kay with his second pitch to load the bases. McCullough battled back by striking out Dalton Kelly, but a two-out bases-loaded walk to Justin Williams gave Montgomery (13-11, 50-44) their second run of the game. McCullough got two strikes on the next hitter, Mac James, but a bloop single into right field brought home two more runs, making the score 4-0.
The Generals, stymied all evening by Darnell, were again put down in the bottom of the seventh, as a lone single from Reyes broke up a run of men put out. Montgomery carried their offensive success into the eighth inning, helped out by a pair of leadoff walks issued by Jackson reliever Bud Jeter. After a flyout by Russell, McCarthy tripled to left-center, scoring Riley Unroe and Nathan Lukes for a 6-0 lead. Grant Kay and Dalton Kelly each belted run-scoring hits in succession after McCarthy, setting the margin at 8-0.
Payamps' first inning featured a pair of two-out doubles from McCarthy and Kay that gave Montgomery the early advantage. After that, the 23-year-old right-hander stranded three runners over the next two innings and worked a 1-2-3 fourth inning. After a one-out double by Russell in the fifth, Russell was ruled safe at third base on an attempted steal, but Jackson manager J.R. House was ejected by third base umpire Chase Eade for arguing the call. Payamps walked McCarthy to put men on the corners, but he struck out Kay and Kelly to stay clean in what was his final frame. Joe Mather took over for House in the dugout.
Reyes was the only General with multiple hits on the night, scoring once while driving in a run. Four of Jackson's nine total bases came in the ninth inning. Jackson avoided being shut out for the first time in the Second Half with their late rally. Gabriel Moya pitched a scoreless ninth inning for the Generals.
The Generals will entrust the finale to right-hander Ivan Pineyro (7-0, 2.81 ERA) against Montgomery's Hunter Adkins (0-0, 1.00 ERA) on Monday. First pitch from The Ballpark at Jackson is set for 6:05 pm CT, and fans can follow along by tuning in on Willie 94 FM & 1390 AM starting with the Pregame Show at 5:50 pm CT.
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.