Jackson, Tenn. - For the second time in the space of a week, left-hander Alex Young gave the Jackson Generals a winning effort. After starting in a 1-0 shutout win on July 10, Young's six-inning effort on Saturday was buoyed by multiple big innings from the Generals' offense, as Jackson rang up a 9-4 win over Montgomery. Disney Night at The Ballpark at Jackson drew a crowd of 3,705 for the triumph, which kept the Generals from dropping the series to Montgomery.
Catcher Oscar Hernandez helped pilot Young through a strong Montgomery lineup, and the backstop mashed his sixth home run of the year to punctuate a 2-for-4 night at the plate. The Generals (12-11, 49-44) are now tied again with the Biscuits (12-11, 49-44) in the North Division's Second Half standings.
Hernandez delivered a big blow in the sixth inning to cap a four-run frame that put the Generals in front for good. Jamie Westbrook singled to lead things off against Montgomery starter Jose Mujica (8-7, 3.48 ERA), and Kelly Dugan reached next on a walk. Dawel Lugo singled to left field to score Westbrook and break the 3-3 tie, but Dugan was caught off third base after a late stop and tagged for the inning's first out. Lugo moved up to second during the tag-out, and the sequence pushed Mujica out of the picture in favor of Montgomery's Jordan Harrison.
Entering with Lugo already in scoring position, Harrison promptly threw a wild pitch, allowing Lugo to third base and complicating matters for Montgomery. Stewart Ijames singled Lugo home to make the lead 5-3 for Jackson, and two batters thereafter, later, Hernandez sent Harrison's second pitch hurtling over the left field wall for a 7-4 Generals advantage. The home run was the first from Hernandez since June 7 against Chattanooga.
Young, the Generals' pitcher of record at the moment of the home run, was removed in favor of Joey Krehbiel, who allowed a solitary run in his two innings of relief work. Mason McCullough threw the ninth inning for Jackson, notching two strikeouts while maintaining his spotless ERA in his seventh appearance at Double-A.
The lead seesawed in the early innings as Mujica and Young each took turns hustling through the opposing lineup. After scoreless first and second innings, Montgomery broke through with a pair of runs in the third. Mac James and Michael Russell started the inning with a double and a single, respectively, and a sacrifice fly by Riley Unroe brought home James to lift Montgomery ahead. Young struck out the next batter, Andrew Velasquez, before allowing an RBI-double to Grant Kay, the Southern League leader in two-baggers. Young struck out Joe McCarthy to end the frame.
The Generals barked back in the bottom half, beginning with a single from Evan Marzilli and a double from Hernandez. Kevin Medrano then lined a double to left field that McCarthy couldn't glove cleanly, scoring Marzilli and Hernandez to knot the score at 2-2. Three batters later, Jamie Westbrook blasted a double high off the 24-foot left field wall, scoring Medrano to go up 3-2.
Montgomery got another run in the fifth on another Unroe sacrifice fly that scored James, evening the count before the sixth inning. Young walked three, but keeping a quick rhythm helped him strike out five and allow only four hits on the night. The quality start was Young's first of the season.
Medrano and Hernandez were the two Generals with multi-hit games, while Ijames, Marzilli, and Hernandez all scored a pair of runs. Hernandez and Medrano each drove in two, as Jackson went 4-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
The Generals will look to continue their success on Sunday, as Joel Payamps (3-3, 6.75) goes against Montgomery's Logan Darnell (1-1, 4.91 ERA) in game four. 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.