Jackson, Tenn. - With a season-high 5,001 fans paying full attention, the Jackson Generals used three solo home runs to drop Pensacola pitching phenom Tyler Mahle and the Wahoos 3-0 on Saturday. Jackson starter Brad Keller pitched the first six innings of a league-high seventh combined shutout by the Generals (21-14).
On offense, the Generals played to their strengths, employing the powerful bats of Rudy Flores, Kevin Cron, and Dawel Lugo to create a three-run margin entering the ninth inning. Gabriel Moya protected the victory with his team-high sixth save.
Pensacola starter Tyler Mahle (5-1, 1.42 ERA) entered the game undefeated and leading the Southern League in both strikeouts and walks-and-hits-per-inning-pitched (WHIP). The Generals went down 1-2-3 in the first inning, but Flores led off the second with his fifth firework in his last ten games. The 26-year-old Texan sent Mahle's 2-0 pitch hurtling over the 16-foot wall 390 feet away in center field to snap a scoreless tie. The one-run margin was as far apart as the two teams would get for the next five innings.
Keller (3-1, 2.76 ERA) needed 38 pitches to complete the first two innings, but he battled the Wahoos (19-17) more efficiently as he continued, recording no more than 14 pitches in the third, fourth, or fifth innings. He allowed five hits and five walks overall, stranding nine Pensacola runners in his longest Double-A start.
Daniel Gibson and Joey Krehbiel held the fort after Keller's departure, pitching through the seventh and eighth innings respectively. Gibson maintained his spotless 0.00 ERA, while Krehbiel lowered his mark to 0.55.
With Pensacola reliever Geoff Broussard throwing in relief of Mahle, Lugo led off the bottom of the eighth inning with his first launch of May, giving the Generals some breathing room at 2-0. After a pair of outs, Cron followed suit, yanking his team-high eighth jack over the 24-foot fence in left field for a 3-0 advantage.
Moya, pitching for the first time since Wednesday, allowed a walk and a single in the ninth to bring the tying run to the plate. The 22-year-old Venezuelan then got Wahoos first baseman Eric Jagielo to pop out to third baseman Lugo to end the game.
The Generals will look to left-hander Alex Young (2-1, 3.34 ERA) to pitch the Mothers' Day matinee for Jackson. Sunday's first pitch is scheduled for 2:05 pm CT, and you can catch all the action on Willie 94 FM and 1390 AM in Jackson and online as well via the TuneIn Radio App.
The Generals' 10-game homestand continues against the Blue Wahoos on Sunday and into the coming week as well! Wednesday's series finale will be a 12:05 pm CT start for an Education Day at The Ballpark! School children will be admitted for free with their classes, and lunch packs are available for $6.
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.