Jackson, Tenn. - Despite the makings of a big seventh inning, the Jackson Generals couldn't overcome strong pitching by Pensacola on Sunday, falling 5-2 at The Ballpark at Jackson. Blue Wahoos starting pitcher Austin Ross (4-0, 1.13 ERA) allowed only three Generals on base through the first six innings en route to the victory.
The Generals were able to plate a pair of runs in the seventh inning. RBI base hits from pinch hitter Rudy Flores and catcher Michael Perez pulled Jackson within 4-2, chasing Ross from the hill. However, Pensacola reliever Ismael Guillon was able get the inning's final out, stranding the bases loaded with a pop-up. A solo home run in the eighth put Pensacola ahead 5-2, marking the final tally for the visitors.
The loss by the Generals (21-15) evens the series at one game apiece. Pensacola (20-17) remains in a tie atop the Southern League's South Division. The Generals sit a half game behind Tennessee in the North Division entering Monday.
Entering the seventh inning, Generals baserunners had yet to seen the back side of second base, as Ross allowied just three hits over his first 18 outs. Dawel Lugo hit a one-out single, and Evan Marzilli followed with a single of his own to push Lugo to second base, the first General to reach scoring position on the afternoon.
Flores, pinch-hitting for relief pitcher Gabe Speier, came up with a two-run double that he blitzed to deep center field. The ball hung in the air for so long that it was a difficult read for the runners aboard: Lugo scored from second base on the play, but Marzilli, digging for home after beginning the play at first base, was nailed by the Pensacola relay throw to the plate. Perez then brought Flores in with an RBI single, driving in his first run of the month. Those two hits chased Ross from the hill with two outs, but reliever Ismael Guillon would strand the bases loaded to limit the Generals' damage.
Alex Young (2-2, 3.38) started for Jackson and took the loss, despite beginning with four scoreless frames. The left-hander stranded Pensacola runner in each of the first four innings, but a pair of one-out walks loaded the bases in the fifth, complicating the frame for Young. He induced a fly-out to right field from third baseman Josh VanMeter, but it was deep enough to score Brian O'Grady from third base and break the scoreless tie. An RBI single from former General Gabriel Guerrero pushed across another run before Young could end the frame with a groundout.
Speier worked a clean sixth inning, but after loading the bases in the seventh with two outs, he allowed a two-run double to Aristides Aquino that pushed the Generals' deficit to 4-0.
O'Grady's eighth-inning off homer Generals' reliever Ivan Pineyro was his fourth of the year. Pensacola's Jimmy Herget saved his ninth game of the year, the second highest total in the Southern League. Marzilli was the only General with multiple hits in the game. Flores' double tied him for team lead in that category (11) alongside Colin Walsh. Jared Miller pitched a scoreless ninth for Jackson.
The Generals will use Taylor Clarke (4-1, 1.85 ERA) on the hill for their Monday night start at 6:05 pm CT. Pensacola counters with Luis Castillo (1-2, 3.00 ERA). Those who can't get to The Ballpark to see Clarke and the Generals can hear 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 into the coming week! 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.