Jackson, Tenn. - Nine days' short of the five-year anniversary of Abraham Almonte's 2013 cycle, the Jackson Generals witnessed the feat for the second time in franchise history.
Galli Cribbs, a 25-year-old Texan in his fifth professional season, went 4-for-4 at the plate on Wednesday afternoon, hitting for the cycle in an 8-1 victory over the Birmingham Barons at The Ballpark at Jackson.
Cribbs--whose OPS stands at an even 1.400 through his first eleven games in 2018--got the single-double-triple-and-homer combination in reverse order against Birmingham right-handers Jordan Stephens (0-3, 6.19 ERA) and Jorge Rondon. The home run was an inside-the-park variety, as Cribbs drive off the left-center field wall caromed away from Barons center fielder Ryan Brett, allowing the fleet-footed Cribbs to hustle all the way around the bases with a headfirst slide at home plate to beat the relay.
The two-out round tripper gave Jackson (10-2) the lead in the bottom of the second, an advantage they would not relinquish. On the afternoon, eight of nine Generals hitters reached base, as the Southern League's best offense sprang for seven extra-base hits and drove in five of their runs with two-out hits.
Generals starter Ryan Atkinson (1-0, 4.70 ERA) grinded through five hard-fought innings, throwing 85 pitches in pursuit of his first 2018 victory. The right-hander stranded runners in the first and second innings, but the fifth was most difficult. Facing a bases-loaded situation with no outs in a three-run game, Atkinson got some great help from an outfield relay and allowed only one run to score for Birmingham (6-7), handing a 3-1 lead over to to veteran southpaw Anthony Vasquez (S, 1). The left-hander spun a four-inning save-his first save since 2015-while striking out seven Barons as Jackson tacked on five more runs late.
TOP PERFORMERS - Generals
*RF Galli Cribbs - 4-4, 2B, 3B, HR, RBI, 3 R; second player in Generals history to hit for the cycle
*RHP Ryan Atkinson - 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 5 K
*LHP Anthony Vasquez - 4.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K
TOP PERFORMERS - Birmingham
*1B Keon Barnum - 2-4, R, 2B
*C Seby Zavala - 2-3, BB, 2B
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
BOTTOM 4: With the bases clear and two outs, Cribbs smokes a triple into left field that manages to elude left fielder Jameson Fisher, allowing Cribbs to make it safely to third base in the nick of time. Shortstop Juniel Querecuto laces the very next pitch to left, scoring Cribbs to stretch the Generals' margin to three.
SCORE: JXN 3, BIR 0
TOP 5: Atkinson starts the inning by loading the bases with a double, a single, and a walk. With the tying run at first base, Atkinson allows a double off the center field wall to Bryant Flete, but the Jackson defense hustles to their pitcher's aid. Keon Barnum scores easily from third base, but Ben DeLuzio's throw from the warning track, relayed home to catcher Matt Jones by shortstop Juniel Querecuto, nails Trey Michalczewski at the plate, keeping the margin at 3-1. Atkinson strikes out the next batter for the inning's second out before hitting Jameson Fisher with a pitch, re-loading the bases. His last effort nets an inning-ending, bases-loaded strikeout of Birmingham's Matt Rose to keep the Barons in check.
SCORE: JXN 3, BIR 1
BOTTOM 6: After a Matt Jones sacrifice fly to right field brings Marty Herum home to extend the lead to 4-1, Cribbs swats a two-out double to right field that puts him in scoring position, knocking on history's door. Querecuto obliges him once again, dumping a single into left field to score Cribbs for a 5-1 margin.
SCORE: JXN 5, BIR 1
BOTTOM 8: Cribbs leads off against Jorge Rondon, and he lofts the first pitch down the line in left field, just out of the reach of left fielder Jameson Fisher. Fisher misplays the ball just after it lands, allowing Cribbs to make the turn at first and hustle on to second base, with the one-base hiccup putting Cribbs in the record books with the Generals' second cycle in franchise history.
SCORE: JXN 8, BIR 1
6:05 pm CT Thursday (4/19) at The Ballpark at Jackson (Jackson, TN)
RHP Sam Lewis (Generals) vs. LHP Jordan Guerrero (Birmingham Barons)
THIS GENERALS HOMESTAND:
April 16-25 (vs. Birmingham Barons & Chattanooga Lookouts)
Dial 731-988-5299 for tickets to see Jackson Generals Baseball!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.