Jackson, Tenn. - The Jackson Generals, the Double-A affiliate of Major League Baseball's Arizona Diamondbacks, put the wood to the Tennessee Smokies on Sunday, blasting a quartet of homers in a 7-1 win at The Ballpark at Jackson.
The victory forces a rubber game on Monday between the Generals (24-18) and the visiting Smokies (21-22) after two Generals wins helped them climb out of an 0-2 hole.
For the second night in a row, a Jackson starting pitcher delivered seven innings with just one run allowed, as Justin Donatella (2-0, 3.31 ERA) produced his best start of the year. The right-hander allowed a one-out double to Tennessee's Christian Donahue in the second inning, and Luis Vazquez singled home Donahue for the Smokies' only run of the contest.
Donatella induced a groundball double play to finish the inning, and from there, he retired eleven in a row and twelve of the next thirteen men. The 24-year-old stranded the bases loaded in the seventh, finishing with exactly 100 pitches while permitting five hits and two walks while striking out eight men. Bud Jeter worked two scoreless frames in relief to crystallize the victory.
After scoring six runs over their past two games, the Generals' offense had a field day against Tennessee right-hander Thomas Hatch (1-5, 6.17 ERA). Hatch had previously allowed 17 runs to Jackson in two prior matchups with the West Tennessee bunch, and the trend continued on Sunday, as the home team torched Hatch with three homers and six runs in total.
Daulton Varsho and Drew Ellis hit solo shots in the first and second innings to put Jackson ahead, 2-1, and a one-out triple by Jazz Chisholm in the fourth inning drove in Jeffrey Baez to push the lead to 3-1. Ellis came through with a sacrifice fly to score Chisholm for a 4-1 lead, and Baez cracked a two-run shot two innings later to make the lead 6-1, chasing Hatch from the hill.
The cherry on top was a pinch-hit dinger from Ramon Hernandez---his third home run of the series---that put Jackson ahead 7-1 in the seventh. Surprisingly, no General collected multiple hits in the triumph, though Baez and Ellis each drove in two runs.
NEXT GENERALS GAME:
11:05 am CT Monday (5/20) vs. Tennessee Smokies
The Ballpark at Jackson - Jackson, Tenn.
RHP Bo Takahashi (3-2, 3.97 ERA) vs. RHP Cory Abbott (4-2, 2.96 ERA)
BROADCAST: Jackson Generals Baseball Network
UP AND COMING AT THE BALLPARK:
May 16-20 vs. Tennessee Smokies (AA, Chicago Cubs)
…featuring Education Day (Monday, May 20)!
The Jackson Generals, a West Tennessee franchise since 1998, are the Double-A minor league affiliate of Major League Baseball's Arizona Diamondbacks. The Generals play at The Ballpark at Jackson, Tennessee's 2017 & 2018 Pro Sports Field of the Year. Purchase your tickets to see the defending Southern League champions today by calling 731.988.5299 or visiting JacksonGeneralsBaseball.com!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.