Jackson, Tenn. - The Jackson Generals, the Double-A affiliate of Major League Baseball's Arizona Diamondbacks, downed the Biloxi Shuckers for the fourth straight night on Saturday, winning 6-3 at The Ballpark at Jackson.
The triumph helped Jackson (39-30) tie their win total from last year's First Half, with Biloxi (40-29) dropping their fourth contest in a row for just the second time in 2019.
Riley Smith, the announced starter for Tuesday's Southern League All-Star Game at MGM Park in Biloxi, pitched the first inning of Saturday's game and allowed only one hit. Luis Aviles Jr. led off with a double, and two groundouts later, he came in to give Biloxi a 1-0 lead. Taking over after the first inning for Smith, Justin Donatella (3-0, 4.18 ERA) worked the next five innings without allowing Biloxi to score. The right-hander threw a season-high 104 pitches, lasting into the seventh inning before giving up a pair of runs as the Shuckers closed within 6-3. The visitors would come no closer, as Bud Jeter entered and netted his third hold of the year by tossing one and two-thirds innings without allowing a Biloxi run. Cameron Gann (S, 2) locked down the save for the second time in three days with a scoreless ninth inning.
The Generals' offense came out swinging in the bottom half of the first inning, as Andy Young and Daulton Varsho each singled to get on base against Biloxi starter Cameron Roegner (1-1, 5.63 ERA). Hitting third in the order, All-Star third baseman Drew Ellis sent Roegner's first pitch barreling beyond the left field fence to flip the score in Jackson's favor, 3-1. The dinger was the second lead-changing jack from Ellis in the space of a week, following a go-ahead homer against Mississippi on Tuesday.
In the fourth inning, Jackson added to their lead with a pair of runs. Ben DeLuzio led off the inning with a single, and Donatella bunted him into scoring position before Young stepped to the plate. Young then delivered DeLuzio with a triple to the gap between right and center field. As Young slid headfirst into the base at third, the incoming throw from relay-man Bruce Caldwell kicked off Young's helmet and went into the stands, giving Young the chance to stroll across home plate beneath a lively ovation from the 4,671 fans in attendance. Two innings later, Ellis launched his second homer of the game, this time a solo shot on the first pitch from reliever Devin Williams to complete Jackson's scoring.
The multi-homer game for Ellis was a career first for the third-year pro, and his four RBI tied a personal season-high mark. The top third of the Jackson order (Young, Varsho, and Ellis) combined for a 6-for-12 night at the plate, scoring five runs while driving in five and walking three times. The Generals also matched a season-high for stolen bases, swiping three bags for the first time since Opening Night thanks to the wheels of Varsho, Pavin Smith, and Jazz Chisholm. Jackson will go for their second series sweep of the First Half on Sunday; they would be the first team to sweep Biloxi this season if they can accomplish the feat.
NEXT GENERALS GAME:
2:05 pm CT Sunday (6/16) vs. Biloxi Shuckers
The Ballpark at Jackson - Jackson, Tenn.
RHP Joel Payamps (1-1, 4.50 ERA) vs. RHP Bowden Francis (3-4, 5.22 ERA)
BROADCAST: Jackson Generals Broadcast Network
UP AND COMING AT THE BALLPARK:
June 30-July 3 vs. Montgomery Biscuits (AA, Tampa Bay Rays)
…featuring the Generals' Independence Day Celebration (July 3)!
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.