Sevierville, Tenn. - The struggles continued for the Generals Sunday as Tennessee swept a doubleheader in Sevierville, walking off 5-4 in game one before taking the nightcap 9-3. Jackson used eight pitchers to cover 12 innings over the two games as the team's losing streak stretched to six.
Jackson (3-7, 40-40) dropped back to an even .500 on the season, while Tennessee (7-3, 43-36) has won seven-straight after taking both games in the twin-bill. The Generals have dropped 11 of the 15 games they've played versus Tennessee so far this year. The teams are scheduled to meet a total of 26 times.
Game One: Tennessee 5, Generals 4
The Generals overcame a four-run deficit with a late rally, but Tennessee walked off in the bottom of the seventh to take game one of the doubleheader 5-4. The loss was Jackson's fourth in walk-off fashion, and it was the team's fifth-consecutive defeat.
Down 4-0, Jackson finally got on the board in the fifth inning on an RBI single by Victor Reyes. A pair of singles put two on for Stewart Ijames in the sixth inning, and he came through with a double to right-center that made it 4-2.
The Generals managed to complete the comeback in the seventh. An Evan Marzilli single and a Michael Perez double put the tying runs in scoring position before Dillon Maples walked Kevin Cron to load the bases. Tennessee's closer then struck out Kelly Dugan for the second out, but Dawel Lugo would not be denied. He singled to center field, plating a pair to knot the game at four.
After leaving the go-ahead run at third in the top of the seventh, Jackson needed to keep the game tied in the bottom of the inning. Drew Muren struck out Charcer Burks to start the inning, but walked the next two batters. A fly ball to right field moved Andrew Ely to third. He'd score the winning run on a Muren wild pitch with two outs.
Muren (1-1, 7.71) took the loss despite not allowing a hit, as the winning run scored on his wild pitch. Dillon Maples (1-0, 3.38) earned the victory despite blowing the save in the top of the seventh inning.
Tennessee jumped out in front with four runs in the first three innings. Jason Vosler drove in his 56th run of the year in the first inning with a sacrifice fly to right field. Two more scored in the second in a three-hit inning for the Smokies. David Bote, who had two doubles in the game, led off the third with a double and scored later in the frame on a sacrifice fly to make it 4-0.
Former Smokie Ivan Pineyro allowed four runs (three earned) on eight hits in four innings of work. Yuhei Nakaushiro pitched a scoreless fifth, and Muren worked a pefect sixth before allowing the Smokies to walk off.
Game Two: Tennessee 9, Generals 3
Tennessee used a pair of big innings to put the Generals away in game two of the doubleheader. The Smokies scored four in the first inning, giving them runs in the opening frame in each of the first five games of the series. Jackson has allowed runs in the opening inning in each of the team's last six games, all losses.
Kevin Cron put the Generals in front briefly with a solo blast in the first inning. It was his first long ball of the Second Half and his league-leading 15th of the season. He added an RBI double in the third inning to lead the way on offense, but that was about it for Jackson in the second game.
Tennessee answered right back in the bottom of the first inning, tying the game on an RBI single from Yasiel Balaguert. Ian Rice followed with a three-run blast to left field off of Gabe Speier (2-5, 4.58), making it 4-1 in favor of the Smokies.
Jackson showed some fight, scoring a pair in the third inning. Victor Reyes led off with a single and scored Cron's double. Two batters later, Cron scored on an RBI single by Jamie Westbrook to cut the deficit to one.
Down 4-3, things fell apart for the Generals in the bottom of the third. Miller Diaz faced nine hitters in the inning, allowing nine runs on four hits and three walks. There were two errors, two wild pitches, a passed ball and a hit batter mixed in as well. Tennessee pitcher Stephen Perakslis capped off the scoring with a two-run double to left for his first-career hit. When the inning finally ended, the Smokies led 9-3.
Perakslis (1-1, 5.93) earned the win on the mound as well, allowing just a hit over 2.1 innings in relief of starter Brad Markey. The Generals loaded the bases in the sixth with Perakslis out of the game, but failed to score.
After Diaz, Jackson's bullpen pitched well. Joey Krehbiel, Mason McCullough and Jared Miller combined to cover the final 3.1 innings of the game. The trio allowed just one hit while striking out five without a walk.
The six-game series in Sevierville wraps up Monday, July 3. Taylor Clarke (6-4, 2.96) takes the hill for Jackson in the finale against another All-Star in Jen-Ho Tseng (7-2, 2.80). First pitch from Smokies Stadium is set for 7:00 pm ET/6:00 pm CT, and fans can catch all the action at 6:45 pm ET/5:45 pm CT with the Pregame Show on Willie 94 FM & 1390 AM.
The Generals return home for the Fourth of July in their first home game on Independence Day since 2008! Fans can enjoy Postgame Fireworks thanks to the United States Marine Corps! Thursday, July 6 is a Thrifty Thursday with $2 deals on general admission tickets, hot dogs, popcorn, soda, beer, ice cream and fun zone access! Friday, July 7 is a Leaders Credit Union Food Truck Friday with local food trucks at The Ballpark! The Generals will also wear special uniforms and play as the Hub City Hippos, with jerseys that will be auctioned off at the end of the season benefitting the Boys & Girls Club of Jackson thanks to Tennessee 811!
Friday, July 7 is also the day of the first Baseball Camp this summer! Registration is open now! Contact Kate Lentz at email@example.com for more information!
The series wraps up Saturday, July 8 with our Championship Celebration and more Postgame Fireworks! We'll look back at last year's Southern League Championship, and the first 1,000 fans will take home a replica championship ring! The night and Fireworks are sponsored by Chicken Salad Chick!
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.