Kodak, Tenn. - The Jackson Generals, the Double-A affiliate of Major League Baseball's Arizona Diamondbacks, bested the Tennessee Smokies 7-6 on Wednesday evening at Smokies Stadium, rallying from a four-run deficit for the victory.
The win gives the Generals (6-6) their first pair of consecutive wins on the season, putting them within one triumph of taking the series from the Smokies (7-5).
On a night that Tennessee held a promotion allowing for "free beer" to be served from the first pitch until the visiting team scored, the Generals turned the taps off early. A top-of-the-second home run off the lumber of Marcus Wilson put Jackson in front 1-0, as the outfielder gave the Generals their fourth homer in the space of two nights. The dinger, Wilson's first, ended up being his only hit of the night, but it became important as the game wore on.
Emilio Vargas looked solid through two innings for Jackson, but things fell apart in a five-run third frame for Tennessee. Vargas loaded the bases with no outs and then allowed a sacrifice fly, an RBI single, and a three-run homer before he could stem the bleeding, turning a 1-0 lead into a 5-1 deficit. Vargas eventually completed five innings with no further damage, allowing five hits in total, four of which came in that pesky third stanza. Tyler Mark (1-0, 4.76 ERA) entered and dealt a scoreless sixth inning by allowing no hits and a lone walk.
With Tennessee starter Cory Abbott slowing down in the sixth inning, Tennessee turned to left-hander Manuel Rondon (1-2, 6.43 ERA) for relief. Rondon got the last out in the sixth, but the seventh inning proved thorny. Rondon loaded the bases with a pair of walks and a Drew Ellis single, and former Smokie Jeffrey Baez made it count with a two-run single to left field to cut the deficit in half. Andy Young followed with a single to re-load the bases, and Pavin Smith smacked a two-run double to right field that equalized everything at 5-5.
The pressure on Rondon intensified when second baseman Robel Garcia dropped an infield blooper, allowing Jamie Westbrook to reach base and fill the sacks with Generals for the third time in the inning. A groundout by Daulton Varsho brought home Young with the go-ahead run, and Ramon Hernandez hit a sacrifice fly to right field that scored Smith to put the Generals up 7-5. It was the second night in a row that the offense had scored at least seven runs, with the six-run seventh inning ranking as the Generals' most productive frame of the season. Smith and Baez finished with two RBI each, though none of the Jackson hitters recorded multiple hits or runs scored.
With the lead in hand, Ryan Atkinson (H, 2) replaced Mark and allowed Tennessee to take a run back with a leadoff walk, a stolen base, a balk, and an RBI single. However, Atkinson quickly induced a groundball double play and ultimately retired five of the next six hitters, handing the ball to Michael Kohn (S, 3) for the ninth inning. Kohn struck out the side on 14 pitches to lock up the Generals' biggest come-from-behind win of the year.
NEXT GENERALS GAME:
6:00 pm CT Thursday (4/18) vs. Tennessee Smokies (Chicago Cubs)
Smokies Stadium - Kodak, Tenn.
RHP Sam Lewis (0-1, 2.16 ERA) vs. RHP Zach Hedges (0-0, 2.25 ERA)
Broadcast Link: Tennessee Smokies Baseball Network
UP AND COMING AT THE BALLPARK:
April 25-29 vs. Pensacola Blue Wahoos (AA, Minnesota Twins)
…featuring Super Hero Night (April 27), with 1,000 super-hero-themed T-shirts given away!
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.