Sevierville, Tenn. - A strong early push by the Jackson Generals' offense on Saturday night gave starting pitcher Sam Lewis some breathing room, and the right-hander turned in a series-clinching effort at Tennessee.
Lewis (1-1, 4.50 ERA) worked the first five innings with only a pair of hits allowed, and the Generals (7-2) won a 10-2 boatrace over the Tennessee Smokies (3-6), claiming their fifth win in the past six games.
Improving on his first Double-A start last Saturday, Lewis faced the minimum number of Smokies hitters through the first three frames and ended up with half a dozen strikeouts at the end of five innings. He walked two and allowed two runs on a homer by Tennessee outfielder Trey Martin, recording six groundouts in a winning performance. Joel Payamps and Mason McCullough each dealt a pair of scoreless innings in relief, making sure the Smokies did not record back-to-back come-from-behind wins.
Offensively, the dam broke in the second inning when Generals first baseman Matt Jones clobbered a three-run shot off of Tennesee starter Oscar De La Cruz (0-2, 16.50 ERA), doubling the Generals 3-0 lead to 6-0. The home run by Jones gave him the team lead in 2018 with three and added punctuation on his 26th birthday. Juniel Querecuto and Jamie Westbrook added three-hit nights for the Generals, who batted .538 (7-for-13) with runners in scoring position.
Top Performers - GENERALS
**RHP Sam Lewis - 5.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 6 K, 1 HR allowed; 2 sacrifice hits
**3B Juniel Querecuto - 3-5, R, 2 RBI, 2B
**LF Jamie Westbrook - 3-5, R, 2 RBI
Top Performers - TENNESSEE
**CF Trey Martin - 2-4, R, 2 RBI, HR
**RHP Jake Stinnett - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
**TOP 2: After Tennessee starter Oscar De La Cruz is forced to throw 28 pitches in the first inning, he's overwhelmed in the second frame by good execution. Alberto Rosario reaches base to start the inning, and pitcher Sam Lewis lays down a bunt to move Rosario to second base. Ben Deluzio reaches next with an infield single, and two batters later, Jamie Westbrook brings home Rosario and DeLuzio with an RBI zinger to center field. The turning point of the game happens two hitters later, when Matt Jones finishes a seven-pitch at-bat by driving a 3-2, two-out pitch over the left field wall to double the Generals' lead.
>>SCORE: JXN 6, TNS 0
**TOP 6: With Tennessee fnally managing to score in the fifth inning, the Generals don't let the affront go unchecked. Marty Herum hits an opposite field double with one out, and Galli Cribbs drives him in to push Jackson's lead to 9-2, effectively snuffing out Tennessee's hopes for gaining momentum.
>>SCORE: JXN 9, TNS 2
1pm CT Sunday (4/15) at Smokies Stadium (Sevierville, TN)
RHP Justin Donatella (Generals) vs. RHP Michael Rucker (Tennessee Smokies)
NEXT 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.