Jackson, Tenn. - The Generals rebounded from their first loss of the season with an offensive explosion Sunday, putting away the Birmingham Barons by a 20-5 final at The Ballpark at Jackson. The team scored in each of the first seven innings, and all nine starters on offense recorded at least a hit and a run.
Jackson's six home runs--one from Kevin Cron, one from Colin Walsh, two from Stewart Ijames, two from Dawel Lugo--were one shy of tying a Southern League record. The team's 20 runs were the most in a game since 2009, while the 22 hits were the most since 2006.
The offense got started early. A day after smashing three home runs, Kevin Cron took Birmingham's Thaddius Lowry deep with a two-run shot in the first inning to put Jackson on the board. It was the fourth homer in six at-bats for Cron.
Jackson (3-1) then added six more runs in the second. Stewart Ijames drove in Óscar Hernández with a sacrifice fly for the second out, but the Generals were far from done. Later in the frame, Colin Walsh blasted a two-run homer the opposite way and Rudy Flores added a two-run double. An error allowed the Generals to score six in the frame. Jackson sent 11 men to the plate in the inning and led 8-0 when all was said and done.
Thaddius Lowry (0-1, 24.55) was knocked out of the game in the fourth. He allowed a run in the third on a sacrifice fly before Setwart Ijames launched a two-run jack to left-center. Lowry gave up 11 runs on 10 hits in 3.2 innings.
El'Hajj Muhammad did not fare much better in relief. Later in the fourth inning, Walsh added an RBI double to make it 12-0 in favor of the Generals. Kelly Dugan got in on the action in the fifth with an RBI single. Jackson scored three more times against Muhammad in the sixth. The first two of those runs came on Dawel Lugo's first long ball of 2017, while an error by Jake Peter at second base gave the Generals 16 runs.
The last four runs came thanks to two more long balls in the seventh inning. Ijames launched his second homer the other way to get things started. Kevin Medrano doubled and scored on a single by Evan Marzilli before Lugo came through again. The infielder hit two-run shot over the 24-foot-high wall in left field to cap off the 20-run effort.
Birmingham (1-3) scored an unearned run off of Grant Sides in the sixth inning to get on the board. The Barons got their other four runs off of Brooks Hall in the seventh inning.
Brad Keller (1-0, 0.00) was strong in his Double-A debut, pitching five scoreless frames to get the victory. He struck out five while walking just one batter. Keller threw 51 of his 71 pitches for strikes.
All nine Generals had at least one hit, and eight starters had two or more. Every General scored a run as well, with five starters touching the plate three times. Dawel Lugo and Kevin Medrano led the way with four hits apiece, while Lugo and Stewart Ijames each drove in four runs. Seven of nine starters drove in a run in the game as well.
The series concludes on Monday morning with the Generals looking to take four of five from Birmingham. Southpaw Alex Young (0-0, --) takes the ball for Jackson, and he'll face off against Matt Cooper (0-0, --) in the morning affair. First pitch from The Ballpark at Jackson is set for 11:05 am CT, and you can catch all the action on the TuneIn Radio App and MiLB.tv starting at 10:50 am CT!
Monday is an Education Day, with school kids getting free admission to a pregame program and the series finale against the Barons. Lunch packs, which include a hot dog, chips, soft drink and a cookie, are available to purchase for just $6! It's the last chance to see the Generals at home before April 17, when they return from Mobile.
Get your tickets to see the 2017 Generals defend their Southern League Championship now! It's the 20th season of professional baseball in Jackson, and you can purchase tickets by calling the team at (731) 988.5299, stopping by The Ballpark or going online to jacksongeneralsbaseball.com!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.