Jackson, Tenn. - The Jackson Generals, the Double-A affiliate of Major League Baseball's Arizona Diamondbacks, closed within one win of a second consecutive league title on Friday night, taking a 2-0 victory over the Biloxi Shuckers in Game 3 of the Southern League Championship Series.
The victory puts the Generals (2-1) on the doorstep of the franchise's fourth title, while Biloxi (1-2) must win on Saturday to force a winner-take-all fifth game on Sunday.
Continuing a dominant run through the playoffs, groundball maestro Matt Peacock (1-0, 0.00 ERA) held the Shuckers without a baserunner until the fifth inning, retiring the first 14 batters who came to the plate. Peacock stranded a pair of singles in the fifth and then got two outs in the sixth before the Generals convened a mound meeting that led to Peacock's departure after 68 pitches. He finished with eight groundball outs and struck out six men without issuing a walk, ending his postseason with one earned run allowed over twelve and two-thirds innings between the SLCS and the North Division Series.
Cole Stapler entered in Peacock's place and took a moment to get his bearings, hitting a batter with a pitch before giving up two singles to the load the bases. Stapler induced a flyout to get out of the jam in the top of the sixth with the Generals holding a 1-0 lead. Kevin McCanna appeared in his third straight game and worked the seventh, tossing a scoreless frame on 11 pitches in his third appearance in four nights. Miguel Aguilar struck out the side in a scoreless eighth inning, and closer West Tunnell got his second save of the postseason by stranding a leadoff double, helped by a diving grab made by Ben DeLuzio in right field to end the game. The Generals' pitching staff held Biloxi to a 1-for-6 mark with men in scoring position and did not issue a walk.
Offensively, Biloxi's Bowden Francis (0-1, 3.18 ERA) kept the Generals silent through the first three frames, retiring ten in a row before an opposite-field single by Daulton Varsho gave Jackson their first baserunner. Behind Varsho, Pavin Smith launched an RBI double to gap in left-center that gave Jackson the 1-0 lead on Smith's only hit of the evening. Two innings later, DeLuzio led off with a double down the left field line, and Varsho drove him in with a frozen rope down the right field line for a 2-0 lead. The trio at the top of the order for Jackson collected four of the team's five hits on Friday after going a combined 12-for-75 to open the postseason. The Generals have outscored Biloxi 8-2 since a 9-7 defeat in Game 1.
For the second year in a row, the Generals are playing for a Southern League title! The Generals have earned their way back into the Southern League Championship Series, and this year, they have the right to host the final three games of the SLCS at The Ballpark at Jackson! Game 4 is set for Saturday, September 14 at 6:05 p.m. CT, with Game 5 to follow on Sunday, September 15 at 6:05 p.m. if necessary. Buy your tickets through the box office at The Ballpark at Jackson in person, by calling 731.988.5299, or online through JacksonGeneralsBaseball.com!
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. Next June, The Ballpark at Jackson will host the 2020 Southern League All-Star Game, and you can purchase 2020 season tickets 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.