Prior to Wednesday, Brett Sullivan hadn't recorded a multi-homer game since his debut season four years ago. He picked a good time to do it again.
The Rays catching prospect clubbed a two-run blast in the first inning and a solo shot in the eighth, powering Montgomery to a 4-0 blanking of Jackson in Game 1 of the best-of-5 Southern League semifinals at Montgomery Riverwalk Stadium. It was his first multi-homer game since Aug. 28, 2015 with Rookie Advanced Princeton.
Video: Montgomery's Sullivan slugs another
"Perfect timing," Sullivan said with a laugh. "It was awesome. Tonight was a super-fun game to be a part of. It's been so much fun playing with these guys and it was a great way to start off the playoffs."
The 25-year-old Pacific product got the Biscuits going early. After D-backs No. 21 prospect Josh Green (0-1) issued a leadoff walk to Taylor Walls in the bottom of the first inning, Sullivan -- waiting in the hole -- saw an opportunity. Third-ranked Rays prospect Vidal Brujan flied out and Sullivan jumped on a first-pitch strike and ripped an opposite-field, two-run homer to left field to give Montgomery a 2-0 lead.
Gameday box score
The Biscuits never trailed, extending advantage in the fifth as Rays No. 20 prospect Lucius Fox doubled with one out, stole third and scored on a throwing error by catcher and fifth-ranked D-backs prospect Daulton Varsho. Montgomery still led, 3-0, when Sullivan deposited reliever Sam Lewis' first pitch over the right field fence in the eighth.
"It was really important to get out there and get a 1-0 lead," Sullivan said. "We go from here. Now we've got momentum and we're all feeling good."
The 2015 17th-round pick also doubled, going 3-for-4 with three RBIs. The win came eight days after the wife, young son and mother-in-law of Biscuits reliever Blake Bivens were found slain in southern Virginia.
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"We're all playing for something bigger than baseball," Sullivan said. "This team is very close and we're all pulling for each other. Right now, we're going out there, having fun and wanting to win in any way that we can. I think this team has what it takes."
As much success as Sullivan had at the plate, the best part of his night may have come behind it as he guided Paul Campbell (1-0) through seven scoreless innings. Ther right-hander retired 17 of the first 18 batters he faced and ended up walking two and striking out six in his longest start since July 7.
Video: Montgomery's Campbell whiffs six
"Campbell was the ultimate competitor tonight. He made it so easy," Sullivan said. "He had every pitch working tonight and we were both in sync. It was so much fun to catch. He hit every spot, was executing every pitch. I couldn't be happier for him."
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Dalton Moats took over for Campbell in the eighth and pitched a scoreless frame. Ian Gardeck closed out the game with a perfect ninth, fanning two.
Green took the loss after allowing three runs -- two earned -- on six hits and a walk over six innings. He struck out five.
Galli Cribbs Jr. had the lone extra-base hit for the Generals, a ground-rule double with one out in the sixth.
Game 2 is Thursday in Montgomery.
In other Southern League playoff action:
Shuckers 11, Blue Wahoos 10, 10 innings
Biloxi overcame late heroics by top Twins prospects Alex Kirilloff and Royce Lewis, walking off with the Game 1 win on Dillon Thomas' two-out homer in the 10th inning. Pensacola trailed, 9-5, heading to the ninth, but Kirilloff tied it with a grand slam and Lewis -- MLB.com's No. 7 overall prospect -- followed with a solo shot. The Shuckers forced extra innings when Joantgel Segovia singled home C.J. Hinojosa with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Segovia, Hinojosa, Thomas and Luis Aviles Jr. had three hits apiece for Biloxi, which hosts Game 2 on Thursday. Gameday box score