JACKSON, Ten. - The Biscuits (0-1) were three outs away from stealing Game 1 of the 2018 Southern League North Division Series from the Jackson Generals (1-0), only to watch their 3-2 lead in the bottom of the ninth slip away thanks to a Marty Herum RBI-single and a walk-off walk thrown by Yoel Espinal to Josh Prince on Wednesday night at The Ballpark at Jackson in a gut-wrenching 4-3 defeat.
J.D. Martin started on the mound for the Biscuits, and despite allowing nine hits over five frames, the knuckleballer surrendered just one run after wiggling out of several jams, and kept Montgomery in the game with a strong overall performance.
Dalton Kelly led off the game with a triple, and then Nick Solak opened the scoring with an RBI-single up the middle against former A+ Tampa teammate, Taylor Widener, in the first. Jason Morozowski tied the game at two with a sac fly off Martin in the second, before the Biscuits wrested the lead back with a Miles Mastrobuoni RBI-single in the fourth to make it 2-1. Mike Brosseau's sac fly in the fifth gave the Biscuits some more breathing room at 3-1.
Travis Ott was summoned from the bullpen for Martin to begin the bottom of the sixth, and after getting through that inning unscathed, served up a towering solo home run over the green monster in left to Domingo Leyba that pulled the Generals within a run again at 3-2. Curtis Taylor pitched a scoreless eighth of relief on just seven pitches, and then Espinal was called upon to slam the door in the bottom of the ninth.
The 25-year-old Dominican had a nightmarish evening though, first plunking pinch hitter Dominic Miroglio, and then walking leadoff man, Ben DeLuzio, and Southern League batting champ, Kevin Medrano, to load the bases. Espinal then got Leyba to pop out to first, but then Herum tied the game with an infield single off the glove of the diving shortstop, Lucius Fox. Rudy Flores then flew out to left, which brought Prince to the plate. The Generals first baseman worked the count full, and then Espinal misfired low to hand Jackson the 4-3 win in walk-off fashion.
The Biscuits will try to rebound and even the series at a game apiece in Game 2 on Thursday when Brock Burke (6-1) deals against Jon Duplantier (5-1) at 6:05 PM CT.
The Biscuits will return home on Friday night for Game 3 at 6:35 PM CT at Riverwalk Stadium.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.