Jacksonville, Fla. - The Jackson Generals rallied for four runs in the final two innings, beating Jacksonville 4-2 Saturday night to snap a three-game slide. Right-hander Taylor Clarke set a career-high with 12 strikeouts in 5.1 innings pitched, as Jackson (26-23) halted a seven-game winning streak by the Jumbo Shrimp
Jacksonville, Fla. - The Jackson Generals rallied for four runs in the final two innings, beating Jacksonville 4-2 Saturday night to snap a three-game slide. Right-hander Taylor Clarke set a career-high with 12 strikeouts in 5.1 innings pitched, as Jackson (26-23) halted a seven-game winning streak by the Jumbo Shrimp (22-27).
Held scoreless over their first 23 outs, the Generals came to life late in the game, notching five of their eight hits in the final two frames. Joey Krehbiel and Gabriel Moya (2-1, 1.61 ERA) struck out eight Jumbo Shrimp in relief, totaling a season-high 20 punchouts for the Jackson pitching staff.
Down 2-0 with two outs in the top of the eighth inning, outfielder Stewart Ijames was called on to hit in Krehbiel's place. After being activated earlier in the day from the disabled-list, Ijames delivered a two-out double to left-center field to keep the inning alive. Ijames' hit gave Jackson their first runner on base since the third inning, and the Generals capitalized.
Colin Walsh walked to put the tying run aboard, and Kelly Dugan, hitless in three prior at-bats, stroked a seeing-eye single up the middle, scoring Ijames from second base. Walsh advanced to third on the play, and as Kevin Cron batted next, Jacksonville catcher Austin Nola gave up a passed ball that allowed Walsh to race home, scoring the equalizer.
Moya mowed down the top of the Jumbo Shrimp lineup 1-2-3 in the bottom of the eighth, moving the game to the ninth inning in a deadlock. Rudy Flores opened with a single through the right side off Severino Gonalez (0-4, 3.86 ERA), and Dawel Lugo followed with a soft jab into left field. Oscar Hernández then launched a fly ball to left field that barely cleared the reach of Jacksonville's Alex Glenn, caroming off the wall. The near-miss held the runners for a moment, but Flores was able to score the tie-breaking run, with Lugo heading to third and Hernandez reaching second base. Evan Marzilli followed with a fly out to center field, and Lugo, tagging up on the play, snuck in past the tag at home plate to score the Generals' fourth run.
Three strikeouts away from the Southern League record of 22, Moya took down the lead-off hitter in the ninth on strikes. The last two outs of the game came on a ground out and a fly out, as the Jackson staff finished with an even 20 batters struck out. The Generals just missed tying the 2014 Jackson team, which fanned 22 Chattanooga batters in 18 innings on April 21, 2014. The record had been tied four other occasions prior to 2014.
Clarke began the contest with three strikeouts in the first inning, including a dropped-third-strike that let Jacksonville lead-off man Alex Yarbrough get on base. Clarke set three more hitters down on strikes in the second inning, and he struck out a pair of Jumbo Shrimp each in the third, fourth, and fifth innings. Clarke allowed a walked to begin the sixth inning, but he picked off KC Serna at first base after a meeting on the mound with pitching coach Doug Drabek. A one-out double chased Clarke after 105 pitches, 66 of which went for strikes. Four of Clarke's strikeouts were called, with eight on swings. He ceded just two hits and three walks, keeping Jacksonville scoreless through 16 outs.
Krehbiel entered in Clarke's place, retiring the first hitter he faced on a strikeout. A two-run blast by John Norwood gave Jacksonville the 2-0 lead, with one of the runs being charged to Clarke because of the runner on base. Krehbiel struck out the batter following Norwood and then took down the side on strikes in the seventh inning, setting a season-high mark with five strikeouts.
Jackson outlasted a superb effort from Jacksonville starter Mike Kickham, who punched out 12 batters of his own over 6.2 scoreless innings of work. Flores finished with a pair of hits on the night to lead the team.
The Generals finish their five-game series with Jacksonville on Sunday, as Josh Taylor (3-2, 3.67 ERA) takes on the Jumbo Shirmp at 6:35 pm ET. You can catch all the action with the team on the road starting with the pregame show at 6:20 pm ET (3:50 pm CT) on Willie 94 FM and 1390 AM in Jackson.
The Generals return home May 30 for five games versus the Mississippi Braves. The series kicks off with a Thrifty Thursday, and includes both the Hub City Hippos and a Leaders Credit Union Food Truck Friday the next night! Saturday is Star Wars Night with Postgame Fireworks presented by Hardeman County Correctional Facility! In addition to Fireworks, a lucky fan will win a trip to Disney's Hollywood Studios to experience Star Wars in Florida! And the first 1,000 through the gate will take home a jersey T-shirt!
Make sure to get your tickets now to see the 20th season of professional baseball in Jackson, and the first for the team as an affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks! Call the team at (731) 988.5299, stop by The Ballpark or go online to jacksongeneralsbaseball.com to secure your seats now!