Varsho lifts Generals to brink of title

D-backs No. 5 prospect posts two hits, RBI in Game 3

Daulton Varsho is 3-for-8 with two doubles, three runs scored and two RBIs in the past two games. (Danny Parker/

By Duane Cross / | September 13, 2019 10:53 PM

Regardless of where he is on the field, Daulton Varsho is looking forward to celebrating a championship.

After Friday night, he may not have to wait much longer.

The fifth-ranked D-backs prospect had two hits, drove in one run and scored another as Jackson blanked Biloxi, 2-0, in Game 3 of the Southern League Championship Series at The Ballpark at Jackson. The Generals lead the best-of-5 Finals, 2-1, and are one win from their second straight title and third in four years.

Video: Generals' Varsho delivers RBI double

Playing center field for the second straight game, the No. 68 overall pick in the 2017 Draft noted the view is a bit different than from behind the plate -- where he started 76 contests this season -- but he's comfortable in open space.

"As a kid, I roamed the outfield during batting practice," said Varsho, the son of eight-year Major League veteran Gary Varsho. "I was just an athlete. Playing center field is totally different than catching; you're not squatting the whole game, obviously.

"With Pavin Smith and Ben DeLuzio out there, we cover a lot of ground."

Gameday box score

Jackson took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning as Varsho grounded a base hit into left field to break a streak of 10 consecutive batters retired by Biloxi's Bowden Francis (0-1). Three pitches later, Smith cranked the right-hander's 2-0 offering into center for an RBI double.

The Generals added a run in the sixth on back-to-back doubles by DeLuzio and Varsho to end Francis' night. The 2017 seventh-rounder went 5 2/3 frames and gave up two runs on five hits, fanning five.

"I was just trying to slow myself down," said Varsho, who was 0-for-22 in the postseason before a ninth-inning double in Game 2. "I've been struggling the last few games. I just wanted to take a step back. ... I got a fastball in the zone and got a good swing on it and it went into the gap."

Complete playoff coverage

Jackson starter Matt Peacock (1-0) set down the first 14 batters before yielding an infield single to David Fry with two outs in the fifth. He allowed two hits and struck out six across 5 2/3 innings.

Video: Generals' Peacock posts sixth K

West Tunnell picked up his second postseason save with a five-pitch ninth as he worked around a leadoff double.

2019 MiLB include

"Hopefully, we can put a win together tomorrow and get a ring," Varsho said. "We've talked about it since Day 1. [Manager] Blake Lalli said, 'This is a winning team. This is the future of the Arizona Diamondbacks.' Me, personally, I've been close -- a lot of us have -- but we haven't won."

And yes, he does think about the postgame celebration.

"The advantage to running in from center is not being on the bottom of the pile," he said.

Game 4 is Saturday in Jackson.

Duane Cross is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @DuaneCrossMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

View More