Generals take 2-0 series lead

JACKSON, Tenn — “The Generals got strong pitching and a pair of solo home runs to take down Montgomery 2-1 in game two of the North Division Series Thursday night in front of 2,918 at The Ballpark at Jackson. Tyler Marlette and Tyler O’Neill both went yard, while a trio of hurlers kept the Biscuits to just one run. Jackson now leads the best-of-five series two games to none, with things shifting to Montgomery Friday.

The game was scoreless heading into the third. Montgomery’s Brett Honeywell retired the first six batters he faced, but Tyler Marlette changed that quickly with a solo blast to left field to give the Generals a 1-0 lead. Going back to the regular season, Marlette has homered in two of the team’s last four games.

Tyler O’Neill doubled the lead in the fourth inning, leading off with an opposite-field blast to right-center that put Jackson on top 2-0. Through two postseason games, the Southern League MVP is 4-for-7 with a pair of home runs and four runs batted in.

Those were the only two runs allowed by Honeywell, one of Tampa Bay’s top pitching prospects. In seven frames, Honeywell (0-1, 2.57) allowed four hits while striking out seven and walking only one. The Generals had some opportunities to add to their edge, but ultimately only needed two runs.

Brett Ash (1-0, 1.50) turned in a strong start for Jackson to earn the victory, allowing just one run in six innings of work. After five scoreless frames, Montgomery got to Ash in the sixth for their only score of the game. Ash walked the first two batters before giving up a one-out RBI single to Patrick Leonard that cut Jackson’s lead to one. Willy Adames was thrown out at third on the play, and Tyler Marlette threw out Leonard trying to steal second to end the inning and keep the Generals in front.

The game remained extremely close over the final three innings. Ryne Harper pitched a pair of scoreless innings behind Ash, giving up just a two-out hit in the eighth. With the tying run at third base, Adames hit a liner to left field that Leon Landry chased down to end the inning.

Matt Anderson (S, 1) followed to finish it off in the ninth. After retiring the first two hitters with ease, Justin Williams and Juniel Querecuto reached on consecutive two-out singles to put the tying run in scoring position. That was as close as the Biscuits got to tying the game, as Anderson went up the ladder with a fastball to strike out Justin O’Conner for the game’s final out.

The win sends the Generals to Montgomery in need of just one win in three games at Riverwalk Stadium to secure a spot in the Southern League Championship Series for the first time since 2012. In the regular season, Jackson was 10-1 in Alabama’s capital. If you include the two postseason games, the Generals have won 18 of 22 versus the Biscuits.

The Generals go for a series sweep and a chance to play for a Southern League Championship Friday night in Montgomery. Paul Blackburn (9-5, 3.27) takes the mound for Jackson opposite lefty Chris Kirsch (7-7, 3.22). First pitch from Riverwalk Stadium is scheduled for 7:05 pm CT, and you can listen to all the action on the TJ Network (AM 1390, FM 94.1) in West Tennessee and online via the TuneIn Radio App starting at 6:50 pm CT with the Pregame Show!

If the Generals qualify for the Southern League Championship Series, tickets will go on sale for games one and two as the North Division is slated to host the first two games in the best-of-five series. For tickets and information, call the team at (731) 988.5299, stop by The Ballpark or go online to jacksongeneralsbaseball.com.”

Courtesy: Jackson Generals