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Smokies drop 2 of 3 over weekend at Jackson

(Smokies game summary, Sunday) After taking the first two games of the series, the Tennessee Smokies (21-22) have dropped the last two games in Jackson against the Generals (24-18) with their 7-1 loss on Sunday afternoon.    

Jackson opened up the scoring two batters into the game when Daulton Varsho homered, giving the Generals a 1-0 lead. The Smokies responded in the top of the second inning. After Christian Donahue doubled to get on base, Luis Vazquez brought the tying run home with an RBI-single. 

After that, Jackson took control of the game. RHP Jackson Donatella (W, 2-0) pitched seven innings in which he gave up one run on five hits while striking out eight. Donatella retired eleven straight Smokies batters in the win. 

The Generals added a run in the bottom of the second courtesy of a Drew Ellis solo home run. Then in the fourth inning, a pair of runs for Jackson crossed home plate. Jazz Chisholm tripled to score Jeffery Baez, and Ellis’ sacrifice fly sent Chisholm home pushing their lead to 4-1. 

In the sixth inning, Jackson tacked on the insurance runs. Former Smokie Jeffery Baez went deep for Jackson’s third home run of the game, which scored two runs.

In relief for RHP Thomas Hatch (L, 1-5), the Smokies bullpen sent RHP Brad Markey to the mound. Markey allowed the Generals’ fourth home run of the game in the seventh when Ramon Hernandez hit his third home run of the series, extending the Generals lead to 7-1.

RHP Cory Abbott (4-2, 2.96) starts the rubber match for the Smokies while Jackson counters with RHP Bo Takahashi (3-2, 3.97). First pitch from the Ballpark at Jackson is scheduled for 7:05 pm ET. 

(Smokies game summary, Saturday) The Tennessee Smokies (21-21) left the tying run on second base in the ninth inning, falling to the Jackson Generals (23-18) 4-3 Saturday night at The Ballpark at Jackson. After scoring two runs to cut the Smokies deficit to one, P.J. Higgins grounded out to second base to end the game.

With two outs in the second, LHP Justin Steele (L, 0-4) hit Jazz Chisholm to extend the inning. One pitch later, Drew Ellis lined an RBI-double to left field, scoring Chisholm from first to put Jackson on the board. Dominic Miroglio’s RBI-single extended the lead.

Roberto Caro reached on a two-base throwing error by RHP Riley Smith (W, 3-3) to open up the third. Caro moved to third on Higgins’ groundout and scored on Jared Young’s RBI-double. Former Smokie Jeffrey Baez hit a solo home run to left field off Steele in the bottom half to get the run back. With two-outs and runners on the corners in the fourth, Ben DeLuzio grounded a ball to Smokies shortstop Luis Vazquez. Vazquez tried throwing to second, but no one was covering, allowing Ellis to score.

The Generals run in the fourth would prove to be the difference maker. Vazquez reached on a fielder’s choice, and scored on Connor Myers’ RBI-double off RHP Matt Brill (S, 2) to cut the deficit in half. Myers came in to score on Charcer Burks’ pinch-hit RBI-single. Burks moved to second on Caro’s groundout for the second out. With the tying run in scoring position, Brill got Higgins to bounce out to Chisholm at short to end the game.

(Smokies game summary, Friday) The Tennessee Smokies (21-20) defeated the Jackson Generals (22-18) 6-2 Friday night at The Ballpark at Jackson for their fourth straight victory. Vimael Machin became the first Smokie to collect four hits in a game, he finished 4-for-4 with two doubles, a triple, a walk, and three RBI’s. RHP Tyson Miller (W, 3-1) struck out eight over a career-high 7.2 innings for his third win.

The Smokies broke the scoreless tie in the top of the third. Roberto Caro singled with one out, stole second, and scored on Vimael Machin’s two-out RBI-single. They extended their lead to 3-0 in the fourth. Charcer Burks doubled to leadoff the inning, and scored on Connor Myers’ two-out, two-run home run to left field.

Jackson cut their deficit to 3-2 in the fourth inning after a pair of solo home runs off Miller. Andy Young’s one-out home run to left field put the Generals on the board, and Ramon Hernandez’s two-out home run to left made it a one run game.

LHP Bryan Valdez (L, 0-1) hit Caro leading off the fifth. Caro moved to second on Machin’s one-out single, and went to third as Jhonny Pereda flied out to right field. Galli Cribbs Jr. tried to throw Pereda out at third, but the ball ended up in the third base dugout, allowing Pereda to score and extend the Smokies’ lead to 4-2. Machin’s RBI-triple in the seventh scored P.J. Higgins.

Machin came up in the top of the ninth with a chance to complete the cycle. Instead, he lined an RBI-double off LHP Junior Garcia to the warning track in right field to round out the scoring. RHP Tommy Nance (S, 1) got the final four outs to earn his first save since 2016.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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