(Tennessee Smokies game summary) The Tennessee Smokies (51-77, 18-41) dropped two games to The Jackson Generals (73-53, 34-22) 2-0 and 7-3 on Wednesday night at The Ballpark at Jackson. Nico Hoerner extended his on-base streak to a season-high 21 games in the losing effort.
Due to inclement weather in the area, play was suspended on Tuesday night after three innings. Before the tarps covered the field, RHP Cory Abbott tossed three scoreless innings and fanned three batters to increase his Southern League leading total this season to 150 strikeouts.
RHP Michael Rucker replaced Abbott to kick off the fourth. He dealt two scoreless innings before running in to trouble in the sixth. Seth Beer blasted his first home run for the Generals with a solo shot in to right field to break the stalemate. The big fly snapped Rucker’s 16.1 inning scoreless streak that spanned all the way back to July 25th.
An added insurance run from a RBI-single by Ryan Grotjohn and two shutout innings from RHP Jayson McKinley (W, 2-0) allowed LHP Miguel Aguilar (S,6) to secure his sixth save of the season and a 2-0 game one win for Jackson to clinch a series win.
After being shutout for just the 11th time this season, the Smokies were able to take an early lead in the nightcap of the doubleheader. Zack Short scored the Smokies first run of the night thanks to a catcher interference error on Dalton Varsho. Ian Rice followed with team’s first RBI of the night on a double that ran off the wall in center field to score Eddy Martinez and give the Smokies a 2-0 lead.
The Generals got a run back on Varsho’s 17th home run of the year, but the Smokies immediately responded. They extended their lead to 3-1 on a RBI double by Jared Young that scored Connor Myers.
Varsho continued to feast at the plate. He led off the fifth with a leadoff single and came around to score on a game-tying two-run home run by Pavin Smith. The very next inning, Varsho collected his fourth hit of the ballgame off LHP Jordan Minch (L, 5-5) to score Galli Cribbs Jr. and give Jackson a lead. In all the Generals tallied four runs in the inning on four hits to take a 7-3 lead in the sixth.
Sam Lewis (W, 3-3) provided two shutout innings for the Generals to earn his third win of the season and seal a double-header sweep for Jackson.
The Smokies and the Generals face-off against one another for a final time this season on Thursday. RHP Erick Leal (2-4, 5.13) will make his 9th start of the season with the Smokies. On the other end, RHP Josh Green (2-2, 4.21) will get the ball for Jackson. First pitch is set for 7:05 EDT.