Jones' jolt drives in Flores for Generals' walk-off win
Donatella deals five innings in a scoreless mound debut;
bullpen doesn’t allow a hit
Pictured above: Generals infielder Rudy Flores (photo credit: Cody Cunningham)
Jackson, Tenn. – Hitless in his first three at-bats and down to his final strike, Matt Jones put his cape on and played the hero for the Jackson Generals on Sunday afternoon. The starting backstop bopped a single off the 24-foot wall in left field with two outs in the ninth inning, and it allowed Rudy Flores to score the game-winning run from first base in a 1-0 walk-off win at The Ballpark at Jackson. The victory gave the Generals (3-1) their first series win of 2018, flash-frying the Jumbo Shrimp (1-3) in their first weekend matinee of the year.
Great pitching carried the day on both sides. A five-inning start from Double-A debutante Justin Donatella ceded only two hits and a pair of walks to the visiting side, as the tall right-hander struck out a brace with an efficient 77-pitch effort. Gabe Speier, Mason McCullough, and Kirby Bellow followed, working four innings of relief while striking out five without allowing any hits or walks. Flores was the only Jacksonian to register multiple hits, and his two-out, two-strike bloop single to left field in the final half-inning set up the chessboard for Jones’ game-winning opportunity. Jones caught all nine frames, handling the Generals’ staff capably in cold conditions and throwing out a runner on an attempted steal of second base in the first inning.
️ Top Performers - GENERALS
>>1B Rudy Flores: 2-3, BB, R, game-winning run
>>C Matt Jones: 1-4, game-winning RBI; 1 runner caught stealing
>>RHP Justin Donatella: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K, 77 pitches
️ Top Performers – JACKSONVILLE
>>RHP Merandy Gonzalez: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 68 pitches
>>RHP Jorgan Cavaneria: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
>>CF Kyle Barrett: 1-4, 2B; 5 putouts in center field
>>BOTTOM 9: Rudy Flores reaches bases with two outs in the ninth after fighting off a two-strike offering from Jose Quijada with a bloop single down the line in left field. Matt Jones takes two strikes looking, then gets the barrel on a drive to left field that caroms off the wall. Austin Dean’s throw to the Jumbo Shrimp’s relay cut-off men isn’t properly handled, and Flores, motoring all the way from first base, slides home with the game-winning run.
11:05 am CT Monday at The Ballpark at Jackson (vs. Jacksonville)
TBA (Generals) vs. RHP Max Duval (Jumbo Shrimp)
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The baseball season has begun, but it's not too late to come see the Generals (or see them again)! The Generals are hosting the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp in a five-game series through April 9, and you can be there—call 731.988.5299 to order your tickets today! To buy tickets or team merchandise online, or for further information on the 2018 season, log on to JacksonGeneralsBaseball.com!