Widener, Generals Take Series Opener from Shrimp, 11-3
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jackson Generals right-hander Taylor Widener struck out a career-high 12 batters in six shutout innings, leading the visitors to an 11-3 series-opening win over the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp in front of 2,325 at Publix Corks & Forks Wednesday at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.
Widener (4-3) kept Jacksonville (27-37) hitless until two outs in the fourth inning. He scattered three hits and two walks while striking out each Jumbo Shrimp batter at least once. The Generals (36-29) took a 3-0 lead in the second inning against Jacksonville right-hander Cody Poteet (2-7). Jackson right fielder Josh Prince reached on a dropped fly ball by right fielder John Norwood, went to third base on catcher Marcus Littlewood's single, and scored on shortstop Jose Vinicio's RBI single to left field. Widener had a bunt single to load the bases, and center fielder Daniel Robertson hit a two-run single.
In the fifth inning, Jackson third baseman Kevin Medrano hit a leadoff double to the left-field corner, Poteet walked first baseman Rudy Flores with one out, and left fielder Jamie Westbrook hit a two-run double to left field to extend Jackson's lead to 5-0. Poteet finished six innings, allowing five runs - four earned - on seven hits and two walks with five strikeouts.
The Generals posted a five-run seventh inning against Jacksonville right-hander Zech Lemond. Medrano doubled to left field, second baseman Domingo Leyba singled to right field, and Flores hit an RBI single to left field, before Westbrook hit a two-run triple to right-center field. Two batters later, Littlewood hit a one-out, two-run home run to the right field bleachers to make it 10-0. In the bottom of the inning, the Jumbo Shrimp tallied three runs off right-hander Mason McCullough, as Norwood doubled, third baseman Brian Schales singled, and All-Star catcher Rodrigo Vigil hit an RBI single. A passed ball and sacrifice fly scored two more runs. Jackson's final run came on Flores' eighth-inning single.
UP NEXT: The Jumbo Shrimp continue their series with Jackson at 7:05 p.m. Thursday, when Jacksonville All-Star right-hander Nick Neidert (6-4) is scheduled to face Generals right-hander Justin Donatella (3-3). Gates open at 6 p.m. for Budweiser Thirsty Thursday, when fans can purchase $1 12-oz. and $2 24-oz. beers adjacent to the Budweiser Tiki Terrace, along the right-field concourse, and at the Oasis concession stand behind section 115. $1 small sodas are sold at the concession stands. DJ Swagg and DJ MoneyGud will provide music at the Budweiser Tiki Terrace. To celebrate Flag Day and the U.S. Army's birthday, Navy Federal Credit Union Military Appreciation Night means veterans, active, retired and former military and their dependents receive free general admission or reserved tickets. All attendees with the military member must be present, and the member show an active military or veteran ID, at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville box office to receive free tickets. The Jumbo Shrimp will wear camo jerseys. The game is also presented by Cox Media.
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