D-backs’ Double-A affiliate Jackson wins Southern League championship

Sep 16, 2018, 9:34 AM | Updated: 11:33 am

Pinch-hitter Evan Marzilli broke a 2-2 in the top of the ninth inning with an RBI double that scored Marty Herum and gave the Jackson Generals a 3-2 win over the Biloxi Shuckers and the Southern League championship.

Jackson jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first when leadoff man Ben DeLuzio singled and Kevin Medrano clubbed a two-run home run.

Biloxi scored in the fourth when Troy Stokes homered off of Generals starter Emilio Vargas. The Shuckers tied the game in the sixth when Keston Hiura knocked in Stokes with an RBI single off of Jackson reliever Miguel Aguilar.

After Marzilli’s heroics, Kevin Ginkel came in and worked a 1-2-3 ninth to close the door on Biloxi and give Jackson its second Southern League crown in three years. In 2016, while still an affiliate of the Seattle Mariners, Jackson defeated the Mississippi Braves in three games to earn the title.

Vargas, who won the California League MVP award for Visalia before being promoted to Jackson, was outstanding on the mound. The 22-year-old right-hander went five innings, scattering just four hits while striking out eight and walking none. He drew praise from his manager, Shelley Duncan.

“Tonight was the most impressed I’ve been with him since he got here,” Duncan told “For him to bounce back like that, it was really impressive.”

Infielder Domingo Leyba, the D-backs’ 17th-best prospect according to MLB Pipeline, was named the series MVP after batting .333 (6-for-18) in the four games. Leyba’s four-hit, four-RBI performance in Game 3 powered Jackson to a pivotal 12-7 win on Friday night.

Jackson wasn’t the only D-backs’ affiliate to play for its respective league title. The Visalia Rawhide (High-A) took on the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes for the California League crown, but were swept in three games.

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