The first game of any baseball season is special, but the Generals enjoyed a fantastic start to 2016 Thursday night. Jackson earned a shutout win over a talented Montgomery squad in what was only the team’s second opener at home since 2005.
Edwin Diaz was spectacular, striking out nine over six spotless innings for the Generals. The lanky right-hander started on Opening Night for a fourth-straight year with a fourth different team. In starts for rookie-level Pulaski, Class A Clinton, Class A Advanced Bakersfield and now Double-A Jackson, he has given up just two earned runs in 21.2 innings of work (0.83 ERA) while striking out 31 and walking only three.
Let’s just say he was on his game. After striking out seven-straight in a game against the Biscuits last July, Diaz struck out six in a row over two innings Thursday.
Tyler O’Neill added a two-run triple and a game-ending diving catch in his Double-A debut to get Jackson started off on the right foot in 2016. If the Generals win Friday night, they’ll be two games over .500 for the first time since April of 2014.
It was a big day outside of the game for the Generals, as Thursday marked the start of season number 10 with Seattle as the parent club. The organization has now been a Mariners affiliate longer than it had been a Cubs affiliate (1998-2006).
To commemorate the season, our fantastic graphic designer Sheila MacDiarmid made a special logo for this season.
— Jackson Generals (@jacksongenerals) April 7, 2016
We look forward to incorporating this logo in various promotional materials this year. Thank you goes out to everyone with the Mariners, as they have been more than welcoming and helpful. I can’t say enough about what a joy it is to work in the organization.
Here’s to even more great seasons with Seattle! Hope to see you all at The Ballpark this weekend.