(Story courtesy the Augusta GreenJackets. Photo by Mike Adams/Augusta Good News
SALISBURY, Md. – Behind the strength of 12 strikeouts from starting pitcher Owen Murphy, the Augusta GreenJackets (Atlanta Braves) rode a three run fourth inning to defeat the Delmarva Shorebirds (Baltimore Orioles) 3-2 on June 23 at Arthur W. Perdue Stadirum.
One night after striking out a season-high 15 opposing batters, Augusta (32-34, 1-0) struck out 14 opponents in the first game of the second half of the year.
After Augusta and Delmarva (28-38, 0-1) each took a one-run victory during the first two games of the series, both teams had to wait to get Friday’s game underway as rain in the area caused the game’s first pitch to be delayed one hour and five minutes. Initially scheduled for 7:05 p.m., the game’s first pitch was thrown at 8:10 p.m. The delay did not seem to have a strong impact on either starting pitcher. Delmarva’s Bradley Brehmer retired the first seven GreenJackets he faced.
Meanwhile, Augusta’s Owen Murphy – the second-ranked prospect in the Braves’ organization per MLB Pipeline and Baseball America – struck out the first two Shorebird hitters before allowing a solo home run to Samuel Basallo. Murphy settled in from there as he struck out the side in the second and third innings, coming one strike shy from throwing an immaculate inning in the bottom of the third. Murphy would strike out a seventh batter in a row to start the fourth and would have 10 total strikeouts at the end of the fourth inning.
Meanwhile, Augusta got it first baserunner of the ballgame in the top of the third inning when Nick Clarno lined a one out single. In the fourth inning, the GreenJacket bats came alive as with runners on second and first and one out, E.J. Exposito hit an RBI single to tie the game at 1-1. Jeremy Celedonio immediately followed that with a productive RBI groundout. Later in the inning, a throwing error scored Exposito with the third and final Augusta run of the frame.
In the fifth inning, Murphy allowed back-to-back singles to start the frame but got out of the jam unscathed. His night would end after striking out the first two two hitters in the 6th inning. Murphy’s 12 strikeouts were the most by a GreenJackets pitcher since Royber Salinas struck out 13 hitters on April 14, 2022.
After Delmarva’s Basallo would hit his second solo home run of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Augusta bullpen would hold off the Shorebirds the rest of the way. Seth Keller returned from over four weeks on the injured list to throw two scoreless innings and Chad Bryant would pick up his first professional save.
The GreenJackets stay on the road in Delmarva (Baltimore Orioles) for two more days before going to Columbia (Kansas City Royals) for a week, and then returning to SRP Park for a Fourth of July Fireworks Extravaganza. For tickets and more, go to greenjacketsbaseball.com.
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