Opening night of the GreenJackets' season on April 5, 2024. Mike Adams/Augusta Good News
Opening night of the GreenJackets' season on April 5, 2024. Mike Adams/Augusta Good News

Augusta GreenJackets deliver dramatic comeback June 7

(Story courtesy Augusta GreenJackets)

NORTH AUGUSTA – Three of the game’s five runs came via solo home runs, and all but one came after the sixth inning as Augusta delivered a dramatic comeback victory to the SRP Park crowd on Friday night over Myrtle Beach.

Neither offense found much rhythm early in the night, with Adam Maier and Nazier Mulé dueling early. Mulé scattered four walks, but stranded three base runners and induced a caught stealing to work three hitless innings in his second start at the single-A level. Maier was phenomenal himself, going a career-high 6.1 innings and shutting out the Pelicans through six.

Augusta’s first piece of offense came in the fourth against reliever Marino Santy. Kade Kern singled, stole second, and advanced to third on a groundout from Noah Williams. The infield moved in, and paid the price as Robert Gonzalez chopped a fastball over the shortstop’s head. The ‘Jackets would load the bases in the same inning, but Cam Magee struck out swinging to end the threat.

Adam Maier worked into the seventh inning for the first time in his pro career, going 6.1 scoreless until his luck ran out against Andy Garriola. The slugging right fielder took a high slider over the wall in left field for his team-high 10th home run of the season, tying the game at one apiece and ending Maier’s night. Adel Dilone came on and retired the next two batters, but the damage was done. On the opposite side, Santy did not allow a run after the fourth, cruising through innings 5-7 with ease and allowing the Pelicans to tie the ballgame.

Myrtle Beach struck again in the eighth, as Ismael Mena led off the inning by crushing a cutter over the right field fence and just past the TaxSlayer Terrace for the Pelicans’ first lead of the night. Myrtle Beach turned to closer Francis Reynoso to post the final six outs and lock down the ballgame.

Chaos ensued immediately against Reynoso, as Kade Kern walked to start the inning despite getting a pitch clock violation and an automatic strike before a pitch was thrown. Kern then stole second, advanced to third on a balk, and scored on a wild pitch, tying the game three pitches later in a wild sequence of events. Now tied at two, Reynoso struck out both Williams and Gonzalez before facing off with Jeremy Celedonio. Celedonio, in his third game of his second year with Augusta, has long been known for prodigious power, leading the GreenJackets in home runs in 2023. On an 0-1 pitch, Celedonio demolished a slider 400 feet into the North Augusta night, giving the GreenJackets the 3-2 lead.

Dilone came back out for the ninth, allowing a two-out walk to Garriola but striking out Frank Hernandez to clinch a huge victory for Augusta in front of an excitable Friday night crowd. Dilone took his fourth win of the year, while Reynoso drew a loss and a blown save for the first time in 2024.

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