(Story courtesy the Augusta GreenJackets. File photo of Adam Shoemaker by Mike Adams/Augusta Good News)
CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Augusta GreenJackets made history against the Charleston RiverDogs, getting a combined no-hitter from Seth Keller and Landon Harper to cap off a Sunday doubleheader sweep in the Holy City.
The GreenJackets won the first game 3-2 and the second game 2-0 at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park.
Charleston (19-11, 46-50) left the tying and winning runs in scoring position in the first game, while the GreenJackets (14-16, 45-50) hung a zero in the home hit column in the second contest.
Augusta started out the first game strongly, with Ambioris Tavarez doubling to begin the game. However, Tavarez was picked off at third, leaving the Jackets scoreless before Augusta starter Adam Shoemaker retired the side in the bottom of the frame.
Bryson Worrell doubled to begin the second, and after reaching third on a groundout the speedster scored the game’s first run on a wild pitch. The RiverDogs equalized with an Xavier Isaac RBI single in the third, leaving the game tied at 1-1 going into the fourth.
In the top of the fourth, Augusta strung four straight singles together, culminating in an RBI for Jose Dilone before a throwing error brought home a second run. Up 3-1, the GreenJackets would put together a resolute pitching performance over the final four frames. After Shoemaker walked two men to load the bases in the fifth without recording an out,
Ronaldo Alesandro entered from the bullpen and only allowed one man to score, inducing a groundout and a double play to keep the GreenJackets on top. Alesandro breezed through the sixth, before Elison Joseph came into the game in the seventh. Joseph allowed two singles and threw a wild pitch to put the tying run at third and winning run at second, but clamped down with a strikeout before getting Chandler Simpson to ground out to end the game with Augusta on top, 3-2.
The GreenJackets made history in the second game, as Seth Keller and Landon Harper combined for the fourth no-hitter in Augusta history and the first since joining the Braves’ organization. Harper made the start for the GreenJackets and worked around a pair of walks to begin the game, retiring three straight with two men in scoring position to retire the side. This began a string of 11 straight men retired by Keller, who kept the RiverDogs from reaching base until the bottom of the fourth inning.
Augusta took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth. Bryson Worrell singled before Cory Acton, who went 3-3 in the second game, doubled him home. Keller spun a scoreless and hitless fourth and fifth, issuing a walk but nothing else. In the sixth, Cory Acton roped a single, taking second on an error and stealing third base. Jair Casanova doubled the Augusta lead with a hard-struck single through the heart of the infield, putting the score at 2-0.
Keller returned to the mound in the bottom of the sixth, surrendering a leadoff walk and recording a fielder’s choice for the first out. After five and a third innings without allowing a hit Keller was relieved by Landon Harper, who induced a beautiful 6-4-3 double play to retire the side. After Augusta went scoreless in the top of the seventh, Harper returned to the mound and worked around a leadoff hit batsman to retire the side, capping off the combined no-hitter with a strikeout of Raudelis Martinez before being mobbed on the mound.
The combined no-hitter is the first combined 7-inning no-hitter in franchise history. The GreenJackets threw a 9-inning combined no-hitter in 2006, a 7-inning no hitter in 2016, and a 7-inning perfect game in 2017. Keller and Harper became the first Braves prospects to take part in a no-hit effort with the GreenJackets.
Augusta heads home this coming Tuesday, Aug, 1 for a series with the Columbia Fireflies (Kansas City Royals). To purchase tickets and learn more about the week’s homestand, visit https://www.milb.com/augusta/fans/gj-homestand-preview.).
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