Casanova plates four in GreenJackets win

(Story courtesy Augusta GreenJackets. Photo by Mike Adams/Augusta Good News)

COLUMBIA – The Augusta GreenJackets picked up their third straight win, battling a rain delay to overcome the Columbia Fireflies with an 8-5 victory July 2 at Segra Park.

Columbia (4-4, 39-34) brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth, but Jair Casanova’s four runs batted in and the pitching heroics of Samuel Strickland delivered the victory to Augusta (5-3, 36-37).. 

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Augusta entered the contest on the backs of two straight wins, and picked up right where they left off. After each team went scoreless in the first, Bryson Worrell and Jeremy Celedonio drew walks to begin the second inning. Nick Clarno blooped a single into right field before Jair Casanova cleared the bases with a two-strike, three-RBI double. Ambioris Tavarez followed with a scalding single to left to put Augusta up 4-0. 

Jared Johnson needed just 19 pitches to get through two innings, as he struck out the final two batters in the second to keep it a four-run lead. However, as the teams were emerging for the third, the umpires sent the game into a rain delay. The game resumed an hour later, and the Fireflies struck twice on a sacrifice fly and RBI single to halve the lead at 4-2. 

In the top of the fifth, Augusta manufactured a run back, when Ambioris Tavarez scored from second on a pickoff error and a fielding error on the errant throw. Brett Squires launched a two-run homer off of Estarlin Rodriguez in the bottom of the frame to make it a one-run game, but Cory Acton recorded a sacrifice fly to score Jose Dilone to push the lead back to two.

Samuel Strickland (W, 2-1) entered in the bottom of the sixth, and pitched a scoreless sixth and seventh while Augusta was held off the scoreboard due to stellar relief work from Columbia’s Cooper McKeehan. The GreenJackets added two more in the top of the ninth on a Jair Casanova solo shot and E.J. Exposito’s team-high 35th RBI, before Strickland closed the door in the bottom of the frame despite two errors bringing home a consolation run for the Fireflies. Augusta clinched the series with the win.

The GreenJackets conclude their road trip tomorrow at Columbia, before returning to SRP Park for a 4th of July Fireworks Extravaganza! For tickets and more, go to

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