Augusta GreenJackets photo from the April 5, 2024 season opener. Mike Adams/Augusta Good News
Augusta GreenJackets photo from the April 5, 2024 season opener. Mike Adams/Augusta Good News

Grady, Fuentes shine as GreenJackets dim Fireflies 6-1 on April 25

(Story courtesy Augusta GreenJackets)

COLUMBIA – Jace Grady launched two home runs and Didier Fuentes worked five innings of one-run baseball as Augusta grabbed its first win in Columbia this week against the Fireflies.

Grady was one of three GreenJackets with a home run this year entering Thursday’s game. He left the yard twice in two at bats to take the team lead in bombs and lead the offense to victory. On the defensive side, Fuentes twirled five magical innings, allowing just one run on one hit en route to his first win as an Augusta GreenJacket.

Augusta claimed an early lead, posting two runs in the first before the Fireflies even had a chance to hit. After Luis Sanchez reached on an error to start the night, the Jackets scattered three more hits in the inning, led by a Drew Compton RBI single and a Kade Kern RBI double.

After Columbia began the second with a leadoff homer from Austin Charles (which would prove to be the only run of the day), Fuentes retired the next three batters he saw, and let the offense go back to work. Grady deposited the first pitch from starter Felix Arronde into the right field seats to bring the lead back to two. Compton would score on a wild pitch, and then in the very next inning Grady would send yet another first pitch fastball over the right field wall to bring the lead to 6-1. All told, Augusta put five earned runs against Arronde, who had allowed just one this year and was riding an 11-inning scoreless streak entering the game.

The offensive output was all it took for Fuentes, who did not allow a baserunner after Austin Charles’ home run in the second. Fuentes struck out five with one hit allowed in five frames, and earned his first stateside win in his second year with the GreenJackets.

Both bullpens dominated the late innings, as neither side mustered a run past the fourth. Righties Connor Fenlong and Jarold Rosado allowed four hits but did not see a run cross for Columbia’s side, as Columbia’s bullpen now has not allowed a run in 17.2 innings in a row. On the other side, Mitch Farris dodged danger throughout three scoreless frames but held the line, while Adel Dilone worked a hitless ninth in a non-save situation.

Augusta moves up to 8-10 on the year, while Columbia falls to 11-6. The season series is now knotted at 3-3, and the GreenJackets have their first win of the week at Segra Park. Two high octane arms will duel Friday, as Augusta righty Garrett Baumann battles Columbia lefty Hunter Patteson. Both arms are 1-0, and have ERAs below 1.25 for the season. First pitch is at 7:05 from Segra Park, with live radio coverage beginning at 6:55.

The GreenJackets will be back home at SRP Park on April 30 for a six-game homestand against the Charleston Riverdogs. The fun-filled week includes Country Night, Star Wars Night and Pavos Salvajes de Augusta Night, when Augusta takes the field in their Copa de la Diversion jerseys on Cinco de Mayo. More information can be found here.

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