Didier Fuentes threw the first pitch of the 2023 season for the Augusta GreenJackets at SRP Park in North Augusta, SC. on Tuesday, April 11, 2023. Mike Adams/Augusta Good News.
Didier Fuentes threw the first pitch of the 2023 season for the Augusta GreenJackets at SRP Park in North Augusta, SC. on Tuesday, April 11, 2023. Mike Adams/Augusta Good News.

GreenJackets’ bats silenced as Hillcats use big sixth to even series June 12

(Story courtesy Augusta GreenJackets)

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Lynchburg used three pitchers to combine for a shutout, and posted four runs in the sixth inning to add certainty to a Wednesday night victory over the GreenJackets at Bank of the James Stadium.

In a battle of 18-year-old starting pitchers, Didier Fuentes and Alex Clemmey each posted zeroes through the first four frames of the night. Fuentes worked into trouble in the second, walking the bases loaded with two outs, but induced a first pitch jam shot to short off the bat of Esteban Gonzalez to end the threat. Fuentes battled through subpar command all night, but still gave the team a chance through five.

A high pitch count forced Fuentes from the game after four, bringing in Giomar Diaz in a rare early appearance for him. Diaz retired the first two batters he saw, but a double, walk and error brought home the first run of the night for Lynchburg. Things got rough quickly in the sixth, as Christian Knapczyk led off the frame with a triple in the right field corner. Diaz injured his ankle on the play ranging over, and had to be removed. Four of the next five batters reached against Reibyn Corona, and the Hillcats scored four to put the game out of reach.

Clemmey lasted 4.2 innings, tying his career high with 8 strikeouts and walking just one batter, the last one he faced as he came up one out short of earning the winning decision. His successor, Kyle Scott, was even better, allowing just one hit in 3.1 inning and striking out 6 to keep the offense in check. Wardquelin Vasquez finished the game with a scoreless ninth. Augusta’s offense was mostly quiet, but Will Verdung shown as the lone bright spot, going 2-2 with four walks and reaching base in every plate appearance.

Wednesday’s loss brought Augusta’s four-game winning streak to a close, the second time this year a streak has ended at four wings. Kadon Morton takes the ball Thursday to begin anew, looking for a long outing after a rain delay chased him in his first start of the season last week after 1.1 innings. He’ll have Davis Polo piggybacking behind him against Lynchburg’s cavalcade of lefties, while Rorik Maltrud takes the ball for the Hillcats looking to keep the solid momentum he has built in his return to the rotation.

The GreenJackets will be back at home beginning Tuesday, June 25, for a six-game series against the Charleston RiverDogs, who they host for the second time this season. Key moments of the upcoming homestand include Pickleball Night, Faith & Family Night and Pirates of the Savannah River Night. Tickets and more info about all happenings at SRP Park can be found at greenjacketsbaseball.com.

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