Augusta GreenJackets
FILE PHOTO Mike Adams/Augusta Good News
Augusta GreenJackets FILE PHOTO Mike Adams/Augusta Good News

GreenJackets fall 5-2 on Fourth of July

(Story courtesy Noah Adcock-Howeth, Augusta GreenJackets)

NORTH AUGUSTA – The GreenJackets fought through an early deficit to tie the ballgame in the sixth, but a subsequent rally by the Fireflies pushed the game out of reach for good in a 5-2 loss Thursday at SRP Park.

The Fireflies took the lead three batters into the game against Kadon Morton, as Blake Mitchell smashed a triple off the top of the high wall in right field and quickly scored on a sacrifice fly by Austin Charles. Columbia would double the lead the next inning, as a two-out balk call against Morton brought Dionmy Salon home from third. 

Morton would settle in after the second and work into the fifth inning, allowing two runs on four hits, but had the tough luck of matching up with Emmanuel Reyes on the opposite side. Reyes was intensely efficient, facing the minimum through four innings and needing less than 40 pitches to do so. Reyes did not allow a run through five innings, and earned his way into the sixth for the fifth time this year.

A rare Firefly miscue opened a door for the GreenJackets, and the offense did just enough to take advantage in the sixth. Leiker Figueroa led off the inning by reaching on an error from Austin Charles, and would score one batter later as Robert Gonzalez cracked a double off the left field fence to cut Columbia’s lead in half. Reyes would retire the next two men, but a two-out walk to Will Verdung closed his evening. Josh Hansell was summoned from the bullpen, and Kade Kern knocked the first pitch he threw back up the middle for a game-tying single.

Augusta’s jubilation at tying the game would be short-lived, as the Fireflies wasted no time in retaking the lead against reliever LJ McDonough. Four singles and an error brought home three runs, all of which scored with two outs. McDonough was chased and took the losing decision, his third of the year as a reliever. Isaac Gallegos would come on and get the final seven outs without another run, but the damage was already done.

Hansell settled in across the final three innings and did not allow a run, grabbing his first win at the Single-A level. The two teams have now split four games this week, with the Fireflies stealing the first game at SRP Park after three at Segra Park up in Columbia. Friday will see Garrett Baumann and Felix Arronde go toe to toe, with first pitch slated for 7:05 p.m.

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