Opening night of the GreenJackets' season on April 5, 2024. Mike Adams/Augusta Good News
Opening night of the GreenJackets' season on April 5, 2024. Mike Adams/Augusta Good News

GreenJackets fight elements and Fireflies but fall on April 27

(Story courtesy Augusta GreenJackets)

COLUMBIA – The Augusta GreenJackets fought the Fireflies, drawing even in the back half of the ballgame after a lengthy rain delay before dropping Saturday night’s contest 10-6 in Columbia.

An overcast evening at the game’s start became more ominous over the first few innings, culminating in a downpour that brought the tarp out and sent the Jackets into a rain delay for the first time in 2024.

Augusta’s night was not off to a fast start prior to the rain to begin with, as they trailed 5-1 when the game was paused in the fifth Augusta opened the scoring off second round pick Blake Wolters with a solo home run from Kade Kern, but the offense was held silent for the rest of the evening against the 19-year-old right hander.

Columbia, on the other hand, had little trouble battering Adam Maier in his second start against the Fireflies. Maier fought through four crowded innings, allowing a career-high eight hits and five runs while striking out just two. His night was likely done after four regardless, but the lengthy delay only confirmed the completion of his outing.

When play resumed in the fifth, the GreenJackets came out with a new life, emboldened by the departure of Wolters. Back to back singles from Alexander Martinez and Luis Sanchez allowed for two runs to score and cut the deficit in half, as Martinez trotted home on an error. Augusta added two more to tie the game in the next half against Yimi Presinal, with RBIs from Robert Gonzalez and Joe Olsavsky.

As soon as Augusta tied the game, however, the Fireflies responded in a major way. Reliever Reibyn Corona worked a scoreless fifth in the immediate aftermath of the rain delay, but a pair of two out singles came back to haunt him. The Fireflies scored twice on wild pitches with two outs. Columbia would put the game out of reach in the seventh with three runs including two from a home run off the bat of Erick Peña against LJ McDonough. Augusta scored one in the ninth thanks to a Jace Grady double, but mustered no more against final reliever Eduardo Herrera.

Presinal earned his second win of the year despite allowing Augusta to tie the ballgame, as he was still the pitcher of record when the Fireflies retook the lead in the bottom of the sixth. Reibyn Corona took his first loss with the GreenJackets in his 3rd outing of the season, while Herrera got the final 9 outs of the ballgame en route to his first save in the last 3 seasons. Augusta falls to 9-11 with the loss, while Columbia moves to 12-7, just a half-game out of first place in the South Division of the Carolina League.

Augusta will fight to salvage a series split tomorrow evening, sending southpaw Riley Frey to the mound for his fourth appearance and third start of 2024. The Fireflies will counter with a piggyback affair, as Logan Martin and Ethan Bosacker, who combined to shut out the GreenJackets on Tuesday, will retake the mound looking for a similar result in the series finale. First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 p.m. at Segra Park.

The GreenJackets will be back home at SRP Park next 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 info about all the exciting occurrences can be found here:

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