Pitcher Zack Austin of the GreenJackets throws a pitch during the ninth inning against Salem at SRP Park in North Augusta, SC. on Sept. 3, 2023.  Mike Adams/Augusta Good News
Pitcher Zack Austin of the GreenJackets throws a pitch during the ninth inning against Salem at SRP Park in North Augusta, SC. on Sept. 3, 2023. Mike Adams/Augusta Good News

GreenJackets finish Cannon Ballers’ series with third straight win

(Story courtesy Augusta GreenJackets)

 KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – Three was the Augusta GreenJackets’ number on April 14.

Th GreenJackets scored thrice in the third to take the lead and never relinquished, holding firm for the final seven frames and winning their third straight ballgame over the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers 7-4.

Kannapolis struck first off of starter Riley Fry, scoring in the first off an RBI double from Caden Connor and in the second from an Alvara Aguero RBI single. Augusta would counterpunch against Ballers’ starter Jake Bockenstedt, loading the bases with two errors and a walk. Jace Grady grounded in one run, and Drew Compton stepped forth with two outs for a two run single into left field to give the Jackets their first lead of the day.

Augusta would add two more in the top of the fifth, as Jace Grady crushed a high fastball over the right field wall for his third professional home run, making the score 5-2. It was the first homer of the year for Grady, and just the second for the GreenJackets in 2024. The swing chased Bockenstedt from the game, and put him on the hook for the loss.

Riley Frey was removed in favor of Adel Dilone in the fifh, who worked around an unearned run to post two strong innings of relief. Dilone earned the winning decision, his first at the single-A level.

The offense added extra insurance in the back half of the day, tacking on a run in the sixth with a Cam Magee sac fly, and one more in the seventh from a Drew Compton RBI single. Compton had a career-high 3 RBI in the win, and he and Jace Grady combined to drive in 5 of the team’s season-high seven runs.

The back end of the bullpen waivered slightly, but did not fall apart, holding firm to slam the door when it mattered most. After Zack Austin set down the side in order in the seventh, he ran into trouble in the eighth walking the bases loaded with two outs. He was lifted for LJ McDonough, and the Iowa native induced a weak popup from Edrick Felix to negate the threat. Kannapolis mustered a run in the bottom of the ninth and even brought the tying run to the plate with two outs, but Matt Hogan struck out swinging on a high fastball to end the game and give McDonough his first professional save.

The GreenJackets will be back home at SRP Park next Tuesday, April 16, for a six-game homestand against the 8-1 Carolina Mudcats. The week includes Teacher Appreciation Day, Dinosaur Day and Augusta Rams Night, where the ‘Jackets take the field in special jerseys honoring the 1954 Augusta Rams and Leonard Hunt, the first Black player to play professional baseball in Augusta. More information can be found here: https://www.milb.com/augusta/fans/gj-homestand-preview

 Augusta Good News, a member of the Georgia Press Association, is a local, digital newspaper. Subscribe to the newsletter here.

Support Local Journalism

Local stories on local people, organizations and events. That's the focus of Augusta Good News, a member of the Georgia Press Association. And you don't have to go through a paywall to find these stories. An independent voice in Augusta, Ga., Augusta Good News is not funded by a billionaire or a large corporation; it doesn't have celebrity reporters who have agents. It's local people who are invested in the community and want to tell its stories. You can support local journalism and help us expand our coverage by becoming a supporter. Through Ko-Fi, you can give once or set up a monthly gift.

Comments are closed.