(Story and photo courtesy Augusta GreenJackets)
NORTH AUGUSTA – The Augusta GreenJackets (Atlanta Braves) hurled their second combined no-hitter of the season, taking down the Salem Red Sox (Boston Red Sox) in both games of Thursday’s doubleheader. The Red Sox (23-34, 53-67) were held hitless by Cade Kuehler, Chad Bryant, and Zack Austin in Game One, before the GreenJackets (26-31, 57-65) used a seven-run second inning in game two to clinch the sweep.
Game One began with Cade Kuehler, Atlanta’s fourth overall prospect, making his professional debut. Kuehler worked around leadoff walks in the first three innings as the debutant made it through 2.1 innings of work without allowing a run or a hit, fanning three men in the process. The GreenJackets loaded up the bases against Elvis Soto in the first inning but could not convert, before going in order in the second and third.
Chad Bryant relieved Kuehler and retired the side in the third and fourth without giving up a baserunner. In the bottom of the fourth, Will Verdung singled and moved to second on a groundout. A routine pop-up from Pier-Olivier Boucher should have ended the inning, but the second baseman Luis Ravelo and Natanel Yuten collided on the outfield grass and the ball dropped harmlessly, bringing in the run to make it 1-0 Augusta.
Bryant continued to deal, working a scoreless fifth and sixth inning while giving up just one baserunner on a walk. The GreenJackets were held in check on the other side, with their only hit coming from Ambioris Tavarez, as the score stood 1-0 Augusta with Salem still held without a hit. Zack Austin entered from the bullpen and got a strikeout and a pair of groundouts to complete the no-hitter, with Augusta winning 1-0. The no-hitter is Augusta’s second of the season, with the other also coming in a doubleheader back on July 30.
Game Two immediately struck a different tone, as the Red Sox took a 2-0 lead off of Riley Frey in the first inning before an Albert Feliz solo shot put the visitors up by a trio of runs. The GreenJackets found their footing in the bottom of the second, as Kade Kern launched a two-run shot for first professional homer before Jacob Godman followed with his first long ball to put Augusta up 5-3. A wild pitch and a Will Verdung single put Augusta in seventh heaven, as the Jackets left the second inning on top 7-3.
Landon Harper followed Riley Frey with two innings of scoreless work, before Elison Joseph entered for the seventh and gave up a homer to Feliz, his second of the day, but the offensive explosion in the second stood the test. Augusta took the game by a score of 7-5, sweeping the doubleheader in two very different games and winning their fifth and sixth consecutive contests.
Augusta wraps up the 2023 home slate this week. The GreenJackets take on the Salem Red Sox through Sunday, Sept. 3 in the last home series of the season. To purchase tickets and learn more about the upcoming promotions, games, and more, visit https://www.milb.com/augusta/fans/gj-homestand-preview..
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