MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – The Augusta GreenJackets scored nine runs in the last three innings against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans in the series opener on May 16, picking up a 9-4 win. Augusta (16-17) sent nine men to the plate in the seventh and ninth inning, while Myrtle Beach (16-17) had tied the game in the eighth but had the go-ahead run thrown out at the plate before giving up five runs in the ninth.
Cedric De Grandpre was the starter for the GreenJackets, coming off a win against Charleston on the previous Tuesday. The Quebec, Canada native was stellar, delivering the first quality start of the season (six-plus innings of work, three or fewer runs allowed) for the GreenJackets. He went six innings, striking out six and only allowing one run.
The Pelicans got on the board first courtesy of an RBI groundout in the second inning, and that 1-0 scoreline held for the next four innings. The GreenJackets struggled against Myrtle Beach starter Grant Kipp, who went five innings and did not allow a run. Francisco Floyd doubled in the top of the third but was thrown out two batters later while trying to score at home plate, but that was as close as Augusta would come to scoring against the former Yale man.
However, in the top of the seventh, the GreenJacket went to work against Luis Rujano, getting three hits, a walk, and a hit-by-pitch en route to a four-run frame. Nick Clarno, Tyler Collins, Ambioris Tavarez, and David McCabe each drove home a run, as Augusta took their first lead of the game.
Nolan Martinez (W, 2-0) entered in the bottom of the seventh in relief of De Grandpre, and retired the side in order in the seventh. However, he gave up four hits in the bottom of the eighth, and the Pelicans tied the game at four, with Jeremy Celedonio throwing out the potential go-ahead run at the plate to end the inning.
In the top of the ninth, the GreenJackets took 4 straight walks against Johzan Oquendo (L, 3-1), driving in the go-ahead run. Augusta added some insurance, with a Justin Janas RBI single, a wild pitch, and a Nick Clarno two-run ground-rule double putting the GreenJackets up 9-4. Martinez retired the side in order in the ninth to secure the victory.
The GreenJackets are on the road this week for seven games against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Chicago Cubs). The GreenJackets return to SRP Park for six games against the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers (Chicago White Sox) beginning Tuesday, May 23. For tickets, information on promotions, and more, visit greenjacketsbaseball.com.