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

GreenJackets split Fireflies series

(Story courtesy Augusta GreenJackets)

COLUMBIA – The Augusta GreenJackets had two separate six-run leads Sunday, April 28, over the course of the first seven innings, but the final was decided by a one run score with the tying run at second base. Augusta held on for a 9-8 win that ensured the second series split in as many road trips.

Facing starter Ethan Bosacker for the second time this week, Augusta jumped out to an early lead as they found more patience than they had in Tuesday’s ballgame. Joe Olsavsky worked a leadoff walk in the third and was promptly brought home on an RBI double from Will Verdung. Verdung scored one batter later on a Jace Grady single, and just like that Augusta had more runs in one inning than Bosacker had allowed all year long.

The GreenJackets appeared to break the game open in the top of the fourth, as Augusta scored four unearned runs to chase Bosacker from the game. With the bases loaded, Alexander Martinez hit a rocket that slid under the glove of third baseman Austin Charles, which was ruled an error despite leaving the bat at 106 miles per hour. Because the error came with two outs, both those runs and the subsequent runs batted in from Verdung and Grady all went unearned against Bosacker, who still ended up taking his first professional loss.

Columbia is a never a team to go quietly, and they pieced together three runs in the middle innings against starter Riley Frey to cut the deficit in half. Frey struck out a career high eight batters in 5.1 innings, but ran into a few barrels late in his start that blemished his final line.

With the score 6-3 in the seventh, Augusta responded to push the lead back to six against reliever Logan Martin, who had worked four scoreless with a save in Tuesday’s ballgame. Augusta saw RBI singles from Drew Compton and Robert Gonzalez, along with a run-scoring groundout from Joe Olsavsky to take the game to 9-3 at the stretch.

While Augusta may have felt that winning was close at hand, the Fireflies had other plans. Reliever Zack Austin walked the bases loaded with one out, bringing Will Silva on to play fireman. Silva nearly tight-roped out of danger, but an error and an infield single plated three in the inning. Tacking two more on the eighth, the Fireflies set the stage for an exciting ninth inning.

Righty Giomar Diaz was brought on to attempt his third save of the season, as the second-year GreenJacket has yet to allow a run this year. Diaz’s command was suboptimal, walking two with two outs to allow the tying run to reach scoring position and put the winning run on first, but Diaz locked in and struck out Erick Peña with a slider to seal a stressful victory for the GreenJackets.

The GreenJackets will be back home at SRP Park Tuesday 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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