Isaiah Drake of the Augusta GreenJackets belts a homer against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans at SRP Park on June 8, 2024. Mike Adams/Augusta Good News.
Isaiah Drake of the Augusta GreenJackets belts a homer against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans at SRP Park on June 8, 2024. Mike Adams/Augusta Good News.

GreenJackets win with walk-off sac fly June 8

(Story courtesy Augusta GreenJackets)

NORTH AUGUSTA – In arguably the most exciting game of the season, Augusta scored five unanswered in the final five innings of the game including two in the ninth to defeat the Myrtle Beach Pelicans 8-7 at SRP Park June 8,

Pier-Oliver Boucher of the GreenJackets, right, celebrates with teammates after scoring a run against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans at SRP Park on June 8, 2024. Mike Adams/Augusta Good News

Playing as the Augusta Pimento Cheese for the only time this season, the home side welcomed nearly over 4,800 fans to SRP Park and treated the home crowd to a fantastic game filled with excitement. The Pimento Cheese began the fireworks early, as Jeremy Celedonio launched a two-run homer just inside the left field foul pole to open the scoring in the bottom of the first.

The Pelicans were in no way hesitant to get in on the action, jumping on Garrett Baumann in their second trip through the order. The Pelicans tagged Baumann for a career-high seven runs and nine hits, scoring four in the third and three in the fourth to open up a big lead. Augusta got one run back as Isaiah Drake crushed the first home run of his professional career, but the Pimento Cheese still stared down a 7-3 deficit after four innings.

Augusta’s bullpen had a phenomenal showing, as Beau Philip, Adam Shoemaker and Reibyn Corona refused to allow a run in five innings of work. Philip went 1.1 hitless, bridging the gap from Baumann to Shoemaker and beginning the process of giving the offense a chance. The bats would respond in kind, as Drake and Cam Magee each drove in a run in the fifth to cut the lead to two.

GreenJacket pitcher Garrett Baumann throws a pitch against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans at SRP Park on June 8, 2024. Mike Adams/Augusta Good News.

Adam Shoemaker had one of his best performances of the season, striking out the first six batters he faced and punching out a season-high eight in three innings. The eighth inning got dicey for the lefty, as a single and two walks loaded the bases with two outs, but Shoemaker got Jacob Wetzel to roll over to first base and beat the batter to the bag to keep the run total at seven for the Pelicans. Augusta added a run from a P-O Boucher single in the sixth, setting the stage for an exciting conclusion.

After a Luis Sanchez double with one out in the eighth put the tying run in scoring position, Pelicans’ manager Buddy Bailey turned to closer Shane Marshall for the second time this week. The righty out of the University of Georgia who had yet to blow a save in his career, worked around a walk to strike out two and strand the runner in the eighth. Corona worked a 1-2-3 top of the ninth, and drama built further for the final frame.

The theatre of baseball was on full display in the bottom half, as Joe Olsavsky led off the inning with a fly ball to deep center field that had the crowd collectively drawing its breath before it was ran down at the wall. Drake then stepped up with one out, and turned the gasps into roars. The 18-year-old center fielder sliced a hanging slider over the wall in right field for his second homer of the day and his career, tying the game. Marshall then walked Cam Magee on nine pitches, with Magee winning the lengthy battle and firing up the crowd. Magee sprinted to second on a wild pitch, and stole third while Will Verdung walked to put the winning run 90 feet away.

A member of the field crew shows off dance moves during Saturday night’s matchup against the Pelicans at SRP Park on June 8, 2024. Mike Adams/Augusta Good News.

Buddy Bailey was forced to go back to the bullpen and see if Vince Reilly could continue his hot run from Tuesday, when he did not allow a hit in 2.2 innings. The first man he faced, with the game on the line, was the red-hot Celedonio. Reilly fell behind 3-0, and even with first base open after a Verdung steal, opted not to put Celedonio on first base. Celedonio was swinging freely on a 3-0 count, and skied a fastball to center field, plenty deep enough for Magee to score and send the crowd home happy with Augusta’s third walk-off win of the year. The win was the third in five tries this week for Augusta, ensuring that they would at minimum split the home series with the Pelicans.

The homestand concludes at 1:35 p.m. Sunday, with a Sahlen Family Sunday and Grandparents Day at SRP Park. Families can play catch on the field pregame, and grandparents and kids can stroll the bases postgame. Tickets are available at Cade Kuehler takes the ball for Augusta as they search for a third straight win, while Myrtle Beach counters with Kenten Egbert, who did not allow a run in 4.1 innings out of the bullpen in a win on Tuesday.

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