(Story courtesy the Augusta GreenJackets. Game day photos by Mike Adams/Augusta Good News)
NORTH AUGUSTA – The Augusta GreenJackets (Atlanta Braves) fell to the Salem Red Sox (Boston Red Sox) in the final game at SRP Park this season. The Red Sox (24-36, 54-69) snapped a six-game losing streak, while the GreenJackets (28-32, 59-66) still sent fans home happy after another successful season of baseball in the CSRA. The GreenJackets welcomed an average attendance of 4,195 fans per game at SRP Park, the highest in the history of the team and breaking last year’s record by almost a hundred fans per contest.
Samuel Strickland made the start for Augusta, and he worked around a leadoff single to keep Salem off the board in the first. Sabin Ceballos hit his first professional homer off of the debuting Connelly Early in the first, giving Augusta an early 1-0 lead. Salem struck back in the second, tying the game at one on an Albert Feliz single while making two outs on the base paths in the frame.
The Red Sox took just their second lead of the series in the top of the third, when Luis Ravelo drove in his team-leading 47th RBI of the year, but Augusta evened up the game at 2 with a Cam Magee RBI groundout in the bottom of the inning.
Strickland worked through five innings, only giving up two runs. LJ McDonough replaced him and allowed two straight walks to begin the frame. With men on second and third and two men out, Enderso Lira hit a ground ball that ricocheted off of McDonough on the mound and trickled into right field, scoring a pair and giving Salem a 4-2 lead. McDonough worked a scoreless seventh, but Salem’s lead would hold.
Augusta was powerless against Salem reliever Jedixon Paez, who went four innings of two-hit, shutout pitching. Zack Austin entered in the eighth and retired the side in order, before a run scored on a passed ball in the ninth to make it 5-2. Railin Perez sent Augusta down in order in the ninth, preventing Augusta from taking their first series sweep of the year.
The GreenJackets close out the 2023 season with six games on the road against the Down East Wood Ducks (Texas Rangers). All games can be heard on the GreenJackets Radio Network at bit.ly/GJRadio.
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