Augusta GreenJackets photo from the April 5, 2024 season opener. Mike Adams/Augusta Good News
Augusta GreenJackets photo from the April 5, 2024 season opener. Mike Adams/Augusta Good News

Jackets’ bats quiet in 4-1 loss to Fireflies April 7

(Story courtesy the Augusta GreenJackets)

NORTH AUGUSTA — After starting the season with a pair of home victories, Augusta’s offense went dormant in game 3 of the series as they fell to the Columbia Fireflies 4-1 Sunday afternoon. Pitchers Felix Arronde and Hunter Patteson combined for 12 strikeouts and just two hits allowed in nine innings of work for Columbia.

For the second consecutive game, the Fireflies struck in the top of the first, as Erick Torres greeted starter Mitch Farris with a leadoff single, and came around to score two batters later on an RBI double from Daniel Vazquez. Vazquez had arguably the best game of his young career, going 4-4 with an RBI and a walk in the win.

Augusta’s lone spark of offense came in the third, where they loaded the bases with no outs thanks to a walk from Cam Magee, a single from P-O Boucher, and another walk from Isaiah Drake. But Arronde found his groove, inducing a double play that plated the only run of the game for Augusta, before forcing a groundout from Will Verdung to end the inning. The GreenJackets would not put a man on base in the final six innings of the game.

Columbia took the lead for good in the fourth, as Chris Brito knocked a leadoff double to right and scored on a pair of wild pitches from Mitch Farris. Farris was lifted with two outs after walking Gabriel Silva, and reliever Zack Austin was met with a triple from Brennon McNair to score the second run of the inning. The Fireflies added one more in the fifth with an RBI single from Derlin Figueroa, scoring Blake Mitchell who singled and stole second and third on back to back pitches off of Austin and catcher Alexander Martinez.

Felix Arronde earned his first win of the season, going five strong frames with two hits and only a single run allowed, striking out seven in the process. His successor, lefty Hunter Patteson, was even better, retiring all 12 batters he faced with 5 Ks en route to his first professional save.

Augusta got solid relief in the back end, as Adel Dilone and Will Silva each made their 2024 debut and combined for 3.2 innings of scoreless work, but the offense never mustered enough to complete a comeback. Farris took the loss, his first as a professional after being drafted in July 2023.

Augusta heads on the road following Monday’s off day for the first road trip of the year, taking on the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers for a six game series. Cade Kuehler will start Tuesday’s opener, while Davis Polo makes his GreenJackets debut in Wednesday’s 11 a.m. tilt. Columbia heads home for their home opener, hosting the Myrtle Beach Pelicans for a six-game set. The two teams will next meet April 23-28, as Augusta travels to Columbia for a road series.

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