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

Kuehler leads charge in 2-0 victory over Pelicans June 9

(Story courtesy Augusta GreenJackets)

NORTH AUGUSTA – Cade Kuehler, Juan Sanchez and LJ McDonough combined to allow just five hits and no runs as the GreenJackets drafted their first home shutout of the season in a 2-0 win to seal the series victory over Myrtle Beach.

On a lazy Sunday at SRP Park with the nearly-unbearable sun confining a majority of the fanbase to the shade of the concourse, both offenses struggled to wake up and get going in the series finale. The Pelicans were flushed with pregame changes, as projected starter Kenten Egbert was scratched early in the morning and center fielder Jacob Wetzel was removed from the lineup just before first pitch, adding further confusion to a sleepy start.

While the Pelicans were forced into a bullpen game due to Egbert’s absence, the ‘Jackets sent the always reliable Kuehler to the mound. In need of a stellar performance, Kuehler delivered just that, tossing five innings without a run and allowing just two hits in his effort. Kuehler stranded men in scoring position twice, a theme for both teams as the two sides combined to leave 18 men on base over the ballgame.

While Augusta was unable to mount much offense against opener Luis Rujano or Sam Thoreson, the dam cracked just enough to put the Jackets on the board fifth inning against Mason McGwire. After four scoreless innings to start with just one hit for Augusta, McGwire lost his command in his second inning of work as a hit by pitch and two walks loaded the bases with two outs. McGwire got two early strikes on Will Verdung, but spiked a curveball into the dirt, skipping it to the backstop and allowing Harry Owen to sprint home for the first run of the game.

The GreenJackets doubled the lead in the sixth against Kenyi Perez, as Jeremy Celedonio led off the inning with a triple, the team’s second and final hit of the day in which most of the team’s offense came through walks. Celedonio would trot home on a sacrifice fly from Leiker Figueroa, adding insurance to the short lead that would prove insurmountable.

Sanchez succeeded Kuehler on the mound, allowing multiple baserunners in both innings of action but walking the tightrope for his second scoreless outing of the week. McDonough locked down the eighth and ninth, finalizing a six-out save for his fourth of the year. The win sealed the first six-game series victory of the year for the GreenJackets, and gave Augusta a 7-5 lead in the season series overall.

The GreenJackets head on the road for a season-long 12 game road trip across the commonwealth of Virginia, visiting the Lynchburg Hillcats and Salem Red Sox in their northern voyage. The Pelicans return home to their own ballpark as they play host to the Columbia Fireflies. Augusta and Myrtle Beach will meet one more time this year, a six-game set at Pelicans Ballpark from July 23-28 after the All Star Break.

The GreenJackets will return home to host the Charleston RiverDogs for the second time this season in the first full series of the second half. Highlights of the six-game homestand include Pickleball Night, the Garnet and Black iteration of College Night and Parenthood Night with fireworks on Saturday evening. Tickets and more information are easily accessible at

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