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

Pelicans drop GreenJackets in May 11 doubleheader

(Story courtesy the Augusta GreenJackets)

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – The Augusta GreenJackets had two games’ worth of chances to down the Pelicans Saturday, but fell just short on both occasions as they were swept on the day. The GreenJackets fell in the opener 9-8, before dropping the nightcap 3-1. 

The day began with a continuation of the previous night’s suspended contest, which was called due to storms in the top of the second inning. At the time, Augusta was in front 2-0 with men on base. The GreenJackets came out firing and added runs in quick succession. Facing reliever Luis Rujano, the Jackets added one more in the second and four in the third to take a 7-0 lead in the early portions of the ballgame.

Myrtle Beach would not be dissuaded and methodically made up the deficit in the middle innings. After reliever Luis Vargas worked three scoreless innings as the first arm to throw of the day, the Pelicans scored two apiece in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings off of Zack Austin and Reibyn Corona. A two-out single in the eighth from Alfonsin Rosario tied the game, and set the stage for the second straight extra-inning affair of the week.

After Augusta was held scoreless in six straight innings by Nick Dean and Francis Reynoso, the GreenJackets finally got back on the offensive train with a run-scoring fielder’s choice in the top of the 10th. LJ McDonough was summoned on to go for his second save in as many games and had two outs with a man at third base. But a wild pitch off the catcher’s mitt tied the ballgame, and a bloop single from Reggie Preciado sent Myrtle Beach into the break as the winners.

The nightcap was immediately proven to be a pitchers’ duel, as righties Adam Maier and Juan Bello went toe to toe with neither one giving an inch through four scoreless innings. Because the game was the second of the day, and therefore only seven innings by MiLB regulations, both sides knew each run was paramount. Augusta struck first once Bello was replaced in the fifth by Vince Reilly, as Robert Gonzalez scored via a single, passed ball, and two-out single from Luis Sanchez.

Adam Maier was dominant through four, allowing just one hit with lots of weak contact and flashing plus movement and spin on multiple pitches. He entered the fifth with a lead, but ran aground quickly. Catcher Frank Hernandez caught the whole ballpark by surprise by dropping down a perfect bunt to begin the frame. That would be the first of five singles in the inning, which in the end would score three runs that would be all the offense necessary for the Pelicans. Augusta was held in check by Reilly for the last two frames of the shortened game and fell 3-1.

Augusta falls to 14-17 on the year with its two losses Saturday and is now unable to bring home what would have been their first series victory since opening weekend. The GreenJackets will look to salvage a series split Sunday, when Garrett Baumann toes the rubber against the struggling righty Alfredo Romero. Baumann is on two days of extra rest thanks to the reshuffling of the rotation caused by last week’s rainout, and will look to put his revitalized energy to good use on the mound for the 6:05 p.m. start.

The GreenJackets will be back home at SRP Park Tuesday, May 14, beginning a season-long 12 game homestand against the Salem Red Sox and Kannapolis Cannon Ballers.

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