(Story courtesy The Augusta GreenJackets. Photo by Mike Adams/Augusta Good News)
NORTH AUGUSTA – The Augusta GreenJackets (Atlanta Braves) took an early lead, but the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Chicago Cubs) used a six-run ninth inning to take their fifth game of the series with an 8-3 win on a rainy Sunday, June 11, at SRP Park.
Augusta (27-30) got an inside-the-park homer from Andrew Keck, while Myrtle Beach (34-23) scored six in the ninth to hand the GreenJackets their first loss when leading after eight.
The GreenJackets sent out Jared Johnson to start the series finale, and the flamethrower was excellent, going two and two-thirds innings while not allowing a hit and striking out three. Both teams remained scoreless through two, with Ronaldo Alesandro entering with two outs in the top of the third and retiring the side.
In the bottom of the third, going against Pelicans ace Brody McCullough, Keck led off the inning with a long drive to center field, which bounced off the head of the Pelicans’ center fielder and landed on the warning track. Keck was able to make it all the way home without a throw, recording the GreenJackets’ first inside-the-park home run of the season. Alesandro struck out the side in order in the top of the fourth, before the game entered a 2:15 rain delay.
The game got back underway at 5:01, and the GreenJackets shook off the delay with a two-run frame. After Jair Casanova, Cory Acton and Keck all reached to load the bases, Tyler Collins hit a two-run single on a full count to make it 3-0. Didier Fuentes entered to pitch the fifth inning, where he gave up a double and a run on a sacrifice fly. The Pelicans made it a one-run game the next inning, when Samuel Strickland gave up a pair of hits to make it a 3-2 ballgame. Strickland went three innings, and got the GreenJackets to the ninth up 3-2.
Elison Joseph entered for the ninth inning, but gave up a home run to Jefferson Rojas to tie the game at three. Joseph then surrendered five more hits and five more runs as the Pelicans scored six in the frame, chasing Joseph after just one third of an inning. Estarlin Rodriguez got the two final outs, but the damage had been done. Augusta had been 22-0 when taking leads to the ninth. The six runs allowed matched the most runs given up by the GreenJackets in an inning all season, and was the third such occurrence in the last week of action.
The GreenJackets remain at home this coming week to take on the Carolina Mudcats (Milwaukee Brewers), including the Augusta Pimento Cheese game and Father’s Day. For tickets and information, click here: https://www.milb.com/augusta/fans/gj-homestand-preview.
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