Isaiah Drake of the Augusta GreenJackets belts a homer against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans at SRP Park on June 8, 2024. Mike Adams/Augusta Good News.
Isaiah Drake of the Augusta GreenJackets belts a homer against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans at SRP Park on June 8, 2024. Mike Adams/Augusta Good News.

Pitchers’ duel ends in late game slugfest with GreenJackets’ win on Father’s Day

(Story courtesy Noah Adcock-Howeth, Augusta GreenJackets)

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Excitement lasted until the final pitch as both sides scored repeatedly late to turn a pitchers’ duel into a slugfest and a 7-6 GreenJackets’ victory on Sunday afternoon. 

Both starting pitchers worked around subpar command to post solid five-inning starts, as Cade Kuehler and Alonzo Richardson went toe to toe in the early innings. Richardson allowed a leadoff triple to Isaiah Drake, who scored on a groundout one batter later, and a two-out double from Joe Olsavsky to give Augusta an early lead. Richardson walked three and hit a batter, but posted three straight zeroes including leaving the bases loaded in the fifth. Kuehler hit three batters and walked one, but continuously danced out of danger, with the only run on his ledger coming rom a two-out triple off the bat of Esteban Gonzalez in the third.

With a score of 2-1 entering the seventh, Augusta’s offense sought to put the game out of reach against reliever Wardquelin Vasquez. Drake walked and stole second, then Luis Sanchez doubled to bring him home, scoring himself on a wild pitch one batter later that would double the GreenJackets’ run total. A two-RBI triple from Robert Gonzalez and subsequent second wild pitch gave Augusta a five spot in the frame, sending the lead soaring to 7-1.

As has been the case all week long, the Hillcats refused to go quietly into that good night. Lynchburg took advantage of Beau Philip’s command struggles to bring a run home in the seventh, loading the bases with two outs before Giomar Diaz was summoned on to retire Esteban Gonzalez. Diaz set down the first two batters faced in the eighth, but five straight men proceeded to reach on five consecutive singles, with fourth runs coming home in the process. Diaz would retire Jaison Chourio to strand the tying run on base, but nerves tightened for the ninth.

The chaos of the day was heightened entering the ninth inning, as a power surge through Bank of the James Stadium briefly cut the lights off and knocked out all video, internet, and audio capabilities. While both sides scrambled to get back on air, the GreenJackets went down in order in the top of the ninth, setting the stage for the Hillcats to attempt to tie or win off of reliever Reibyn Corona, who had been hit around in one inning of work on Wednesday.

With the internet slowly returning for the bottom half, Corona remained unfazed and settled in to face the middle of the Hillcat offense. Corona punched out Esteban Gonzalez to begin the frame, then forced Wuilfredo Antuñez and Tommy Hawke to pop up and end the game. The win was the second of the week for the GreenJackets, the second in a row for Cade Kuehler, and the first save of the career for Reibyn Corona dating back to his signing in 2019.

With a loss tonight and a win from the Carolina Mudcats, the Hillcats’ playoff prospects in the first half took a critical blow. The Hillcats must start next week 3-0 against the RiverDogs in Charleston before the first half ends Thursday night, and hope the Mudcats go 0-4 against the Columbia Fireflies. The GreenJackets will now head to Salem to take on the Red Sox for the second time this season, having lost 4 of 6 against the Sox at SRP Park back in May.

The GreenJackets will be back at home beginning Tuesday, June 25 for a six-game series against the Charleston RiverDogs, who they host for the second time this season. Key moments of the upcoming homestand include Pickleball Night, Faith & Family Night, and Pirates of the Savannah River Night. Tickets and more info about all the things happening at SRP Park can be found at

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