FILE PHOTO - Augusta GreenJackets May 28, 2023. Mike Adams/Augusta Good Newss
FILE PHOTO - Augusta GreenJackets May 28, 2023. Mike Adams/Augusta Good Newss

Pitching duel ends in GreenJackets’ extra inning victory May 9

(Story courtesy the Augusta GreenJackets)

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – The Augusta GreenJackets and Myrtle Beach Pelicans scored a combined zero runs through 11 innings, before a two-out, two-strike single from P-O Boucher gave Augusta all the offense it needed to claim a 1-0 victory in Myrtle Beach May 9.

Pitching dominated the night from the first frame, with both starters setting the tone immediately. Mitch Farris of Augusta and Marino Santy of Myrtle Beach went toe to toe in a battle of lefties and neither side was ready to blink, with both arms going five scoreless frames before turning it over to the bullpens. Santy struck out a career-high nine batters, while Farris punched out six in his first start since April 7. Strikeouts were a key theme of the night, as the Pelicans’ offense went down on strikes 14 times, while Augusta set a new organizational record for strikeouts in a game with 23.

Both bullpens carried the torch deep into the night, as Myrtle Beach utilized Jeral Vizcaino, Dominic Hambley, and Kenyi Perez to get through nine scoreless innings. The trio of oft-inconsistent relievers issued their share of walks, but posted zero after zero through 11. Perez struck out a career-high seven batters between innings 9-11, stranding the go-ahead run in scoring position in all three frames.

While Myrtle Beach got outs by committee, one man rose to the occasion for the GreenJackets. In his first outing out of the pen this year, Davis Polo took the ball and proceeded to work a career-high six innings, walking two and allowing three hits but zero runs. Polo’s velocity was up, his slider was tight, and he looked unflappable even in tense situations. In both the 10th and 11th, Myrtle Beach had the winning run at third with less than two outs, and in the 11th, the bases were loaded with nobody out thanks to an E2 and an intentional walk. Polo never blinked, and issued zero after zero in a career-defining outing of relief.

Finally in the 12th, Augusta broke through against the fourth reliever of the night, Shane Marshall. Two walks and a ground out to advance the automatic runner loaded the bases in the 12th with one out, but Marshall locked in and struck out Robert Gonzalez to get within an out of leaving the bags loaded. Enter Boucher, who was 0-3 with two outs at the time and zero for his last 17 dating back to the beginning of last week’s series against Charleston. Down to his final strike, Boucher roped a hanging breaking ball to right center field, scoring two runs and bursting through the dam that had held back the offense all night long.

Looking to cap the night, LJ McDonough supplanted Polo for the 12th. McDonough made short work of the heart of the Pelicans’ order, striking out the first two men he saw and inducing a routine ground ball to third base for his 2nd save of the year and the second win in three nights in Myrtle Beach.

The win marked the second in extra innings for the GreenJackets this year, and the first extra inning win away from SRP Park in 2024. Davis Polo got his first win at the full-season level thanks to his effort, while Shane Marshall earned his first professional loss. The GreenJackets are back within a game of .500, and are now 2.5 games behind the Fayetteville Woodpeckers for first place in the South Division. Didier Fuentes will take the ball tomorrow night, looking to keep the defensive momentum rolling.

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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