Augusta, GA – Asheville’s Christian Friedrich retired 15 of the first 17 hitters he faced but Augusta’s Kyle Nicholson got the last laugh in the rematch of a pitcher’s duel from a week ago. The GreenJackets tagged Friedrich for four runs in the sixth inning en route to a 5-3 win, their sixth in the last seven games.
Dom Duggan bunted to lead off the sixth, the inning in which Friedrich unraveled. With two outs and two on and the Tourists up by a pair, Juan Perez drilled his team-leading 14th double of the season off the base of the left field wall to tie the game at two. Josh Mazzola followed with a triple just beyond the reach of center fielder Delta Cleary to plate Perez and give the Jackets their first lead. Mazzola scored on Andy D’Alessio’s base hit up the middle. In all, ten GreenJackets went to bat in the sixth inning that saw Augusta take a 4-2 lead.
Nicholson, just like in his last outing, scattered hits but pitched out of a couple jams. The only one he didn’t escape came in the second when Cleary’s bases loaded single brought home a pair. Nicholson (3-4) loaded the bases with one out in the third and escaped unscathed while retiring the side in order just twice in the eight innings he pitched, scattering nine hits. He allowed just the two earned runs and a pair of walks while striking out four.
Friedrich (3-3) was dominant from the outset but takes the loss after facing nine of the ten hitters to step up in the sixth. He tossed 5.2 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits with a walk and eight strikeouts.
The GreenJackets added a run off the Tourists bullpen in the eighth after Charlie Culberson scored from third on an Adam Jorgenson wild pitch. Culberson smacked his second double of the season with one out in the inning before advancing to third on a fly-ball out.
Daniel Runzler pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to pick up his seventh save of the season, striking out one.