Augusta, GA – The Augusta GreenJackets have been hanging crooked numbers on opponents for a few days and they continued the trend on Memorial Day. Augusta scored three in the first and five in the fifth en route to an 8-1 win Monday afternoon over the Asheville Tourists.
With two outs in the fifth, the Jackets blew apart a 3-0 game with five straight hits – including the first back-to-back home runs of the season – to score five runs off Tourists starter Dan Houston. Charlie Culberson doubled ahead of Josh Mazzola’s home run over the left field fence. Juan Perez followed the Mazzola blast with one of his own to make it a 6-0 game. Perez leads the team now with five home runs.
The GreenJackets were not done in the fifth. After back-to-back singles by Andy D’Alessio and Mike Loberg, Wendell Fairley reached on an error to load the bases and set the stage for Johnny Monell. The Jackets backstop slapped a single to right to score two more to extend the lead to eight.
Ari Ronick, whose previous best start also came in the daytime – an April 29th win on the road at Bowling Green – was effective in mowing down the Tourists on Memorial Day. Ronick (3-3) tossed seven innings of one-run ball, allowing just four hits and a walk while equaling his career-high with eight strikeouts.
Ronick got run support early when the first four GreenJacket hitters reached base. Mazzola’s single scored Dom Duggan who walked to open the bottom of the first. The GreenJackets got a second run on D’Alessio’s double play ball and with Mike Loberg at the plate, Mazzola scored on a Houston wild pitch to give the Jackets their three-run lead.
Houston (1-2) took the loss after a five-inning outing where he allowed eight runs – six earned - on ten hits with a walk and eight strikeouts.
The GreenJackets also received solid bullpen efforts from Andrew Reichard and Trey Webb to keep the T’s off the board in the eighth and ninth. Reichard, pitching for the first time since May 6th, threw a scoreless eighth allowing just one hit. Webb struck out one in a 1-2-3 ninth.