Rome, GA - The GreenJackets opened the 2007 season with a 3-1 win over the Braves in Rome, GA on Thursday night. Starter Adam Cowart (1-0) pitched five innings for the win and Henry Gutierrez's two-out RBI single in the third proved to be the game winner.
The GreenJackets broke a 1-1 tie in the third inning plating two runs for a 3-1 lead, both with two outs. With one out in the frame Tyler Graham connected for a double then moved up to third on a wild pitch. With two outs Gutierrez connected for single to break the tie and give Augusta a 2-1 lead.
Weston followed up with a double down the right-field line to score Gutierrez from first and give the GreenJackets a 3-1 lead.
Cowart allowed one run on four hits, struck out four and did not walk a batter.
Ryan Shaver came into the game in relief in the sixth inning and retired nine batters in a row and struck out three. Juan Trinidad pitched a perfect ninth inning for the save.
Shaver and Trinidad combined to retire 12 batters in a row with the Braves last base runner coming in the fourth inning on a hit-by-pitch.
The combination of Cowart, Shaver and Trinidad set down 17 consecutive batters.
Augusta plated the first run of the game in the first inning when Graham scored on a wild pitch. Graham led off the ball game with a base hit then stole second base and third base to move into scoring position.
The Braves tied the game in the second on an RBI double by Phillip Britton with one out.
Augusta and the Braves will play game two of their four game series on Friday night with the GreenJackets sending right-hander Steven Calicutt to the mound. Rome will counter with right-hander Tim Gustafson. First pitch is at 7:00 p.m.
The GreenJackets stole three bases in the game, Graham had two and Brian Bocock had one.
Graham and Gutierrez both finished 2-for-4.
Augusta out hit Rome 10-4
Cowart, Shaver and Trinidad combined to strike out eight and did not walk a batter.