Saturday, July 14, 2012
Augusta, GA – In what ended up being essentially two different ballgames in the first half and the second half, the West Virginia Power used a five-run fifth inning as the difference in an 8-6 victory over the Augusta GreenJackets – ending Augusta’s three-game winning streak and five-game home winning streak in front of 5,328 on Military Appreciation Night at Lake Olmstead Stadium.
With the GreenJackets carrying a three-run lead into the fifth, the Power batted around to score five times and take a lead they wouldn’t lose. West Virginia put together four straight hits to start the inning. With runners at the corners and no one out, Taylor Lewis singled home a run to cut Augusta’s lead to two. After the fourth consecutive hit reloaded the bases, Gregory Polanco reached on a fielder’s choice that brought home the inning’s second run to make it a 6-5 game. After a walk reloaded the bases, Augusta starting pitcher Adalberto Mejia was lifted in favor of Derek Law.
Against Law, Jose Osuna’s RBI groundout tied the game at six. Law picked up the second out of the inning before surrendering the go-ahead, two-run double to Ashley Ponce to give the Power an 8-6 lead. Mejia (6-6) allowed all eight runs in his 4.1 innings on nine hits and a walk while striking out three.
That fifth inning would be the turning point as the GreenJackets would have just four baserunners the rest of the way and the Power only two. This was a major shift from the first half of the game where only three of the game’s first nine half-innings went scoreless. The GreenJackets had their best chance late in the eighth off Power reliever Nathan Kilcrease. Augusta had two runners on with two outs in the eighth before Kilcrease struck out Jesus Galindo to end the inning. Kilcrease then struck out the side in the ninth to complete two scoreless frames and earn his fifth save of the year.
The Power jumped out to an early 2-0 lead off Mejia in the second on a two-run homer by Osuna. Augusta tied the game in the bottom half of the inning on Garrett Buechele’s sacrifice fly and Kelby Tomlinson’s RBI groundout. In the third, the Power took yet another lead on Polanco’s sacrifice fly to make it a 3-2 game.
Augusta again tied things in the bottom of the third, getting a two-out solo home run by Devin Harris to make it a 3-3 game. The GreenJackets took their first lead in the fourth, scoring three times in the frame. Tomlinson’s RBI single made it a 4-3 game and after taking third on a two-base throwing error on a pickoff attempt, a wild pitch scored Tomlinson to push Augusta’s lead to two runs. Galindo then walked and stole his way to third where he scored when Shawn Payne reached on an error to make it a 6-3 lead. The lead would turn out to be short-lived though as the Power answered definitively in the fifth.
Rinku Singh (3-1) fired 2.1 scoreless innings of two-hit ball, striking out a pair to get the win for the Power.
For Augusta, a pair of hitting streaks continued. Payne’s first-inning single extended his hitting streak to 13 games while Brett Krill singled in the second to extend his streak to ten games.
The GreenJackets look to bounce back on Sunday, sending Paul Davis (3-4, 4.00) to the mound to face Ryan Hafner (0-6, 7.11). First pitch comes at 5:35 p.m. with radio pregame coverage beginning at 5:20 p.m. on ESPN Radio 1340 AM and online at www.greenjacketsbaseball.com. Single-game tickets for any GreenJackets home game are currently available by calling the GreenJackets front office at 706-922-WINS and online at www.greenjacketsbaseball.com.