Monday, July 2, 2012
Augusta, GA – The Augusta GreenJackets rallied to salvage a split in Monday’s doubleheader against the Savannah Sand Gnats with an extra-inning win in the nightcap after falling in the opener of the twinbill.
Augusta rallied from four runs down to tie the game in the seventh inning of game two before Jose Cuevas singled home the winning run in the eighth to break what was a three-game losing skid. Down 4-0 in the seventh, Augusta batted around to score four times. Ben Thomas singled home two of the runs on Joe Staley’s RBI groundout – the inning’s second out – made it a one-run game.
With the tying run at second in the seventh, Jeff Arnold singled to put runners at the corners. Brett Krill hit what looked to be a routine grounder to short, but Matt Reynolds booted the ball to allow the tying run to score. In extras, Thomas doubled with two outs and after Jose Flores was intentionally walked, Cuevas singled down the third-base line to give the GreenJackets their seventh walkoff win of the season and their fifth extra-innings victory.
Savannah struck first in the nightcap, getting on the board in the third inning on Cam Maron’s RBI double. In the sixth, the Sand Gnats took what looked to be an insurmountable 4-0 lead on Aderlin Rodriguez’s three-run home run.
Neither starter figured in the game two decision, though both threw well. Paul Davis scattered five hits and a run in five innings for the GreenJackets while Domingo Tapia fired 5.2 innings of scoreless, two-hit ball for the Sand Gnats. The GreenJackets didn’t get a runner past second through the first six innings of game two. Cody Hall (3-0) struck out three in a scoreless eighth inning to get the win while Chasen Bradford (2-2) took the loss after his first blown save of the season.
In the opener, Savannah scored five times in the fifth inning to overtake the GreenJackets and earn their third straight win to start the series by a 6-2 score. Krill’s two-run homer put the GreenJackets up 2-0 in the third inning, but Savannah cut the lead in half in the fourth on Greg Pron’s sacrifice fly.
Edwin Escobar (3-5) allowed four of the five Sand Gnats hits that led off the fifth inning before departing. Dustin Lawley’s two-run double gave Savannah the 3-2 lead before Rodriguez singled home another run. Off reliever Kevin Couture, Reynolds smashed a two-run homer to cap the five-run inning and give Savannah a 6-2 lead.
The GreenJackets had their best chance to get back into the game in the bottom of the fifth, scoring a run on Shawn Payne’s RBI single to make it a 6-3 game. With runners at second and third, Elliott Blair flew out and Flores grounded out to end the inning. Augusta had just one baserunner the rest of the way.
Escobar allowed five runs – four earned – on eight hits and two walks while striking out six in one of his shortest outings of the year. Carlos Vazquez (5-1) retired five of the six he faced in relief to earn the win for the Sand Gnats. TJ Chism threw a perfect seventh inning to earn his 13th save of the year and move into a tie with Hall for the league lead in the category.
The GreenJackets will send Clayton Blackburn (5-2, 3.15) to the mound on Tuesday night in the series and homestand finale in search of Augusta’s second straight win. Savannah counters with righty Logan Verrett (2-1, 2.70) in the final 2012 meeting between the two teams. Fans can enjoy postgame fireworks as the GreenJackets celebrate the Independence Day holiday. First pitch comes at 7:05 p.m. with radio pregame coverage beginning at 6:50 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.