Nineth inning errors doom GreenJackets in loss to Rome

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Wednesday August 29, 2012

Rome, GA – A costly throwing error from Augusta GreenJackets reliever Kyle Vazquez allowed the tying and go-ahead runs to score in the ninth inning as the Rome Braves – despite being held hitless in the game’s final five innings – rallied for a 4-3 win over the GreenJackets on Wednesday night.

All three errors in Wednesday night’s contest occurred in the final two innings of the game and two of the three directly led to runs that changed the course of the game. With the game tied at two in the top of the eighth inning, Elliott Blair hit a comebacker to Rome reliever David Patterson that looked like it would end the inning. However, Patterson’s throw to first sailed over first baseman William Beckwith’s head and Blair raced all the way to third on the miscue. Carlos Willoughby followed with Augusta’s first hit since the fifth inning – an RBI single to put the GreenJackets on top 3-2.

Chris Marlowe fired his second consecutive perfect inning of relief to send the game to the ninth with the GreenJackets leading by a run. Augusta loaded the bases with no one out off a reeling Patterson (3-1) on two hits and a walk. Garrett Buechele grounded to Beckwith at first, who fired home to cut down the lead runner. Catcher Cory Brownsten’s return throw to first hit Buechele and would’ve brought home an insurance run, but Buechele was ruled out for obstruction and runners returned to second and third. Jeff Arnold grounded out to end the top of the ninth and the lead remained 3-2 in favor of Augusta.

In the ninth, Vazquez (5-4) walked Will Skinner to lead off the inning. After Skinner took second on a wild pitch, Vazquez walked Chase Anselment. Brownsten attempted a sacrifice bunt that went back to the mound but after Vazquez fielded the ball, his rushed throw to third went wide of the bag to allow both Skinner and Anselment to score to give the Braves an improbable win in a ninth inning where they were held without a hit.

The Braves scored first, getting on the board after the GreenJackets left two men on base in each of the first two innings. With the bases full against Augusta starter Kyle Crick, a wild pitch allowed Robby Hefflinger to score and give the Braves a 1-0 lead. The GreenJackets took their own lead in the fourth, loading the bases for Blair with no one out. Blair’s fielder’s choice groundout brought home the tying run to even things at 1-1. After Blair took second as the back end of an unsuccessful double steal, Willoughby singled him home to give Augusta a 2-1 lead.