LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY: John Rave hit the 2nd home run of his professional career in the 4th inning for the Lexington Legends (53-51, 16-19) and that was plenty for the Legends on Saturday evening at Whitaker Bank Ballpark as they rolled to a 6-1 win over the Augusta GreenJackets (56-48, 20-16).
For the 2nd consecutive night, Lexington struggled to play defense and the Jackets scored the first run of the game. In the 4th inning, Frankie Tostado reached base on a strikeout and a wild-pitch. He came around later in the frame to score when Jose Layer hit a ground-ball that 3rd baseman Nate Eaton could not handle. It was an error on Eaton, and the Jackets grabbed a 1-0 lead.
Lexington came back with a vengeance in the home-half of the 4th inning. Reed Rohlman tied the score with a RBI single, but the big hit in the inning came off the bat of John Rave. With the bases loaded, Rave hit the 2nd home run of his professional career off Adam Oller, and the grand slam lifted Lexington to a 5-1 lead. It was the first grand slam GreenJackets pitching has allowed in 2019.
Rave delivered another big hit in the 6th inning as he finished 2-4 with five RBI’s. With Reed Rohlman on 1st base for Lexington, Rave doubled off the wall scoring Rohlman, and it was a 6-1 advantage for Lexington. Oller ends his night after 5.2 innings, and he allows six runs.
The Jackets could not make a comeback, and they fall in the 2nd game of the series on Saturday by a final of 6-1. The loss snaps Augusta’s three game winning streak.
Player of the Game: JJ Santa Cruz, 2.1 IP, 0 ER, 3 K
JJ Santa Cruz delivered a splendid performance out of the Jackets bullpen. He ends his night going 2.1 innings and he does not allow a run, while striking-out three. Santa Cruz lowered his ERA to 2.43 for the season.
Tomorrow’s Game: 2:05 PM @ Lexington Legends (Kansas City Royals), Whitaker Bank Ballpark, Lexington, Kentucky
Pitching Matchup: (LEX) RHP Charlie Neuweiler (3-9, 4.63 ERA) vs (AUG) RHP Keith Weisenberg (1-2, 3.92 ERA)
Keith Weisenberg will make the start for the GreenJackets on Sunday afternoon. The right-hander has shifted between a bullpen and starting role for much of 2019. He has pitched in 13 games this season and six of those were starts. In his last start against Columbia on July 23rd, he tossed three-innings and allowed only one-run. He was not scheduled to start that day, but after the game started in a delay, the Jackets decided to plop Weisenberg on the slab that night. He was a 14th round selection in the 2016 MLB Draft by the Atlanta Braves. After he was released in May of this year, the San Francisco Giants signed him to a Minor League contract.
Charlie Neuweiler prepares for his 22nd start of the season, and it will be his 4th against the GreenJackets this year. He has a 5.23 ERA vs the Jackets this season over 17.2 innings. Neuweiler last faced Augusta on June 10th, and he couldn’t make it through the 5th inning. He finished after 4.2 innings, and he allowed seven runs. He is tied for the team lead with 105 strikeouts this year. The 20-year old was a 5th round pick by the Kansas City Royals in 2017 out of Monsignor McClancy High School in East Elmhurst, New York.