The Augusta GreenJackets were held hitless through the first 6.1 innings until waking up in a big way in the seventh on Thursday night at Lake Olmstead Stadium. Jackets hitters scored six runs in the seventh to take control against the Greenville Drive and eventually roll to a 7-3 win.
In a game dominated by the Drive up to the seventh-inning stretch, Augusta smacked six hits in the home half of the seventh after being no-hit by a combination of Nick Hagadone and Mike Lee through the first 6.1 frames. Juan Perez's double down the third-base line with one out in the seventh broke up the no-no, with Perez eventually scoring on Charlie Culberson's single. Johnny Monell doubled home Culberson and then scored on Ehire Adrianza's single to tie the game in a matter of minutes against a stunned Drive ballclub.
Francisco Peguero singled to load the bases and with two outs, Augusta sent Josh Mazzola, their best run producer to the plate with the bases full and the game knotted at three. Mazzola delivered for the GreenJackets as he's done time and time again - this time with a bases-clearing double to the wall in centerfield to put the Jackets ahead by three runs. Greenville never again threatened.
Adrianza added an insurance run in the eighth with a single to support Ryan Verdugo (1-0), who fired 2.2 scoreless innings of two-hit relief in back of starter Andrew Reichard and reliever Eric Stolp. Verdugo fanned four, including Oscar Tejeda in the ninth to end the ballgame.
Making his first start in nearly two months after coming off the disabled list with a shoulder strain, Reichard allowed an unearned run on four hits in two innings of work. Stolp allowed a sacrifice fly in the sixth to put the Drive up a pair and Verdugo allowed the RBI hit by Pete Hissey, with the run charged to Stolp, that gave Greenville what looked to be a commanding three-run lead through six and a half.
In a game where all nine Augusta hits came after the sixth, the GreenJackets picked up their tenth straight home win and are now 32-18 at Lake Olmstead Stadium this season.
In game two of the four-game set, the Jackets send Mike Loree (7-6, 4.34) to the mound to face Fabian Williamson (6-3, 2.28) on Friday night. First pitch comes at 7:05 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on WRDW AM 1630 and online at www.greenjacketsbaseball.com. You may purchase seats by calling 706-922-WINS or online at www.greenjacketsbaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.