Salisbury, MD - Delmarva's nickname is the Shorebirds but the only flying that mattered on Wednesday night was done by Augusta's Kelby Tomlinson. Tomlinson's mad dash from first on Jesus Galindo's two-out, ninth-inning single - with help from a Delmarva error - scored the go-ahead run in the Augusta GreenJackets' 3-2 victory over the Delmarva Shorebirds in the opener of a four-game set.
With two outs, Tomlinson singled and broke for second with Galindo at the plate. Galindo responded by lashing a hit into right-center. With Tomlinson chugging toward third, Delmarva center fielder Glynn Davis bobbled the ball to allow Tomlinson to score standing up to give the GreenJackets a 3-2 lead.
Kevin Couture - in his first save situation of the year and the team's first without the recently-promoted closer Cody Hall - retired three of the four he faced in the ninth inning to earn his first save of the season.
The Shorebirds struck first, getting a two-out run in the second inning off Augusta starter Kyle Crick to take an early lead. Adam Davis singled home Mikey Planeta from third to give the Shorebirds a 1-0 advantage. The three hits the Shorebirds picked up in the second inning would be the only three they'd get off Crick though.
The lead wouldn't last long as the GreenJackets tied things in the third on Shawn Payne's two-out RBI single. In the fourth, Augusta took a 2-1 lead on Tomlinson's bases-loaded RBI groundout. In a game where both teams blew chances, the GreenJackets took the lead on a single run in the fourth - an inning where they had the bases loaded with no one out. All told, the GreenJackets stranded nine men on the basepaths - eight of them in innings two through five.
Crick was dominant in his 6.2 innings, holding the Shorebirds to a run on three hits and a walk while equaling his career-best with ten strikeouts. Four different GreenJackets pitchers have struck out ten or more in a game this season, but Crick becomes the first to do it twice.
The Shorebirds tied the game in the seventh off Augusta reliever Derek Law. Roderick Bernadina singled to lead off the inning and stole second. With one out, back-to-back walks loaded the bases and sent Law to the showers. On the first pitch from Kyle Vazquez, Michael Ohlman was hit in the helmet by a Vazquez breaking pitch to bring the tying run home from third. Vazquez (4-3) struck out the next two hitters to strand the bases full and send the game to the ninth tied at two.
Augusta's ninth-inning dramatics made a hard-luck loser out of Delmarva reliever Eric Wooten (1-2), who retired the first 11 he faced before allowing the back-to-back, ninth-inning singles that allowed the GreenJackets to take the lead for good.
The GreenJackets send Bryce Bandilla (2-4, 3.12) to the mound on Thursday in the second game of the series to face Delmarva righty Parker Bridwell (4-8, 6.23). First pitch from Delmarva comes at 7:05 p.m. with radio coverage beginning at 6:50 p.m. on ESPN Radio 1340 AM and www.greenjacketsbaseball.com.
On Monday, the GreenJackets return home to open a three-game series with the Lakewood BlueClaws. 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.