Greenville, SC - After running their season-long winning streak to six games with a 6-1 win in the opener of a Wednesday doubleheader, the Augusta GreenJackets dropped a 5-2 decision to the Greenville Drive in the nightcap to allow Greenville to salvage a split in the doubleheader and end the Drive's six-game losing streak.
In game one, Keury De La Cruz gave the Drive a lead in the first inning with a two-out, RBI double that put Greenville in front by a 1-0 score. Augusta stormed back to score the game's final six runs, led by a five-run third inning. All five of those runs scored with two outs, as Shawn Payne tied the game at one with an RBI single after Jose Flores walked and stole second. Brett Krill singled to put runners at second and third for Devin Harris, who tripled home two runs to give the GreenJackets a 3-1 lead. Garrett Buechele followed with a two-run homer - his second in as many nights - to cap the five-run frame and push Augusta's lead to 5-1.
Kyle Crick (7-6) was solid for the GreenJackets in his second straight win. He fired 5.2 innings and allowed a run on six hits and a walk while striking out nine - one shy of equaling his career-best.
Jesus Galindo singled home an insurance run in the sixth to put the GreenJackets ahead by a 6-1 score and Steven Neff fired 1.1 innings to finish the sixth GreenJackets' win in a row.
In the nightcap, the GreenJackets and Drive played a back-and-forth contest before Greenville won in walkoff fashion to earn their second doubleheader split with the GreenJackets this season. With the game tied at two in the bottom of the seventh, Cody Koback doubled with one out. Garin Cecchini was intentionally walked to set up the force play anywhere. After De La Cruz struck out for the inning's second out, Blake Swihart drilled a three-run homer to right-center to send the Drive home a 5-2 winner.
Greenville struck first in the nightcap - the third time in the four-game series the Drive got the early lead. De La Cruz hit the second pitch of the second inning into the Augusta bullpen in right-center for his 19th home run of the year to give the Drive a 1-0 advantage.
The GreenJackets loaded the bases with one out in the third, tying the game at one on a Jose Flores RBI groundout, but could do no further damage. In the sixth, the GreenJackets finally broke the 1-1 deadlock. Krill singled with one out and scored on a double off the right-field wall from Harris to give the GreenJackets a late 2-1 lead.
Paul Davis had been solid for Augusta through five innings, but faltered in the sixth. He allowed singles to the first two hitters in the inning to put runners at the corners before he got the first out of the frame. He walked Drew Turocy to load the bases before departing in favor of Chris Marlowe (1-8). After Marlowe walked Boss Moanaroa to force home the tying run, he got a strikeout and a groundout to leave the bases full. The GreenJackets left runners at first and second in the top of the seventh before Greenville's dramatics won the game for the Drive in the bottom of the frame.
Nate Striz (1-1) fired a scoreless inning and a third to get the win in relief for Greenville.
Though the GreenJackets dropped the nightcap, there were still a lot of positives to take from the series and road trip at large. Augusta finished their season series with a 13-6 record against the Drive after taking three of four in this series. With a 6-2 record, the GreenJackets finished up by far their winningest road trip of the second half - only the second time this half the GreenJackets have finished with a winning road trip.
The GreenJackets return home on the season's final Thirsty Thursday to open a four-game series with the Greensboro Grasshoppers. Adalberto Mejia (9-7, 4.42) gets the ball for the GreenJackets in the series opener and will face Austin Brice. For the final time in 2012, fans can enjoy dollar domestic drafts and soft drinks throughout the contest. First pitch comes at 7:05 p.m. with radio coverage beginning at 6:50 p.m. on ESPN Radio 1340 AM and 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.