Augusta, GA - The Augusta GreenJackets dropped their second straight to the Charleston RiverDogs, losing the lead in the eighth inning while watching the RiverDogs make a laugher of the game in the ninth. The RiverDogs padded their lead with five runs in the final frame and won 8-2 on the season's final Sparkling Saturday in front of 3,302 at Lake Olmstead Stadium.
With the GreenJackets on top 2-1 entering the eighth inning, the Augusta bullpen walked five and threw five wild pitches. Casey McGehee's two-out chopper over third baseman Jose Flores's head brought home the tying run from third and the RiverDogs never looked back. McGehee moved to third on Saxon Butler's single and scored on a wild pitch to put Charleston on top 3-2.
The GreenJackets mounted a two-out rally in the eighth, loading the bases thanks to back-to-back singles from Myles Schroder and Elliott Blair and a walk to Carlos Willoughby. But Kelby Tomlinson flew out to end the threat and Charleston put the game away in the ninth.
Francisco Arcia's RBI double made it a 4-2 game while a wild pitch brought home the inning's second run. McGehee singled home two more to make it a five-run lead while Dante Bichette Jr.'s RBI single pushed the advantage to 8-2.
Melvin Mercedes (1-1) threw two scoreless innings to get the win for the RiverDogs while Chris Marlowe (1-9) took the loss after failing to escape the eighth-inning jam. Charley Short threw the game's final two innings to earn his first save of the year for the RiverDogs.
Augusta drew first blood in the first inning on Garrett Buechele's two-out, run-scoring double to go up 1-0. On the first pitch of the fourth inning, the GreenJackets doubled their lead to 2-0 on Devin Harris's team-leading eighth homer of the season.
The RiverDogs scored the game's final eight runs, cutting Augusta's lead in half on Casey Stevenson's fifth-inning RBI double. The late Charleston rally took away what would've been the first win of the season for Danny Sandbrink in a GreenJackets uniform. Sandbrink fired 5.1 innings of one-run ball in his longest start of the year at any level, allowing five hits and striking out two.
After losing two straight to open the series, the GreenJackets look to rebound on Sunday evening. Kevin Couture (2-6, 2.73) takes the mound against Brett Gerritse (4-5, 4.03) in the season's penultimate contest. First pitch comes at 5:35 p.m. with radio coverage beginning at 5:20 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.