After losing 8-2 to Lexington on Saturday, Augusta knew it would have to win its next seven road games to keep their hopes of being the South Atlantic League First-Half Champions alive. After sweeping the Intimidators (23-41) on Wednesday with a 5-3 win, the GreenJackets (35-29) are off to a good start.
With Joe Biagini starting on the mound for Augusta, Kannapolis jumped out to an early lead. Intimidators' Michael Johnson lead off the bottom of the second with a double to center field then scored when Eric Grabe singled to left field.
The Intimidators put up two more runs in the third on runs by Kannapolis' Mike Marjama and Yoandy Barroso, giving them a 3-0 lead.
But the GreenJackets fought back.
In the top of the fourth, Stephen Branca lead off with a line-drive single to left field, advanced to second when Rafael Rodriguez was hit by a pitch and then scored when Chuckie Jones doubled to center field. Rodriguez plated Augusta's second run of the game when Alberto Robles grounded out to second base.
Then in the top of the fifth, the GreenJackets tied up the game at 3.
After starting off the inning with a walk, third baseman Mitch Delfino advanced to second on a throwing error on a pickoff attempt. Delfino then scored when catcher Ben Turner singled on a line drive to center field.
Finally in the sixth, Augusta took a 4-3 lead against Kannapolis.
With two outs, Jesus Galindo singled to left field and advanced to second on a fielding error by Barroso. Second baseman Trevor Brown then picked up his 22nd RBI when he drove in Galindo on a single to left field.
The GreenJackets continued to add to their lead in the eighth.
Rodriguez lead off the inning with a walk, then advanced to third on a double by Jones and scored on a balk to make it 5-3 GreenJackets.
While Augusta's offense continued its impressive performance, the GreenJackets pitching also shined.
Biagini picked up his fifth win after working five innings, bringing his record to 5-1. Brandon Farley relieved Biagini in the sixth inning. Farley worked 2.2 innings while allowing just three hits and striking out two batters en route to his third hold of the season.
Closer Tyler Mizenko came in the eighth inning with two outs and runners on the corners. But Mizenko didn't falter.
Mizenko struck out Kannapolis' Juan Ramirez to get the GreenJackets out of the eighth inning safely. He then worked a scoreless ninth, giving up just one hit and striking out another batter.
Mizenko picked up his 14th save on Wednesday which ranks second in the SAL. His 1.1 scoreless innings of work improved his numbers on his already impressive season.
Mizenko now boasts a 0.64 ERA and 28 strikeouts through 28 innings of work.
The GreenJackets are now 3.5 games out of first place in the Southern Division. They will start their five game series against the second place RiverDogs Thursday where they will resume a suspend game from April 14 at 6:00 p.m. and then play a full game at 7:05 p.m.