After struggling to produce runs in the last four games, the GreenJackets' offense came through Thursday night in Savannah. Augusta (47-40) used 13 hits to defeat Savannah (52-37) 9-1 at Historic Grayson Stadium.
The GreenJackets took a huge lead against the Sand Gnats early Thursday night. Augusta scored seven runs on six hits and an error, causing Savannah's starter Matt Koch to be pulled after just 1.2 innings of work.
The second inning started when designated hitter Shayne Houck was hit by a pitch. Chuckie Jones then singled on a line drive to right field moving Houck to third, and Eric Sim drove Houck in with a single to right.
First baseman Joey Rapp scored the next run with the GreenJackets' third-straight single of the inning, which brought in Jones.
Left fielder Rafael Rodriguez reached base next thanks to a throwing error by Savannah's Cole Frenzel. Second baseman Trevor Brown then cleared the bases with a single to left field.
Still, the GreenJackets continued to get runners on base. Matt Duffy was next after he was hit by a pitch. Then Houck came up to bat for the second time that inning and used a two-run double to give the GreenJackets a 7-0 lead against the Sand Gnats.
Savannah's lone run of the game came in the third inning. Sand Gnats' Jeff Glenn led off the inning with a walk and then scored on a double by Maikis De La Cruz.
The GreenJackets continued to add to their lead in the fourth.
Third baseman Mitch Delfino came up to bat with bases loaded and no outs in the top of the fourth. Delfino grounded out to shortstop, but advanced the runners, scoring center fielder Jesus Galindo. Houck then hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score Brown, making it 9-1 GreenJackets.
While GreenJackets were having one of their best offensive nights, starter Joan Gregorio (5-2) was dominating on the mound. Gregorio finished the night with four hits, one run, two walks and nine strikeouts in six innings of work.
Steven Okert relieved Gregorio in the seventh and went on to earn his first save of the season. Okert finished the night with one hit, no runs and two strikeouts in three innings.
The GreenJackets 9-1 victory on Thursday helped them avoid the sweep and improve their second-half record to 9-9, putting them just 1.5 games behind the Lexington Legends. The GreenJackets will head to Charleston to face the RiverDogs for a four-game series before returning home on Wednesday, July 17.