The Augusta GreenJackets edged the 1st-Half Northern Division Champion Hickory Crawdads, 6-5, before 4,114 fans at Lake Olmstead Stadium on Saturday night.
The Crawdads (61-42, 21-14) jump out to a 5-2 lead through the first two innings. Hickory plated four runs before the game's first out was registered in the top of the first. Jurickson Profar and Jake Skole led off with consecutive singles before Tomas Telis belted an run-scoring double to plate Profar for a 1-0 lead. After Andrew Clark drew walked to load the bases, Josh Richmond brought in Skole with an RBI single. Christian Villanueva capped the big inning with a two-run single, stretching the lead to 4-0.
After Augusta (50-54, 19-15) got on the board with a two-run homer by Josh Mazzola in the bottom of the first, the 'Dads struck again in the top of the second. Braxton Lane started the inning with a line drive comeback single that hit pitcher Taylor Rogers. Justin Schumer took over in relief for the GreenJackets and Profar welcomed him with a base hit, moving Lane to third. One out later, Telis skied a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Lane and giving Hickory a 5-2 advantage.
The GreenJackets edged closer against starter Cody Buckel with a sacrifice fly from Raynor Campbell in the fourth, and they tied it with two runs in the fifth. Bobby Haney led off with a single before racing all the way in on an RBI triple by Carlos Willoughby. Willoughby scored the tying run on an RBI single by Chris Lofton, squaring the score at 5-5.
Augusta scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh against losing pitcher Ben Rowen (2-4). With one out, Rowen hit Willoughby to put a man on. After a wild pitch moved Willoughby to second, Lofton brought him in with an RBI double, giving the GreenJackets a 6-5 lead.
Seth Rosin replaced winning pitcher Mario Rodriguez (4-5) in the eighth; Brett Bochy closed things out in the ninth for his second save.
NOTES: The Crawdads battle for the series split in Augusta on Sunday at 5:35 pM....The 'Dads will return home for a four-game set against the Hagerstown Suns at L.P. Frans Stadium from Mon., Aug. 1 - Thurs., Aug. 4. The series gets going with 2-for-1 Senior Night and Bingo on Mon., Aug. 1. First Pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m., gates will open at 6 pM.....That night will also be Kids Eat FREE Night, with all kids getting to chow down for free with the purchase of a ticket. The Crawdads Interns will also be competing throughout the game in Intern Olympics to win fans great prizes!