On Wednesday, August 28, the GreenJackets clinched the Southern Division Second Half Champions Title with a 13-4 win against the Lexington Legends. After starting the month of August 5.5 games out of first place, Augusta strung together an 11-game win streak, a 9-game win streak and five complete series sweeps to earn them a spot in the playoffs. The GreenJackets finished the season by winning 28 of their last 34 games, giving them the best overall record in the South Atlantic League at 82-55. Now that the regular season is over, the GreenJackets will begin postseason play tomorrow against the Savannah Sand Gnats with a best of three series.
Savannah took the First Half Champions Title with a record of 43-26. The GreenJackets fell behind in the first half finishing in fourth place with a 38-31 record. But they regrouped in the second half. Augusta used a 44-24 record in the second half to finish 8 games ahead of the second place Rome Braves. Savannah finished the second half in fifth place with a 34-35 record.
The GreenJackets will be throwing their top three starters during the Southern Division Championships. The Giants' 2012 second round draft pick Martin Agosta (9-3, 2.06) will get the series started at home for the GreenJackets. Agosta has been a standout on the mound this season. In addition to having the lowest ERA for GreenJackets starters, the California native comes into Wednesday's game with 109 strikeouts in 91.2 innings pitched. Agosta will be matched up against Savannah's Gabriel Ynoa (15-4, 2.72). Like Agosta, Ynoa has been key to the Sand Gnats' success. Ynoa leads the SAL in wins with 15 and is second in WHIP with a 1.02.
On Friday, the series will head to Savannah. There the GreenJackets will start another ace on the mound. Kendry Flores (10-6, 2.73) has continued to impress all season. Flores has thrown has allowed just one run or less in 11 games with the GreenJackets. Flores leads the SAL in WHIP (0.92) and ranks third in the league with 137 strikeouts. Flores will be facing the Sand Gnats' southpaw, Steven Matz (5-6, 2.62).
If the series goes to Game 3, the Giants' 2012 first-round draft pick Chris Stratton (9-3, 3.27) will take the mound on Saturday. Stratton has put up consistent numbers for the GreenJackets all season long. Like Flores, Stratton thrown 11 one-run or less games this season. Savannah will be throwing Luis Cessa (8-4, 3.12) on Saturday, who is another one of the Sand Gnants' star pitchers.
While both teams are known for their impressive pitching, they have a couple of standouts at the plate. For the GreenJackets there is third baseman Mitch Delfino and first baseman Joey Rapp, who are first and second on the team in RBI. The Sand Gnats' Cole Frenzel and Dilson Herrera are both tied for first on the team with 60 RBI.
The Sand Gnats lead the GreenJackets in their overall series this season 16-8. The winner of this series will face the Northern Division Champion for the South Atlantic League Title. Last time Augusta won the title was in 2010, and the last time Savannah won the title was in 1996 when they were the Los Angeles Dodgers affiliate.
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