NORTH AUGUSTA, SC: The Augusta GreenJackets (27-27) began their final home series of 2022 with a victory over the Salem Red Sox (25-29) in their first-ever matchup against the franchise by a score of 11-6.
The GreenJackets couldn’t have started the game any better as they took a quick lead in the bottom of the first on five straight singles as Drake Baldwin, David McCabe, and Justin Janas all picked up RBIs with their knocks to grab a 3-0 lead after an inning of play.
Salem used the home run ball to get back in it during the third inning as Tyler Miller hit a two-run shot to make it a 3-2 game.
But Augusta counterpunched with power swings of their own as they used a solo home run by E.J. Expostio and a two-run blast by Kadon Morton to escalate their lead to its largest at 6-2.
The Red Sox would chip away at that lead with a sacrifice fly by Eduardo Lopez in the fourth with another run scoring in the fifth off the bat of Edinson Paulino to make it a two-run game at 6-4.
But once again, the GreenJackets got both those runs back in the bottom of the inning on a wild pitch that plated E.J. Exposito and an RBI single by Keshawn Ogans to bring home Kadon Morton, putting Augusta back in front by a margin of four at 8-4.
Tyler Miller kept Salem in the game in the seventh as he cranked his second two-run homer of the night to pull the Red Sox within a pair once again at 8-6.
The back-and-forth would continue with Drake Baldwin getting one of those runs back for Augusta with an RBI single in the bottom half of the inning to bring around Keshawn Ogans, giving the GreenJackets a three-run edge at 9-6.
In the eighth, Salem flirted with a comeback by putting two in scoring position with two outs for Tyler Miller, but Juan Mateo got him to fly out to deep left field to keep Augusta ahead by three.
The GreenJackets would go on to score two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth on a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch to Keshawn Ogans followed by a walk to Ignacio Alvarez to give Augusta their largest lead of five at 11-6.
They would go on to win by that score as Juan Mateo retired all three Red Sox hitters in order in the ninth to secure the five-run victory for the GreenJackets.
Starting pitcher Jorge Bautista (1-4) earned his first winning decision of the year by dealing 6.1 innings on the mound with Juan Mateo (5) picking up a four-out save. Salem starter Hunter Dobbins (0-4) was Tuesday’s losing pitcher.
The offense was led by Kadon Morton on Tuesday night as he hit his team-best 11th home run of the season and 5th in the month of August as he also scored twice in the game. E.J. Exposito hit his third homer along with a double, Keshawn Ogans had two hits, two RBIs, and two runs. Drake Baldwin had two RBIs of his own on a pair of hits with Ignacio Alvarez leading the team in hits on the night with three.
The second game of the series is on Wednesday night at SRP Park as Landon Harper gets the ball for Augusta versus Reidis Sena for the Red Sox with first pitch slated for 7:05 pm.
The final homestand of 2022 for the GreenJackets continues with Warrior Wednesday along with the Corona Bucket Special, Baseball Bingo, and the SRP Park Health Fair. Get your football jerseys on for Thursday as it’s Football Night at the ballpark along with the last Thirsty Thursday of the season to go along with another Atlanta Braves World Series Champions Replica Ring giveaway for the first 1,000 fans! You’ll want to be at the park early again on Friday for a Specialty Collector’s Cup giveaway in addition to the final Braves’ BUZZfest of the year. Saturday is Hall of Fame Night with a throwback Shersey Giveaway to go along with live pregame music from Josh Hillley as part of the White Claw Pregame Concert Series from 4:30-5:30 pm. Sunday is the final home game of 2022 and it’s Fan Appreciation/Luau Night with the final postgame Fireworks Extravaganza to close out the home season!
COURTESY AUGUSTA GREENJACKETS